The E Ink persistency contest – from

The below blog post is from our friends over at 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 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

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 Suggestions posted below will not be entered into the contest.

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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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