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.

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8 replies on “CLEARink’s color ePaper displays are sunlight viewable”

  1. Nice, it has a matte screen and is daylight visible. But that’s today…

    As soon as they license-out this display technology, I GUARANTEE the first thing the idiot device manufacturers will do is slap a shiny screen on it. Then we’ll be right back to trying to see through reflections, glare, and greasy fingerprints.

  2. Dear Clearink (or whoever makes color e-ink displays right now). Please team up with Marvel / DC and make a kindle-style comic book reader. I’ll buy the subscription. You want to sell displays, Marvel/DC wants to sell comics online, it’s a match made in heaven!

    1. First thing I thought of too! Hoping at some point we’ll see a 12″, lightweight tablet at 3:2/16:10 using color lcd/ink. In fact… that was what I was hoping to read here when I clicked the headline.

      1. too bad said display would most likely cost nearly a thousand dollars considering the B&W ones are about $600

        1. It costs more to make a Kindle than what Amazon sell them for, but they make up for it with the tied-in bookstore. Similarly a new console usually sells for less than what it takes to make it, but the more expensive games and subscriptions make up for it.

        2. It may not be nearly as expensive as e-ink. The guy from CLEARink said that the technology is closer to LCD and could be manufactured in existing factories with very little adaptation needed- so I think it should be cheaper to manufacture than e-ink displays.

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