Plastic electronic newspaper to be launched in Britain next year

October 15th, 2008 - 5:43 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Oct 15 (IANS) A British-designed electronic newspaper - made out of plastic and no larger than a table mat - is to hit the market next year as an alternative to, well, paper itself, according to a report Wednesday. The new kind of newspaper has been conceived by Cambridge University scientists, who pioneered the idea of replacing silicon chips with plastic ones, and is being developed by Plastic Logic, a company based in Dresden, Germany.

“The device looks just like a table mat and it’s as light as a magazine. But onto it you can download hundreds of newspapers and - at the touch of a button - browse through them quite safely, without elbowing anyone ever again [in a crowded commuter train],” the BBC reported on its website.

The plastic microchips are produced in a top security ‘clean room’ at the Plastic Logic factory, which opened last month as the world’s first commercial-scale plastic electronics manufacturing plant.

With every part of the product - from the screen to the electronics - made of plastic, the newspaper is described by engineer Dean Baker as “very robust”.

Baker said the plastic newspaper could help address the problem of waste associated with traditional newspapers.

“There’s a huge amount of waste. We have paper being distributed all over the country which is consumed on that day and then discarded into the bin. This doesn’t need to be the case.

“All of that contact could be transmitted electronically and stored on a single e-reader, with the same visual appeal as paper,” Baker said.

The plastic newspaper is expected to hit the high streets next year, the BBC said.

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