It’s been a few years since we’ve seen anyone product s new color ePaper display for mobile devices, but startup CLEARink is hoping to bring its sunlight viewable color screens to market in early 2018.
CLEARink showed off a set of prototypes at SID Display Week last month, where Charbax from ARMDdevices caught up with the company.
Colors look a bit washed out when compared to what you’d see on an LCD or AMOLED display. And the first displays will likely only be able to handle about 4096 colors, although technically the platform could support more than that.
But CLEARink’s screens should be easier to view in direct sunlight. And one of the solutions the company is showing is capable of high refresh rates, allowing you to watch videos or view other graphics.
That could make the technology appropriate for use in smartwatches, automotive systems, outdoors signs, or notebooks, phones, or tablets designed for use by field workers.
CLEARink notes that its color displays do consume more power than a monochrome reflective ePaper display, but they should still use far less power than a typical LCD or AMOLED display, since CLEARink screens do not need any illumination to work.
But like screens from the now pretty much defunct Pixel Qi, the overall tech used in CLEARink’s displays is closer to LCD than E Ink.
Another type of CLEARink screen has a lower screen refresh rate, which the company says is good for lower-power electronic shelf labels and signage. But
The company does plan to make its tech available for eReaders, but rather than compete with the monochrome E Ink displays that are used in Kindle, NOOK, and Kobo-style eReaders, CLEARink expects to use its video-capable screens in eReaders for the education market, allowing students to read textbooks and also view animations on the same device.
CLEARink hopes to begin offering samples of its screens soon, with mass production beginning later this year and the first devices utilizing the displays coming in January, 2018.