E Ink Announces Next Generation Of Electronic Paper

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News Posted: Fri, Jul 2 2010 1:18 PM

E Ink introduced the next generation of its electronic paper display technology called Pearl. Pearl expands the capabilities of reflective displays by offering a contrast ratio that's approximately 50% greater than today's offerings. According to E Ink, Pearl enables eReaders to offer a contrast ratio typical of paperback books compared to previous generations which offered a contrast ratio typical of newspapers. The Pearl design builds on E Ink's current generation of Vizplex designs which are used in millions of eReader devices today.

E Ink Announces Next Generation Display Platform

E Ink expands the marketplace for electronic reading with the introduction of E Ink Pearl, the next generation, easy-to-read electronic paper display with high contrast and sunlight readability.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- E Ink® Corporation, the leading developer and marketer of electronic paper display technology, today announced the Q2 release of its next generation display technology, Pearl. With Pearl, E Ink expands the capabilities of reflective displays, bringing electronic paper performance to the next level. With the whitest reflective displays in the industry, and a contrast ratio now approximately 50 percent greater than today’s products, text on Pearl “pops” from the page, enabling a reading experience most similar to reading text on printed paper.

“As the electronic reading market continues to expand, there are more opportunities for expansion not only in the eBook space, but also for eNewspapers, eMagazines and eTextbooks,” according to Felix Ho Chairman of E Ink. “E Ink Pearl enables further adoption with a next generation product that is a more lightweight and eco-friendly product than ordinary paper, with less eye strain and longer battery life than an LCD.”

“The use of electrophoretic displays for eBook readers is growing rapidly. DisplaySearch forecasts that the market value in 2010 will be $837 million, and will grow by 44 percent in 2011, reaching $1.2 billion,” according to Paul Semenza, senior vice president, DisplaySearch. “E Ink's new technology should continue to position them at the forefront of this market segment.”

The E Ink Pearl design builds on the current generation of Vizplex designs, which is used in millions of eReader devices today. Due to a unique and proven two pigment system that is extremely stable, the current E Ink products in the market today have demonstrated long life and high reliability, enabling a whole new class of consumer products.

Enhanced Readability

Images and text become crisp on the screen as the contrast between the background and item of interest is increased. E Ink Pearl raises the bar for displays used in digital reading. This allows for eReaders to go from a contrast ratio typical of newspapers, to a higher contrast ratio typical of paperback books. The crisp text and detailed graphics also continue to remain pleasant to view when E Ink products are enjoyed outside. In addition, with 16 gray level depth, E Ink Pearl offers the sharpest rendering of images and allows product developers to display images with smooth tones and rich detail.

Lowest Power

E Ink technology products are the lowest power displays in the market today for eReaders. E Ink Pearl carries forward that capability with next generation performance. In addition, compared to other technologies, E Ink is completely bi-stable, requiring no power to hold an image or page of text. Forget about bookmarks – an E Ink display can hold your page and save your battery life for weeks or even months, so you can pick up right where you left off.

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Joel H replied on Fri, Jul 2 2010 2:46 PM

E-Ink is pretty nifty -- if you've never tried reading from an E-ink screen vs. a standard LCD (even a good LCD), the difference is significant and decidedly in favor of E-Ink. That said, I was hoping for an increased refresh rate. One of the downfalls of E-Ink is the length of time it takes to redraw the page of a book. That's also part of why E-Ink devices are inherently limited vs. something like an iPad--you can't run animation via E-Ink, which makes it impossible to add features like Flash / YouTube support.

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rapid1 replied on Fri, Jul 2 2010 3:11 PM

Yeah; I agree Joel, one of the things I was also hoping for was color.

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Color is end of year/early next year if nothing changes the time line

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I think I've actually already seen a color E-Ink display, at the very least a working prototype, from Japan (where else?) Either that, or Popular Science was just pulling my leg...

I don't know how to react to this. I get all of my reading material from the library, so for now buying an E-Reader and buying each eBook is simply not cost-effective for me. Who cares if I can download a whole library of books onto one of those things and read them anywhere; if I take a few books out at the library, I can carry one with me until I'm done, and then take another one. It's not like I'll actually read all of that at once.

That said, E-ink has other potential useful applications, so it's good to see people devoting resources to develop it. Its low-power, static display is perfect for, let's say, a space indicator on an external hard drive, or maybe an embedded information kiosk, or whatever else when it becomes (much) more widespread. It's useful for E-Readers too, obviously, just that I personally don't see that use.

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Right Rapid! Still want color!

I would love to intro my comic book on the Kindle if it had color that made it look like a real comic!

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