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E Ink Creates 10.2-Inch Folding E-Reader

For most people, the only E Ink display they've ever interacted with is the 6-inch panel used in e-readers such as the Amazon Kindle range. That seems set to continue, but in the near future we may see a much larger e-paper display offered thanks to the creation of folding e-paper.

At SID Display Week in Los Angeles, E Ink had a booth showing off a range of new products. But the one that caught our eye is a new, folding E Ink display that allows for a book-form e-reader.

As ARMdevices.net reports, the folding prototype display is made of plastic and uses a 10.2-inch Carta Mobius panel offering 220 pixels-per-inch density. It doesn't give up any of the features commonly associated with e-paper, so it still only uses power when the information on the display is changed and text looks great.

While a folding E Ink display is highly desirable, this prototype includes two features that work against it in terms of ever becoming a viable product. The first is the fact the panel has a glossy finish. One of the key benefits of e-paper is the ability to view it in all lighting conditions, even bright sunlight. A glossy finish suggests that isn't the case here.

The second negative against this display is the limited fold. As you can see in the video above, although the panel can be folded shut like a book, the hinge area is rather thick. That's because the panel is limited by the bending radius meaning it can't be folded completely flat.

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If E Ink can improve the bend radius so the panel really can close right up like a book, and remove the glossy finish, then I can see a new Kindle on the horizon that truly is just like a real book. Until then, I can't see this prototype being turned into a mass-produced commercial product.

If you keep watching the video you'll also see an E Ink dress, a 42-inch panel for digital signage, a credit card, an interactive whiteboard, and Plastic Logic offering a range of flexible and touchscreen displays using E Ink tech for devices including tablets, smartphones, and smartwatches. Color e-paper is also still being pushed forward by Plastic Logic, with E Ink having unveiled a full color panel last year.

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Making it happen Daniel Krogen, a risk assurance associate at PwC decided to go on the data and analytics track. While he welcomed getting new skills from his company, he admits he was nervous going this route at first because of the typical way his industry has worked in the past. “In the accounting industry you come in and have a track and everyone follows the track. I was worried doing something unique could hinder me if I wasn’t following track,” he said. Graphic: Feodora Chiosea/Getty Images He says those fears were alleviated by senior management encouraging people to join this program and giving participants assurances that they would not be penalized. “The firm is dedicated to pushing this and having how we differentiate this against the industry, and we want to invest in all of our staff and push everyone through this,” Krogen said. 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Each member of the program participates in a Udacity nano-degree program, learning a new set of skills related to whatever technology speciality they have chosen. “We have a pretty flexible culture here…and we trust our people to work in ways that work for them and work together in ways that work for them,” McEneaney explained. The initial program was presented as a 12-18 month digital accelerator tour of duty, Krogen said. “In those 12-18 months, we are dedicated to this program. We could choose another stint or go back to client work and bring those skills to client services that we previously provided.” While this program is really just getting off the ground, it’s a step toward acknowledging the changing face of business and technology. Companies like PwC need to be proactive in terms of preparing their own employees for the next generation of jobs, and that’s something every organization should be considering.

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