E Ink Releases Reference Design for Secondary Smartphone Display

E Ink power efficient displays offer significant value to product designers, not only for eReaders, but also for mobile devices. Using an E Ink display as a primary or secondary display can extend battery life and support always on information.

Smartphone adoption rates have steadily increased in recent years, and that adoption has changed our habits as cell phone users. A recent IDC study stated that 79% of all Smartphone users check their phones within 15 minutes of waking up, and 63% of Smartphone users keep their phones with them for all but 1 hour of their waking day. Smartphones have become an essential tool in our lives. Apps help us manage our daily tasks; book or check flights, manage our exercise plan or access files from the cloud. As our need to stay connected grows, and our reliance on the convenience of our Smartphones and their tools grows, battery life becomes ever more important.

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Rethinking the Smartphone – News from MWC 2013

What is arguably the biggest innovation in Smartphones since the introduction of the iPhone will be showcased at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona this week. The YotaPhone, by Yota Devices, was a Best of CES 2013 award winner. The YotaPhone abandons the classic single LCD Smartphone design. At MWC, Yota will be introducing a revolutionary new smartphone with an E Ink ePaper display on the back of the phone. The extremely low power E Ink display enables the YotaPhone to deliver new functionality and extended battery life at the same time.

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E Ink at CES 2013

Last week E Ink participated in CES 2013 in Las Vegas. While we didn’t exhibit at the show, we attended ShowStoppers, a press event on Tuesday night, and met with reporters throughout Wednesday to offer a sneak peak at some new technologies and products coming up in the future.

You can find a full listing of our press coverage on our website, but we wanted to share a few video articles from video blogger Charbax, who spent nearly an hour with our CMO, Sri Peruvemba.

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E Ink’s New Segmented Kit Now Available

Last week I posted about the new YotaPhone and how they are utilizing our new flexible, dynamic, active matrix display to offer a futuristic take on the smartphone; a dual screened phone with EPD on one side, and LCD on the other.

For E Ink, flexible, high resolution, active matrix displays are a new offering; however, product designers have been imagining the possibilities utilizing a flexible TFT for years. There have been several companies looking to launch products using these displays, but the Wexler FlexONE was the first eReader on the market using such technology.

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The E Ink persistency contest – from E-Ink-Info.com

The below blog post is from our friends over at e-ink-info.com. E Ink is not running this contest, but we love the idea, and thought you might find it interesting. If you want to learn more about bi-stability and E Ink, please check out the technology page on our website. Thanks to e-ink-info.com and Ron Mertens for thinking up this contest – we’re eager to read the suggestions!

The E Ink persistency contest, your chance to win a new e-reader – from e-ink-info.com

Last week we posted about E Ink display persistency – and the fact that those displays can actually retain an image for years. Now it’s your turn to try and think of applications for this feature. Besides making some nice B&W photo frames – what cool things can be done with a display that can stay persistent for such long times without a power source? For example gadgets that only need to change the display once a day…

Just post your idea as a comment below, and be sure to leave your e-mail (you can also send the e-mail in private, of course). We’ll choose the two best ideas, and award them with new e-readers (either a Kindle paperwhite or a Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight). This contest is open for everyone. E Ink, who were kind enough to give away the two e-readers, will ship them worldwide. We’ll choose the new winners on December 11th.

Please post all suggestions directly to e-ink-info.com. Suggestions posted below will not be entered into the contest.

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Not all eReading is the Same

There are differences between eReaders and Tablets, and we believe you may want both.  We’ve talked about the benefits of E Ink for readability, but there is also a benefit to eReaders that is harder to quantify; the ability of an Electronic Paper Display to help you focus on content – pulling you into your novel and taking you away from the “real world”.

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eReader or Tablet – Why We Think You May Want Both

There has been an ongoing discussion in press articles, on blogs, and in social media on the topic of what E Ink means to books; and what tablets mean to E Ink.

As the company whose electronic paper is credited with the explosive growth of the eReader market, we have a few thoughts on this subject…

When E Ink started into the eReader space, there was no compelling device that combined a great reading experience with a wide range of content.

In the early 2000, there were some LCD-based eReaders & tablets on the market, but the displays were much thicker, heavier, less color saturated and lower resolution than they are today. Flat screen devices had not yet reached a price point that enabled wide market adoption. Some of us did read on our computer monitors and laptops, but studies showed that most people printed their emails and reading materials, again, due to a sub-par reading experience. In addition, these devices were not easily portable, had poor sunlight reading experiences and a short battery life. And lastly, content was not readily available outside of some smaller publishing houses and independent providers. The combination of these factors ensured that LCD based eReaders and tablets remained a novel product for technology evaluators, and had little to no impact on print book sales.


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Paper-Like Reading

If you’ve read about E Ink, you’ve probably heard about the attributes which make our technology unique – paper-like screen, low power, thin form factor… but what does this really mean?

First – let’s get some preliminaries out of the way, for those of you unfamiliar with our technology and how it works.

Our technology is not LCD – and it’s not trying to be.  While there are several different types of LCDs, the basic premise behind them is the same.  To use a very simplified explanation – in Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs), crystals are suspended between layers of glass – a top plane glass, a TFT glass layer and a polarizer layer.  When a charge is applied by the electronics, the crystals twist.  However, this alone doesn’t allow a viewer to see an image; for that, light is needed.  Most LCDs use a backlight; this light sits behind the TFT and, depending on the crystal’s alignment against the polarizer, will either allow the light to flow through the display, or block the light, thereby making an image visible to you.

In contrast, E Ink displays are made up of literal electronic ink – ink capsules containing black and white pigments that are charged positive and negative, which are then laminated in a single layer onto a film.  That film is then laminated onto a TFT.  When the electronics calls for an image to be displayed, the ink particles move up or down within their capsules, displaying the image for you to see.


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