An interview with reflective display developer Solchroma

US-based Solchroma develops a novel reflective inks and actuators based display technology, targeting the outdoor signage market (at least as a first step).

Solchroma full-color system schematic

The company introduced its interesting technology at SID Displayweek 2021. The company's CEO, Dr. Roger Diebold was kind enough to explain the company's technology and business to E-Ink-Info.

Hello Roger, thank you for your time. Can you explain Solchroma's ePaper technology?

Solchroma creates reflective digital displays to change how we interact with the built environment and world around us. Solchroma’s technology is based on hydraulically forcing of colored liquid ink in and out of view. A backplane of actuators acts as an array of electrically-controlled pumps that push on nearby reservoirs of ink. Ink reservoirs are shielded from view by a white reflector, while simultaneously allowing passage of ink from the reservoirs behind the reflector to three sealed, viewable chambers stacked one atop the next on the viewable side.

New e-paper device: OneWave Smart Card

The OneWave universal connected smartcard, uses a small flexible E Ink display, developed by Plastic Logic.

Onewave  universal connected smartcard (with Plastic Logic E Ink)

The OneWave card has built-in user authentication (fingerprint sensor) that enhances cybersecurity, and the card enables remote purchasing of transit tickets, access to services, password authentication and also aims to process payments. The E Ink display can be configured with a dedicated smartphone app.

E Ink launches the world's first on-cell touch ePaper display

E Ink Holdings has launched an on-cell touch ePaper module, which it says is the world's first. EIH's on-cell touch technology can be applied to the company's E Ink Carta monochrome displays and its Kaleido Plus color displays.

E Ink Kaleido on-cell touch display photo

Most e-readers today add a touch layer onto the E Ink display. EIH says that the new technology will increase the contrast ratio by 30% compared to the standard added touch layer solution. For the Kaleido Plus displays, the on-cell will increase color contrast ratio by 40% and the color saturation by 15%. As an added bonus, the on-cell touch solution will be more cost effective and could help reduce eReader prices.

New e-paper device: Hisense Touch

The Hisense Touch is an Android-powered music player that features a 5.84-inch touch E Ink display. The HT also features 32-bit 384Khz audio and a dedicated D/A converter.

Hisense Touch photo

The Hisense Touch will soon ship in China for 1,599 CNY (~$250 USD).

EIH sees higher demand for ePaper displays in 2021, is worried about component shortage

E Ink Holdings says that it is seeing high demand for ePaper displays and expects to see a growth in revenue in 2021. The company is worried though that the shortage in components may hurt its full potential.

E Ink eNote solution photo

EIH says that 2021 will be better than 2020, and it sees its performance in Q2 to be similar to its performance in Q1. The demand for E Ink's display is higher than what it can supply, and the company is building four new production lines to increase capacity.

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