E-paper is one of those cool science-fictionish concepts that’s been promised for as long as I can remember. This is the technology where a thin-as-a-sheet-of-paper membrane contains tiny elements that can be changed to display any kind of information.

However, while there could be a large number of educational, not to mention ecological, applications for e-paper, it appears the first use of the technology will be in marketing to kids.

The cereal aisle at your local supermarket may soon resemble the Las Vegas strip. Electronics maker Siemens is readying a paper-thin electronic-display technology so cheap it could replace conventional labels on disposable packaging, from milk cartons to boxes of Cheerios.

In less than two years, Siemens says, the technology could transform consumer-goods packaging from the fixed, ink-printed images of today to a digital medium of flashing graphics and text that displays prices, special offers or alluring photos, all blinking on miniature flat screens.

What a surprise.

e-paper, marketing, education