Thanks to the arrival of low-cost tablets, odds are that Amazon’s never going to make a Kindle with a color ePaper display. But E Ink still thinks there’s a market for high-contrast, low-power color displays — the company has introduced a new color E Ink display technology.

It’s called Print-Color and it allows each pixel on an electronic paper display to display black, white, red, green, blue, or a combination of those colors.


Theoretically the new display technology could be used in consumer devices like eReaders, but it’s unclear if there’s enough demand to make the economies of scale work in a way that would allow companies like Amazon, B&N, or Kobo to sell color eReaders at attractive prices.

So it makes sense that CTimes reports that E Ink plans to to target education, retail, and business applications. If we do see consumer devices using the new Print-Color displays, they’ll most likely be high-end devices like Sony’s Digital Paper products or the Onyx BOOX line of devices.

In fact, Good eReader got a chance to check out a prototype last month, and reports that it featured a 10.3 inch display and support for a Wacom EMR pen for writing or drawing on the screen. The website reports that E Ink plans to finalize its Print-Color screens by the second quarter of 2020, which means we could see products using the display in the second half of the year.

Like other E Ink products, Print-Color screens only use power when the image on the screen is changing. That means once an image is loaded, it will stay on the screen indefinitely, even if there’s no power. This leads to long battery life in eReaders, and allows for low-power digital signage solutions, among other things.

E Ink displays are also visible using only ambient light — you don’t need a backlight, but a front-light can make electronic paper displays usable in low-light environments.

via The eBook Reader


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8 replies on “E Ink introduces “Print-Color” displays”

  1. And what happened with Mirasol? You know, the technology that Qualcomm created that was supposed to be the next generation of color e-Paper?

  2. I need mirasol andquick view, (video)
    or oil screen (balc and white)
    I no need color e-ink, e-ink is great for outside big adv no for reading

  3. I thought this was going to be a spiritual revival of PixelQi and Mirasol displays for low power sunlight readable UMPCs but the part of the video where the person interacted with the Android tablet dashed those hopes away.

    1. I hope it’s like the older regular e-ink panels where the default is pretty jerky and slow for the sake of power conservation but can be hacked to provide a faster, smoother refresh rate at the expense of battery. Allowing users to switch modes/opt out per app would be the best of both worlds.

  4. Colour e-ink has been around for a while. The main problem with it is cost.

  5. This could actually spell the revival of digital photo frames.
    The fact that I can just display some image and leave it up for months before I have to recharge it or replace the batteries (no reason it can’t run on AAAs) is MUCH more appealing than those old LCD ones.
    Those you have to tell to turn on lest they run down the battery, which defeats the purpose of a photo frame: to display an image whether you were thinking about it or not.

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