E Ink News
Back in October 2012 we posted about an Onyx E Ink phone prototype, and now we hear reports that the company plans to launch this phone soon. The so-called E43 Android phone sports a 4.3" E Ink panel and a 1 Ghz CPU.
The company is also working on two new E Ink e-readers. Both will have Wi-Fi, a touch display, 4GB of RAM and a 1 GHz CPU. They will actually be Android (v2.3) tablets, limited by the E Ink display. The BOOX R65 will have an IR touchscreen while the BOOX C65 will have a capacitive touchscreen.
Two months ago it was rumored that Samsung wants to sell its electrowetting display unit LiquaVista which they bought back in January 2011, and Amazon may turn out to be the buyer. Now Amazon confirmed the rumors and indeed bought LiquaVista from Samsung.
It makes sense that Amazon is seeking a color display technology for its Kindle e-readers. It may be that E Ink's colored displays are still disappointing Amazon and they need a display with a wider color gamut and better contrast.
Update: We added a nice video of Sony' prototype device below
E Ink and Sony have co-developed a new plastic-based flexible E Ink display called Mobius. The Mobius panel uses Sony's flexible TFT technology, and will be produced by E Ink. Mass production of 13.3" 1200x1600 panels will begin in 2013. Those 13.3" panels will weigh only 60 grams - less than 50% of the weight of glass based panels, and will be much more rugged as there's no glass.
Sony unveiled a prototype tablet that uses those displays - aimed for the educational market. The A4 sized tablet (13.3") features a touchdisplay with stylus input, 4GB of memory (with microSD) and Wi-Fi. The whole device is just 6.8 mm thick and weighs just 385 grams. Sony hopes to start trials in three Japanese Universities later in 2013 and will hopefully launch it during the company's 2013 fiscal year (i.e. by March 2014).
The Earl is a rugged tablet aimed for outdoor use. It has a rugged case and a flexible 6" 1024x768 LG Display-made flexible E Ink panel with infrared touch. Other features include a built-in solar panel, Android, Wi-fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS and AM/FM Radio. The device is powered by a low-power 1 Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of flash memory (and a microSD slot).
The Earl will hopefully be funded in crowd-funding campaign (using their own system, not kickstarter or something like that) - like several E Ink products lately. They aim to raise $250,000 and currently they have over $60,000 with 30 days to go. The price seems very low for the specifications, this one will be interesting to watch.
Researchers from Canada's Queen's University's Human Media Lab developed a new morphing smartphone concept that can change its shapes to give notifications without any noise. The concept uses a flexible e-paper display made by PlasticLogic. This is just an early prototype, and the researchers estimate that it will take 5-10 years to commercialize such technology.
Earlier in 2013 the same research group unveiled the PaperTab - a flexible paper-like tablet, based on Plastic Logic's 10.7" flexible touch E Ink displays and Intel's Core i5 processors.
Artile is a new project on Kickstarter that aims to develop wireless (Bluetooth) 6"E Ink photo frames. The idea is that you can hang these frames in which you can change the photo that is displayed using your mobile phone. While these frames will most likely be hang on a wall at home (it will be easy to hand them, too), they can also be placed on your car, in restaurants, on windows - and wherever you like as there's no need for a power source (the battery should last for over a year).
This is a cool idea. If you like it, you can hop over to Kickstarter and support them. For $75, you will get one a kit with one frame and the required mobile phone software (and for $99 you will get housing and hangers, too). I hope this project will reach its goal, I helped a bit too with one early-bird backing...
Amazon are now offering an Arduino E Ink Shield from Aerospace Robotics. It appears the display can only show characters, but it supports 175 languages and the text and position can be customized. The E Ink display supports four gray levels, and that's the only available technical info.