The M5Paper is a small, programmable E Ink display that sells for around $70. It supports touchscreen input, WiFi and Bluetooth and has a battery, which means you couldĀ use the display to make your own eBook reader, smart home remote, or internet-connected news ticker, among other things.

While the M5Paper is out of stock at the M5Stack store, you can pick one up from third-party stores including Digi-Key and Banggood.

Keep in mind that out of the box this is just a dumb display. It doesn’t do anything until it’s programed. But thanks to its ESP32-D0WDQ6-V3 system-on-a-chip the M5Paper can be programmed using Arduino and microPython.

The M5paper features a 4.7 inch, 960 x 540 pixel grayscale electronic paper display with support for 16 shades of grey. The device supports capacitive multi-touch input and has a 1150 mAh battery, support for 2.4 GHz 802.11b/g/n WiFi, 16MB of built-in flash storage, and a microSD card slot for removable storage.

There are also three HY2.0-4P expansion ports that can be used to connect sensors or other M5Stack products, a power button and a reset button.

While it’s hardly the only E ink display with an ESP32 microcontroller on the market, the M5Paper does have a few advantages over some other systems like the InkPlate line of devices including the touchscreen, case, battery, and support for an ecosystem of accessories.

via BoingBoing, MobileRead, and Not Enough Tech

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  1. Whoa, cool. I wish I had a bit more skill… I can imagine combining this with a small Pi or Android stick, an SD card slot or USB port, and a decent little keyboard inside a hinged case to make a dedicated word processor for indoor and outdoor use.

    Something like the Freewrite but done, well, correctly. And more affordably.

    1. I think the InkPlate products that Brad wrote about 3 days ago would be very well suited for that kind of project. This 4.7″ might be a bit small for something with a keyboard. I think the 10″ Inkplate would be great.

      You’d basically need a Pi-like computer to run the OS, and you could probably interface with the E-ink screen using I2C or SPI (not sure which is supported), you’d probably also need to setup some kind of software to run the E-ink screen. I’m sure the InkPlate team probably has some example schematics for the wiring, and probably some resources for software to run the screen.

      Then you’d just need to integrate a rechargable battery, with the appropriate circuitry to output the correct power levels to the E-ink screen, and Pi.

      Then you’d just need to work out some kind of keyboard. I’d recommend making a simple hand-wired DIY mechanical keyboard. In the mechanical keyboard community there are some decent writeups for this. You can use many different cheap Arduino/Teensy/ProMicro boards to run the keyboard, and wire it to the Pi using USB. There are even some websites that will write the keyboard’s firmware for you, like kbfirmware.com

  2. I want one. Would be a neat project to build an app to deliver a simplified Google Maps display for vehicle navigation, or outdoor use.