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Green benefits to boost e-paper, says Gartner

But the tech will need to fall in price before it goes mainstream, the analyst firm said.

green

Despite poor colour display, slow refresh rates and high cost, e-paper will increasingly be used because of its green credentials, according to a new report from Gartner.

Because it uses so little power, a major driver for e-paper use will be its green credentials. "Its potential environmental benefits are significant, resulting in the saving of trees, preventing the generation of waste water and reducing the emissions of green house gases," Gartner said.

Electronic paper will overtake other display media in retail, consumer and even office environment markets, the analyst firm said. That said, e-paper will need to improve how it handles colour and movies, as well as fall in price, before it becomes a real competitor to print.

"E-paper does have has some barriers to overcome before gaining credibility with the mainstream market," said SJ Chae, senior research director at Gartner, in a statement.

"However, it is generating a great deal of interest and we expect adoption to increase steadily over the next few years as the technology improves."

Chae noted that the tech's flexibility means it can be used in a variety of ways, helping to drive adoption. It has been used in e-book readers as well as displays in phones and watches, he noted, but one major use will be signs. As the tech evolves, more uses will be added, he noted, citing recent innovations such as touchscreen, wireless ability and rewriteable colour.

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