Electronic paper, also sometimes electronic ink, e-ink or electrophoretic display, are display devices that mimic the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. Unlike conventional flat panel displays that emit light, an electronic paper display reflects ambient light like paper. This may make them more comfortable to read, and provide a wider viewing angle than most light-emitting displays. The contrast ratio in electronic displays available as of 2008 approaches newspaper, and newly (2008) developed displays are slightly better. An ideal e-paper display can be read in direct sunlight without the image appearing to fade.
Many electronic paper technologies hold static text and images indefinitely without electricity. Flexible electronic paper uses plastic substrates and plastic electronics for the display backplane. Applications of electronic visual displays include electronic shelf labels and digital signage, bus station time tables, electronic billboards, smartphone displays, and e-readers able to display digital versions of books and magazines.