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New Microsoft Patent Could Replace Paper

A patent filed by Microsoft could eventually see a new type of E Ink display replacing paper in a variety of situations.

The patent for an “electronic paper display device” (discovered by MSPoweruser) does not feature the typical internal components of other E Ink devices like E-Readers. Instead, the “electronic paper” would feature an “electrophoretic ink layer” and electrodes that could, when electricity is applied, be used to display text and images.

“Such a display device can be very thin and light (e.g. due to the lack of any driving electronics) and depending upon the electronic paper display technology used, can also be flexible,” Microsoft said in the patent.

An external “printer device” would be required to update the display according to Microsoft, with the company suggesting that allowing access to the electrodes on a single face of the display would allow wall-mounted display devices to be updated without being removed.

“The smaller sized displays (e.g. up to and including A4 displays) may be used as a replacement for paper or post-it notes and the larger sized displays may be used for advertising hoardings, noticeboards, price lists, menu cards or signs which may need to be changed periodically,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft filed for the patent in July 2015, and it is available for viewing at the World Intellectual Property Organisation website.

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