US firm unveils plastic e-newspaper; production in Germany

Business Materials 9 September 2008 00:18 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa ) - A company called Plastic Logic on Monday unveiled a lightweight electronic newspaper device that is the size of a piece of standard printer paper and can be updated automatically over wireless connections. The screen also allows users to annotate documents and will offer the option of embedding video.

The as-yet-unnamed device, which is to be manufactured in Germany, was shown off at an industry event called DemoFall in San Diego. The device is due to go on sale early next year and is expected to be embraced by newspaper publishers eager to cut the costs associated with printing and distributing paper editions.

The device uses technology from E-Ink, the company that also powers electronic readers from Sony and Amazon. But the screen of the Plastic Logic gadget is built with transistor arrays on flexible plastic surfaces that are lighter, stronger, less expensive and more environmentally friendly than the silicon-based systems in use until now.

The plastic reader is designed to store dozens or hundreds of business documents on a very thin digital reader. It can store e-books, magazines, newspapers, PDFs and all kinds of information, the company said.

"Even though we have positioned this for business documents, newspapers (are) what everyone asks for," said Richard Archuleta, Plastic Logic's CEO.

The company is due to open its manufacturing facility in Dresden, Germany, the world's first commercial-scale plastic electronics manufacturing facility, on September 17. The factory is expected to immediately ramp up for production of the reader.