E Ink has a new color display with support for stylus input

nanoguy

Posts: 1,200   +20
Staff member
In brief: For years, E Ink has been trying to create better color electrophoretic (e-paper) displays that rely on ambient light rather than a backlight to produce an image. Now it's getting closer to that dream with a new display that can update fast enough for stylus input, so it'll be interesting to see if companies like Amazon and Kobo will use it in future e-readers.

This week, E Ink quietly launched its next-generation color ePaper display which is quite a significant upgrade over previous offerings. By far, the most important of the changes is the improved refresh times for updating the contents of the display — something that has limited the proliferation of e-paper displays in a variety of devices where they could provide better battery life and a viewing experience that's less taxing on the eyes.

The new E Ink display is called Gallery 3, and it supports three color modes. To achieve the best color gamut, the update time is 1,500 ms. There is also a standard color mode that cuts the update time down to 750-1,000 ms, as well as a fast color mode that reduces that to as little as 500 ms. For reference, the first-generation Gallery display had a color mode where you had to wait around ten seconds for the screen content to be updated.

Interestingly, the new e-paper display achieves this while doubling the resolution from 150 pixels per inch (ppi) to 300 ppi. The full-color mode support over 50,000 colors, which is much better than the 4,096 achieved by E Ink's Triton displays found on devices like the Boox Nova3 Color and PocketBook Color. And best of all, it can be used in devices with novel form factors such as foldables and rollables.

E Ink says its Gallery 3 display also supports stylus input with an update time of around 30 ms for black and white as well as some colors. To date, the company has sold over 130 million e-paper displays. It hopes this new display will allow companies to use e-paper in more devices where LCD or OLED panels have typically been used due to their high refresh rates and superior color reproduction.

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letsgoiowa

Posts: 67   +123
I think there was a Technology Connections video that showed the potential of this sort of tech for office desktop use. I think it could be seriously incredible for our eyes and comfort. Just imagine how pleasant it would look to read on these kinds of displays.
 

Squid Surprise

Posts: 5,335   +4,980
I think there was a Technology Connections video that showed the potential of this sort of tech for office desktop use. I think it could be seriously incredible for our eyes and comfort. Just imagine how pleasant it would look to read on these kinds of displays.
Reading would be even easier, as the majority of books are in black and white...

If they get refresh times down to OLED levels... THEN we have a game changer
 

DZillaXx

Posts: 527   +676
I've been waiting on a color kindle for years. The color is still a little bland, but honestly not horrible for what it is.

We have a kindle paper white and it is pretty nice, day or night.
 
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Dd663

While I'm skeptical about the supposed benefits to one's eyes (light is light, whether it's emitted or reflected back), I'm still glad the technology is improving, since it has other benefits like reduced battery usage, and it's just plain cool.

To reduce eye strain on backlit screens, all you need to do is turn down the backlight to match the ambient light of your environment.
 

mbk34

Posts: 306   +202
Just imagine how pleasant it would look to read on these kinds of displays.
I do all my note taking and planning on an eink device (a SuperNote A5X). It really is like working on paper and I love the thing though I was a little bit taken back by the price. I'm not sure colour would be any benefit to me for writing notes, creating designs or doing endless "to do" lists for projects. I guess if I read Manga then colour might be useful. What would be a massive help would be fully functional "to do" lists and diagramming tools. Most of these companies are too small to put in the development effort for such tools but if they allowed open source development then these tools might become possible.
 

Thanthan

Posts: 76   +162
While I'm skeptical about the supposed benefits to one's eyes (light is light, whether it's emitted or reflected back), I'm still glad the technology is improving, since it has other benefits like reduced battery usage, and it's just plain cool.

To reduce eye strain on backlit screens, all you need to do is turn down the backlight to match the ambient light of your environment.

(This post is heavily edited)
While light is light, there are two things in it.
1. Blue light activates parts of the human circadian system, causing us to be more awake. Coloured emissive lighting is base around mixing values of red, green and blue. This means that most colours displayed on an LED contains blue, where they might not when viewing them irl, keeping your circadian system constantly stimulated.
2. Reflective display technology is naturally contrast adaptive, even within the display itself. This is not feasible with emissive technology, so while the difference can be evened with backlight dimming and software control, reflective displays offer superior contrast adaption, reducing eye strain, and this will probably always be the case.
 
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Dd663

1. Blue light activates parts of the human circadian system, causing us to be more awake. Coloured emissive lighting is base around mixing values of red, green and blue. This means that most colours displayed on an LED contains blue, where they might not when viewing them irl, keeping your circadian system constantly stimulated.
Well, for those worried about blue light, phones, tablets, and computers almost all have a blue-light filter option. Also, the backlight on e-readers is LED-based, too, so if you're reading in the dark you'd encounter the same issue anyway, though I understand some more expensive models of e-readers come with a warm light option.

I personally don't have any concern over blue light. I regularly look at a screen right up until I fall asleep and haven't had any problem falling asleep.