The InkPlate 2 is a 2.13 inch, 212 x 104 pixel, 3-color electronic paper display with support for black, white, and red. It’s also designed to be an inexpensive, programmable, hacker-friendly low-power device that can be used for a wide range of applications.

It’s up for pre-order for $35 and up during a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign and it’s expected to begin shipping in March, 2023.

Like other members of the Inkplate family, the new board can be connected to a computer with a  USB cable and programmed using Arduino tools or Micropython. There’s also a peripheral mode that allows you to use the UART connectors to change what’s displayed on the screen.

The little board is powered by an ESP32 microcontroller and features 4Mb of RAM and 8Mb of flash storage. It’s not designed for reading eBooks – it takes 15 seconds to perform a full screen refresh and there’s no partial refresh option.

But the little display could be used for price tags, digital signage, or as a tiny, sunlight-readable calendar or display for weather, sports scores, or other information – the Inkplate 2 supports WiFi and Bluetooth, so you should be able to program it to grab new info from the internet from time to time.

Since it uses just 8 uA in low-power mode, a 500 mAh battery can provide months of battery life.

Backers who pledge $35 to the Kickstarter campaign will get an Inkplate 2 board (with the display and PCB), a USB cable, and nothing else. But at the $45 reward level, the makers of the Inkplate 2 will throw in a 3D-printed enclosure, and if you spend $55 you’ll get the enclosure plus a battery.

via Hackster.io

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  1. I’m a big fan of the earlier Inkplates in what they bring… but the only downside being the price. I wish they would have sold just the PCB so you could BYO-Eink display from an old kindle. But this one…? I don’t really see the value add, as mentioned. That aside, the display quality just does not look good.

  2. That’s pretty cool, and I hope they succeed, but… it’s not a new idea. You can already buy prettymuch the same thing on ali express for ~$10, e.g. https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256803475794265.html

    They get a little bit cheaper (in bulk) if you skip wifi/bluetooth and instead go with a simpler protocol + a gateway device to connect to them, e.g. https://www.aliexpress.us/item/3256803094207083.html. (This is basically what retailers like Kohls use for their price tags on shelves.)

    There was a discussion about a different e-ink thing on hacker news the other day: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33795296

    1. Huh, that ePaper playing card system is pretty cool. And yeah, the folks behind the inkPlate line of devices have been using some off-the-shelf parts for a while. A selling point for their some earlier models was actually that they were made using recycled Kindle screens.