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Color e-paper displays by E Ink

 

Recently, a new gadget for enthusiasts of e-books entered the market – a colorful e-reader with one of the e-paper displays, which is E Ink Kaleido. However, it is one of a dozen applications that may take advantage of color EPDs (Electronic Paper Displays). In this review, you will get to know a range of color e-paper displays on E Ink’s offer, one of the Unisystem’s suppliers.

The functioning of e-paper displays

E-paper displays functioning is based on the electrophoresis phenomenon. In EPDs, each pixel consists of pigment particles suspended in a mixture of oil and water. They are set between two parallel electrodes. When a positive or negative charge is applied, the particles move up or down. The proper orientation of the particles generates a desirable image. EPDs are bistable, so the content on the screen is maintained without any power consumption.

 

Moreover, e-paper displays do not require backlight – if there is access to external light sources, the content is perfectly readable (even in intensely lighted spaces, also in the sunlight!) One could say that in comparison to other display technologies, EPDs are entirely energy-efficient.

There are also other assets of e-paper displays such as full viewing angle, which is crucial in, e.g., transportation.

 

4096 colors with Color Filter Array

Mentioned E Ink Kaleido (also known as Print Color ePaper) is one of a few types of color e-paper displays available on E Ink’s offer. In this solution, colors are obtained by a Color Filter Array, which is applied to monochromatic EPD (the other E Ink’s color e-paper is also engineered on the same lines, that is E Ink Triton). Due to the Color Filter Array, the light reflected from the e-paper display's surface changes its color into red, green or blue, which in combination generate 4096 colors. It should be noted that E Ink Kaleido’s color scheme is not vivid – the color’s saturation is limited, so the tones are a bit greyish. This type of EPDs will go well with e-readers. You can use it to peruse books, magazines, or even comics, as well as reports with colorful tables and charts.

EPDs with an additional pigment

Another E Ink's unmissable e-paper display is E Ink Spectra, which pixels consist of three pigments, not only white and black but also yellow or red. Interestingly, this is the first tricolor EPD in mass production. This technology is used to manufacture, e.g., e-paper price tags, which more and more often replace the paper ones on the shop’s shelves. It is, e.g., 2.9-inch model EL029TR1, available on Unisystem’s offer.

The electronic information carriers are becoming more and more popular. It is worth noticing that it goes along with the progressive automatization of the content management processes. You can change the images presented on the displays by a click in central content management systems. (In retail, you can use not only electronic price tags, but also other equipment as, e.g., smart shelves – 22.9-inch G229HAF01.0 and G229HAF02.0 (AUO) or 47.1-inch DV471FBM-N10 (BOE).)

The full color gamut with Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP)

Today, the most excellent E Ink’s color e-paper display is E Ink Gallery based on Advanced Color ePaper. In this technology, each pixel consists of particles with four pigments: magenta, cyan, yellow, and white, which differ in, e.g., size, polarity, or charge. These nuances enable us to put the particles in motion by appropriate voltage manipulation – they move up and down, generating the desirable image in the full color gamut (with eight primary colors).

However, this technology is still not perfect. Its main drawback is the refreshing content process – the pigments apply in layers, so the image appears in about 30 seconds (depending on the ambient temperature). No doubt, this is still a challenge for E Ink’s engineers. E Ink Gallery can be used in digital signage, e.g., in transportation, retail, or HoReCa. It can replace other types of displays in the applications that require energy-efficient solutions. (Would it be a lucky strike for the pro-ecological organizations? We will see.) There is one Advanced Color ePaper solution on Unisystem’s offer – a 13.3-inch model AC133UT1. Presently, we are developing our product based on AC133UT1 - a color e-paper display in open frame housing. We do our best, so it could be provided as soon as possible.

There is also an alternative variant of the E Ink Gallery, which is a cost-effective Palette. This model is driven by cheaper (and simpler) electronics, which do not provide the full color gamut; it is reduced to seven colors: black, white, red, yellow, blue, green, and orange (whereby it can still be used as an advertising medium).

There is also a wide range of monochromatic EPDs by E Ink on Unisystem’s offer. Contact us to learn more.