Beyond TV, newspapers used to be the way most of us got our local and national news, but sadly most companies that produced them have been in decline for the better part of 20 years. Now we have tablets and smartphones, that while efficient, don’t have that same feeling of page-turning that newspapers provide. Director of Engineering at (Google) X Max Braun feels the same way, so he decided to build a large E Ink newspaper display that he can read while he gets ready for work in the morning.
Known as Paper, the screen is about the size of the New York Times front page when unfolded, and subscribes to that publication because it has “an attractive headline typeface, and is available in machine-readable high quality.” In its current form, Paper doesn’t emit any light at all and features a monochrome display that makes it easier to read on sunny days. It updates the front page overnight without any user input by converting a PDF into a large image file as well.
Braun designed Paper using E Ink's 32.1-inch monochrome display, E Ink’s V5 system board, and a Wi-Fi antenna. The hardware is mounted inside a mesh-reinforced cement frame Braun built using an acrylic mold, which helps the display lay flat against the wall as much as possible. It’s also intentionally left without bezels to make the display look more natural, like a printed newspaper.
Braun has uploaded a complete walkthrough of his Paper display on his project blog for those interested in recreating his build.