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A look into the future of reading

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Is it possible to imagine a subway car full of passengers all reading their morning news off devices like these? Actually, it is very easy to imagine.

A British company called Plastic Logic says that early next year it will begin selling a wireless electronic reader that imitates the look of a printed newspaper page.

According to investors.com, the reader is a flexible plastic electronic display about the thickness of a credit card. It relies on tiny polymer transistors embedded in a flexible plastic substrate and the whole thing is about the size of a pad of letter-size paper.

Everything, interior and exterior, is made of plastic.

You can see a demonstration in this BBC video embedded in a report on digital libraries advocacy site Teleread. Teleread calls the reader "fascinating," (although it also notes that in the video the contrast does not appear very high.)

The big question, however, that will not be answered till next year, is how much the reader will cost.

"We'll be setting a price right at the start of the year — in January," Plastic Logic's CEO Richard Archuleta told investors.com.

Until we know that, it's hard to begin to estimate exactly how far away the widespread use of such a device remains.

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