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LG's flexi-electronic newspaper

Next-gen newspaper?

Next-gen newspaper?

2010 is meant to be the year of the tablet and e-readers, and LG is already rolling out their hardware with a flexible e-paper - essentially an e-reader designed to mimic the look and feel of a newspaper page.

As well as the environmental benefits of no longer having to use millions of tons of paper, it is hoped that the e-paper will slim down bulkier newspapers reducing waste and other carbon emissions.

Roll-up computer

At only 0.3mm think, the electronic display device is about as thick as five sheets paper, making it possible to roll-up and tuck under your arm when you're riding on the train. LG hopes that the e-readers flexibility will draw in customers because it mimics a traditional newspaper page but eliminates the need for cutting down trees.

At 4.5 ounces, it's slightly heavier than a paper, but the e-ink display (that is shown on foil instead of the usual glass or plastic) gives the device a much more flexible display.

According to enviro-design site, the release of products like the Amazon Kindle and Sony Reader has sparked much debate about the environmental impact of e-readers versus that of traditional printed books. According to a recent New York Times blog, the book and newspaper industries were responsible for harvesting about 125 million trees in 2008 alone.

In addition to publishing's role in deforestation, paper processing creates significant amounts of waste-water and a huge carbon footprint, so it's clear that consumers need some kind of eco alternative.

Of course, whether e-readers replace books and paper remains to be seen, but whether they are more environmentally sound depends on their power consumption. After all, what's the point in swapping paper for an electricity-hungry device that needs constant charging, producing more emissions.

The Korean electronic firm have announced they have planned to launch an 11.5-inch, flexible e-paper product in the first half of 2010.

At the rate, e-readers are progressing, it's only a matter of time before we have a Minority Report-style newspaper, constantly updated and animated.

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