E Ink displays like those found on Kindle and NOOK eReaders offer high-contrast, paper-like surfaces that allow you to easily read in direct sunlight. But there are a few downsides to most existing E Ink screens: the refresh rate is usually low, most E Ink displays are black and white, and so far nobody’s released one with more than 300 pixels per inch.
Actually, scratch that last part. Japan Display (JDI) just announced that it’s collaborated with E Ink Holding to develop a new electronic paper backplane that supports up to 600 pixels per inch.
JDI says its new technology will enable developing of ePaper WXGA or full HD displays that are just as sharp as the screens used for high-end smartphones.
Right now, the Kindle Paperwhite, Voyage, and Oasis eReaders all feature 6 inch, 1440 x 1080 pixel displays. The Nook GlowLight Plus and Kobo Aura One both have 6 inch, 1430 x 1080 pixel screens. All have about 300 pixels per inch.
If Japan Display and E Ink’s new technology is widely adopted, we could start to see future models with 400 ppi or 600 ppi screens for sharper text and graphics.
There’s no word on what kind of toll the increased resolution would take on battery life though.
E Ink Holdings and Japan Display unveiled a partnership to work together on new technologies late last year. The new display technology revealed this week is the first announcement since that deal was signed.
via The eBook Reader