An electrophoretic display forms visible images by rearranging charged pigment particles through use of an applied electric field. They’re considered prime examples of electronic paper, with the technology having been used in timetables at bus stations, electronic billboards, department stores, mobile phone displays, and tablets that display digital versions of newspapers, magazines, and books.
As the technology develops even more, it’ll be applied to other aspects of society. Although there’s no telling how it’ll shape the future exactly, there are already instances where it’s being used in more ways than we could‘ve imagined. With that said, here’s how electrophoretic displays could possibly change the future and what it’ll mean to you in the long term.
The Future is in Electronic Credit Cards
Credit card companies like Visa have been experimenting with cards that have a small electrophoretic display screens built into them for years. This technology would allow customers to see their account balances, recent transaction history, and local currency exchange rates. Most recently, Mastercard unveiled a card that has touch-sensitive buttons and an LCD display. Unfortunately, for right now, the card is only available in Singapore, but the possibilities in the future are endless.
One of the biggest concerns with electronic credit cards is how expensive they are (the battery, the display, and the connection between the display and the chip). Additionally, there are obviously security concerns associated with implementing this technology on a massive scale. Although cards with computer chips offer better security than traditional cards, they do hold more sensitive information that can be used against the card owner if it’s lost or stolen.
The Future is in Electronic Updatable License Plates
A company in South Carolina is trying to implement the use of electronic license plates for all the state’s cars and trucks. The plate works by displaying certain words like “STOLEN” or “UNINSURED,” taking advantage of electrophoretic technology in the process.
Some of the benefits that would stem from this system would include alerting drivers of dangerous motorists on the road and not having to visit the DMV to get a new plate (everything could be done online and changed on your plate right away). Lower auto insurance rates are also a possible .
Although there are benefits, many people who argue against these electronic updatable license plates have privacy concerns associated with implementing such technology. With a growing number of Americans becoming more distrustful about the government’s activities when it involves personal and private information, it’s hard to imagine that the public will happily accept and embrace another system that tracks your every move while putting your information at risk.
The Future is in Flexible Electronic Displays
Electrophoretic displays that are flexible are one of the more highly anticipated technologies that are already making their way onto the market. Curved TVs will provide people with cinema-like immersive views and offer them flexibility as far as placement, while “smart” watches will adopt the technology because curved and flexible displays are known to be more ergonomic on the wrist.
Although flexible and curved electrophoretic displays provide many great benefits, there are still some challenges that the technology must overcome. This displays currently have a much shorter lifespan than traditional ones, they’re more expensive to manufacture, and they have a high operation voltage. Even though it’s taking some time to develop this technology and make it available to the masses, it’s only a matter of time before everything in your daily life has a flexible electronic display.
Electrophoretic displays have been in development for years, but the time has finally come when you can expect to see them more and more. Although there’s no set timetable as to when your credit card, license plate, and piece of paper will all be using this technology, it’s certain that it’ll happen in the near future.
How else do you see this technology changing the world and the future? Do you have any concerns associated with it? What items would you prefer had this display technology?
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