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'Minority Report' electronic newspapers could soon be with us

The flexible electronic newspaper, which we saw in the film Minority Report, could soon be with us thanks to a new type of e-paper being developed by LG.

LG is developing a type of flexible e-paper, which we could see in a new line of e-readers, tablets, and even electronic newspapers. According to an SEC filing, the company expects to start mass-producing 9.7-inch colour e-paper and 19-inch flexible e-paper.

Vinita Jakhanwal of iSuppli told IDG News the 9.7-inch colour e-paper could potentially be used in a new generation of e-readers and mobile devices. But he warned it could make them more costly and reduce battery life.   

The 19-inch flexible e-paper would be monochrome, and Jakhanwal said this could be used in e-reader devices the size of newspapers.

Softpedia said the e-paper would have a thickness of 0.3mm and weigh 130g. If it was able to incorporate touch input and other components without bending, it could become the first electronic newspaper.

If you thought electronic newspapers were the stuff of science fiction, you're quite right. They first featured in the film Minority Report, released in 2002. In a scene from the movie, below, you'll see how an electronic newspaper like this could work. As well as viewing moving images, the words and articles constantly update to bring you breaking news in real time.

LG is already responsible for the display used in the Amazon Kindle DX e-reader, and is the leading provider of screens for the iPad.

Electronic newspapers made from flexible e-paper might seem a pretty distant prospect, but the iPad is essentially halfway there, and we're seeing that become more and more common as a daily device.

Are you excited about the possibility of colour e-readers and a new type of electronic newspaper? Or, do you prefer traditional newspapers you can just throw away? Let us know.

Image credit: Aving