A wireless newspaper with a flexible color touchscreen the size of a tabloid may be on the way within the next two years. Media giant Hearst Corp. has been pumping cash into a stealth startup called FirstPaper, whose flagship reader will reportedly use a color version of the energy-sipping E-Ink used in the Sony Reader. It seems like science fiction, but screens such as this 14.1-inch-wide Philips color e-paper display from a year ago (pictured above), continue to be developed, so this may not be too far-fetched.
The Linux-based FirstPaper reader, if it can be brought to market at a price that’s close to e-readers such as the $280 Sony Reader, the $399 Amazon Kindle or the $350 Ectaco Jetbook, might be a serious contender. If its flexible screen really does turn pages just by touching the screen, and if it’s truly flexible as a newspaper and its wireless capabilities work well, its competitors might need to go back to the old drawing board. That’s a lot of “ifs.”
Take a look at a clip from Minority Report showing how such a flexible color display might be used in the future. Of course, this fictional display in the movie has motion video, but the FirstPaper's e-ink could be the next step toward that.