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Xerox, E Ink Corp. Announce New Developments in Commercializing Digital Paper

Magazine article Information Today

Xerox, E Ink Corp. Announce New Developments in Commercializing Digital Paper

Article excerpt

Xerox Corp. has announced that it has launched Gyricon Media, Inc., an independent venture that will use the power of electronic reusable paper to provide networked, reusable retail signs that can be updated with the click of a mouse. In addition, E Ink Corp. and its technology partner Lucent Technologies (http://www.lucent.com) have announced a major milestone in their effort to develop a flexible, paper-like electronic display, with the joint demonstration of working prototypes built on thin sheets of plastic. While the First applications will be for display signs that are updated with wireless computer networks, in the future both Xerox and E Ink Corp. arc looking to use electronic paper for books, magazines, and newspapers.

Gyricon Media

Gyricon Media, Inc. will commercialize Xerox's digital document display technology that is, according to the company, as portable and flexible as a plain sheet of paper. Gyricon Media will initially use the technology to develop applications for signage and point-of-purchase displays found in supermarkets, department stores, and other retail outlets. The electronic signs can be used for in-store shelf displays, promotions, and billboards, and will be followed by an array of products in such areas as digital publishing and portable device displays. The first commercial products are expected to be launched this year.

Electronic reusable paper was developed at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in California and is supported by a portfolio of Xerox patents. Named after the technology that's the basis for electronic reusable paper, Gyricon Media will manufacture a new kind of document that, like paper, is thin, lightweight, and inexpensive. However, when combined with the appropriate electronics, the material is capable of displaying and changing text and graphics like a computer screen and can be reused thousands of times.

"Electronic reusable paper is really the paper of the future. It will dramatically change the way people think about printing, and it will revolutionize the way that stores communicate prices, promotions, and other information to their customers," said Bob Sprague, interim CEO of Gyricon Media and manager of Xerox PARC's Document Hardware Lab.

According to the announcement, Gyricon Media is an example of Xerox's ongoing efforts to leverage its extensive research initiatives, develop research-based strategic alliances, spawn entrepreneurial spin-off companies, and license its portfolio of patents and inventions to other companies. …

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