Question Sheet: Electronic Paper Turns a Page


Before reading:

  1. If you could picture the ideal book, what features would you like it to have that a typical book doesn’t have now?
  2. Where do you think most people usually read the newspaper? A book?

During reading:

  1. What are the disadvantages of reading a book on a computer screen?
  2. What is a microcapsule? How does it relate to electronic paper?
  3. Explain in your own words how text would change in E Ink’s electronic paper.
  4. Why is light an important consideration in the design of electronic paper?
  5. Name four advantages of electronic paper over ordinary paper.
  6. What is the difference between E Ink’s paper idea and Xerox PARC’s Gyricon?
  7. Why is electronic paper not available right now?

After reading:

  1. Based on information in the article, what problems can you imagine arising with electronic paper? Do you have any alternative solutions?
  2. Write a paragraph arguing for the environmental advantages of electronic paper.
  3. Besides Japan, where else might electronic paper be extremely beneficial? Who would you imagine would want electronic paper the most?
  4. In a world with electronic paper, do you think people would read more? Explain your answer.


  1. Imagine that your parents have some money to invest in a company. Write a letter telling them why or why not to invest in electronic paper.
  2. Microcapsules are used in several different technologies. What makes them so useful? Can you invent any other use for these tiny capsules?
  3. How do you think computers might change if electronic paper were widely available?


In a new version of electronic paper, it takes 10 milliseconds for a tiny drop of electronic ink to switch from dark to light or vice versa. How many times could a drop switch back and forth in one second?