Category Archives: Paper Technology

The Last Post

Well I will say that this is the last post for the site SPA Paperless Office Project the reason why is that times have changed the site will have a new name and a new look complete with a totally new area to the paperless office, it will still have the roots of the S.P.A Foundation and still built around what I believe is still one of the fundamentals of achieving a paperless environment.

What will the new site have, a purpose built Management Efficacy SPA Template Tool and an Efficacy SPA Paperless Template Tool plus a few others.

How will the site be designed, it will have a new looking reader friendly screen a new external link friendly system plus the all the usual posts that are connected to the paperless environment for the person who wants to understand and read thought and interesting posts that are connected to this subject.

The site design will constantly be updated to improve the reader’s experience.

What will be the site called? To keep in line with the original thoughts of the first web site the name Paperless Endeavour will hope to keep the ever lasting and changing environment that to a certain degree will always try to keep up with the Technologies advances and break thoughts that are always trying to improve the world we live in weather it’s in the office or associated Technologies.

The new site will be launched in January next year, so I hope to see you then, other wise have a wonderful Christmas Holiday and a Happy New Year.

Martin Smith

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E Paper Vs the Computer

Frage eines Standbesuchers "Läuft Wikiped...

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There has been one thing that I have wondered about, when looking at the development of E Paper , will it replace the computer, does it want to replace the computer and will it be allowed to replace the computer.

 Looking at the development of E Paper one would assume that in the beginning this was to assist the resolution and readability of the computer screen back in the 1970s.

If we view the facts so far with regards to the development,  E Paper has been developed  as a viewing and reading tablet and a device that you can down load or transfer reading material , in general terms thats it.

In non technical terms E paper could be a tablet that has selected software parameters and is designed with a flexible material to give the feeling that it has paper properties.

 So with these observations will the E Paper be a competitor to the PC!!

I generally don’t think so, but with my next breath I hope they do not over engineer this fantastic opportunity, coming from an engineering back ground we try to make things simple and easy to design, it should be said that I hope it finds it place within this technological media and also the work place.

In my other posts I have blown caution to the wind and stated that this may have already happened, let’s keep it simple, design it for its purpose.

Would we be right to assume that the computer and E Paper will both have a rightful place weather it’s for social media or within the work place hopefully both will be able to work along side each other.


E Paper: Develop and Adapt

Just recently I have been spending a bit of time looking at the new areas of E paper, why because it will certainly play a part in the concept of the paperless office and also I have a general interest in new technology.

In some of my past posts I have indicated that E paper should take a closer look at its self and decide into which direct it should be travelling and also a small undertone that E paper could be a Roll Royce of paper and not E paper for the masses, a product that could change how we work and behave in a normal working office.

Should E paper look for a new direction, could it survive if a very simple product was designed and developed not just for social pleasure but a true working product that can be used in the work place which could be a replacement for paper.

Personally I do not think that E Paper should replace paper, when I say replace paper, I don’t think it has to replace paper in the sense of sheet paper.

Last year I carried out a survey with Bradford University, this mainly looked at SPA, Secondary Paper Activities within a work place, the general findings were that 63% of Paper Activities were computer based and the remaining paper activities were classed as small notary actions and came under the section of SPA.

What does this tell us, it tells us that 63% of activities within the work place is already performed using a standard PC so what we can use E paper for.

I think we have to forget the direct replacement for paper, writing on E Paper, is not in the forefront of our minds, and has not been development yet. I generally believe that E Paper will have to be categorised to the storage, viewing and display area if we are going to try to bring this into the work place.

I don’t think that this is a bad think, if you look at this and look at the whole picture, could we remove the paper file and lever arch files that are situated in all our offices.

One would assume that one of the reasons why we are developing E paper is to remove paper as we know it, in its traditional sense or is it to develop the computer device, we started with the computer and then the tablet and I pad, and now the E paper, could we view the E Paper as an extension development of the tablet and I pad.

 I personally hope not, I think that E paper will survive but only if we segment the product into a workable and practical solution that is cheaper and more user friendly that we have been used to within the work place.


E Paper and a “Pretentious Stigma”

Fish and chips traditionally wrapped in white ...

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If you have been following any of my posts you will have noticed that I encourage technological advances but for a realistic and practical approach which can assist paperless systems and the concept of the paperless office.

I do believe that there is still an aristocratic or a pretentious stigma surrounding certain technological products around at the moment, this mainly been the development of E paper, not only E Paper but also technological developments to help us to combat the development of any paperless product.

We all understand that the progressive growth of the paperless office started very simply when software programmes were available for your PC, This over the years has encouraged people to start to use the standard computers to assist the development of the paperless office.

We all know now that E paper is the next big thing to tackle the development of a paperless society or a substitute or even a replacement for paper. Well that’s what I think! In the terms of what was produced on traditional paper is now been replaced by e paper or a product device that wants to replace paper.

I have often wondered if we have really thought or considered that we used paper for, I don’t mean in the ever day items like toilet paper or wrapping up your fish and chips (English way of eating) but paper that is used as a communication tool.

Communicating in the areas of the work environment and also social activities, I say social activities, but what did we use paper for as a social activity, reading books, magazines and Newspapers. I think there are the many areas which will come to everyone’s mind and I am sure that there will be a few other areas that you will think of in time.

One of my points is that why are the developers solely marketing the social side of these products, the skiff reader was designed for newspapers and magazines, most of the tables that are on the market have a underlining approach to social activities.

I honesty believe that we are scared to say that if we design an e paper product like the skiff reader, Sony e paper etc, that actually replaces paper, will the user turn around and state “is that all it does” !!!!, But really that’s all we want it to do, replace the paper that we use as a communication tool.

 The next big question is that can e paper work along side the computer!


E Paper : Should we stop ?

Why do we have to be careful, if we look at the steady progressive growth of the development of e paper form the computer screen technology to the present flexible readable sheets and wonder what this application can also be developed for?

A lot of articles and reports are indicating that it will assist the development of reading to the areas of down loading educational reports, manuals and scripts etc, this can only be a good thing or is it.

I say that not wanting to stop this technology advances but also have some concerns of how this has grown or developed and what will it develop into.

I have repeated this sentence in so many of my posts and I will repeat it again on how the customer perceives the product and not what the product has been perceived into.

If we have an imaginary world and e paper has been developed and all things are great, what is the next step ?

How can the e paper be manufactured at a cheap price and in the real world what will it compete with Paper products, books and printing in general etc?

The concept of the paperless office had the same problem and is only starting to be accepted as a real product will the e paper have the same problem!

I do believe that the e paper must stop, stop in the sense that technology must stop making in to a product that is not usable to the every day person.

What has happened is that as technology has grown from one product and transferred part of that technology into another product.

If we look at the e paper, it started from the computer screen and then went into mobiles phones and eventually turned into flexible sheets .

What will happen is that if the latest e paper or flexible sheet is not transferred into a commercial product that every person can use then we will throw more technology at it ,nobody will be able to use it because of what I have mentioned above and it will repeat it’s self and an other product will benchmark the latest version of the technology of the e paper.

They will place it into the computer device and the e paper will not be E paper, it will be an latest computer tablet that will allows you to read at a better resolution and quality.

The rolling technology situation will start all over again and this will keep repeating to the level that we will be reading articles that are stating that the e paper is pipe dream and will never happen in our life time.  

This may be a different view but if you look at this closely you can see this happening already, the e paper is starting to become recognised but we have not targeted a commercial market yet. I hope this does not happen and we stop and take a closer look and a person or an organisation takes this to the next step.

Before it’s to late !!!!!!


E Paper (Technical basics)

Electronic paper (Side view of Electrophoretic...

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Electronic paper was first developed in the 1970s by Nick Sheridon at Xerox‘s Palo Alto Research Center. The first electronic paper, called Gyricon, consisted of polyethylene spheres between 75 and 106 micrometres across.

Each sphere is a janus particle composed of negatively charged black plastic on one side and positively charged white plastic on the other (each bead is thus a dipole. The spheres are embedded in a transparent silicone sheet, with each sphere suspended in a bubble of oil so that they can rotate freely.

The polarity of the voltage applied to each pair of electrodes then determines whether the white or black side is face-up, thus giving the pixel a white or black appearance. At the FPD 2008 exhibition, Japanese company Soken has demonstrated a wall with electronic wall-paper using this technology.

In the simplest implementation of an electrophoretic display, titanium dioxide particles approximately one micrometer in diameter are dispersed in a hydrocarbon oil. A dark-colored dye is also added to the oil, along with surfactants and charging agents that cause the particles to take on an electric charge. This mixture is placed between two parallel, conductive plates separated by a gap of 10 to 100 micrometres.

When a voltage is applied across the two plates, the particles will migrate electrophoretically to the plate bearing the opposite charge from that on the particles. When the particles are located at the front (viewing) side of the display, it appears white, because light is scattered back to the viewer by the high-index titania particles.

When the particles are located at the rear side of the display, it appears dark, because the incident light is absorbed by the colored dye. If the rear electrode is divided into a number of small picture elements (pixels), then an image can be formed by applying the appropriate voltage to each region of the display to create a pattern of reflecting and absorbing regions.

Electrophoretic displays are considered prime examples of the electronic paper category, because of their paper-like appearance and low power consumption.

Examples of commercial electrophoretic displays include the high-resolution active matrix displays used in the Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble Nook, Sony Librie, Sony Reader, and iRex iLiad e-readers.

 These displays are constructed from an electrophoretic imaging film manufactured by E Ink Corporation. Also the technology has been developed by Sipix Microcup[9] and Bridgestone Quick Response Liquid Powder Display (QR-LPD). The Motorola MOTOFONE F3 was the first mobile phone to use the technology, in an effort to help eliminate glare from direct sunlight during outdoor use.

Electrophoretic displays can be manufactured using the Electronics on Plastic by Laser Release (EPLaR) process developed by Philips Research to enable existing AM-LCD manufacturing plants to create flexible plastic displays.


E Paper History

1974-gyricon-material

There have been various reports about the history of E paper that it was developed in the late 60s and early 70s by Xerox PARC, who were developing and attempting to get Xerox management to appreciate the Alto personal computer; they never did.

It was the world’s first office and word-processing computer, but this remarkable machine had one serious drawback: the cathode ray tube display it used was not the best; the problem was that the contrast was not bright enough, and the contrast was not great.    

A major improvement to assist this problem was the introduction of Gyricon; this was used with a rotating-ball and was based on a physical phenomenon called “electro capillarity.” The electro capillarity display worked by moving colored liquids against a white background as you can appreciate that this was back in the 70 and 60 and it was really a very basic spin of to what we seen on the screen today.

As time pasted the concept of E Paper slowly declined and the birth of the computer was born, and that area is history, it’s not really since the birth of the e reader that we see the development of E paper in its present form to which we own this to the potential growth of the electronic reader.

Since this time there was always the back ground research and development of e paper form all the usual companies, the various report where been published indicating that this development  was and still is a thing of the future.

Two articles were published, “E Is for E-Paper: An Electronic Paper Primer for the Graphic Communications Industry” and “E-Paper Technologies and Opportunities in Publishing, Communications and the Graphic Arts”  this examined the two major products releases by (the iRex iLiad and the Sony Reader) it also looked at the other potential devices waiting in the wings.

In 2006/2007 Sony started to develop a so called Sony Style e-store to where the e reader could down load various books to read etc. We have to be very carful here for most of the reports and articles are stating that the e books have elect iconic paper , could that be an misleading phrase, the device that they were reading form was to replace books ,it was common sense to think that the e books have e paper, the question of what you would class as e paper really has to spring to mind, we have seen this development before to the concept of the  paperless office, were terminology has been placed in to a section and in time the design process has lost it’s true meaning.

If we look at the years of 2008 to present and break it down to its Utilization then Electronic paper is the way out for people who read a lot off their screen. But there are also big expectations on the field of replacing printed newspaper, school books and manuals.

Advantages of the eBooks reader are, besides a handy, light size, the largestorage capacity and the fast and easy adaptation of the content. Additional advantage is that some models have the option to make notes that can be transformed into printed text.

A promising development of electronic paper is the flexible e-paper. Philips spin-off Polymer Vision presented in 2007 a first commercial utilization of flexible electronic paper in the form of the Readius, a smartphone with foldable screen. This makes it possible to equip a small device with a relatively large screen.

This has mostly been carried forward and developed commercial with the introduction of the skiff, which is a flexible sheet that can be used to read newspapers and more sheet design in reading , rather than the a traditional book design.

Although the skiff was never a commercial success, this was not to the problem of the material design of the product but a more commercial failure in how to market the product as a multi functional reading tool and acquiring the appropriate networking solutions to capture a new type of reader, some of the reports state that it was ahead of its time, I must disagree with this, it is only a question of time when a design concept will look and feel and the same size of a piece of paper, to what we are all used to and not a small computer device replacing the book.

Vizplex is another development with regards to eInk displays which are equipped with this technology and have a greater contrast and the pages can be switched faster. Vizplex is also more suitable for larger screens and therefore more suitable for a A4 size piece of paper.

One of the problems trying to trace back this history is that the E paper really has come from how this product has developed within the existing technology, it’s hard to state that the e paper was developed in the 60s and 70s, where it was the development of the computer screen that started it, can you class the e paper as a computer screen and once again the major leaps and bounds of this products has come from the mobile phone industry with a foldable screen.

 I think that in the early days it should have been called an e display( which it was) which has changed and developed into a piece of e paper.

So to try to track down a precise date has become difficult and I think its still an area to say that this is an ongoing development so has the e display finally turned into a piece of paper, I do believe that it will, but it will certainly taken more time and alot more research before we can clearly and confidently state this.

sony electronic paper