ePaper displays in 2020 - a market snapshot

Most people when they think about ePaper displays immediate think about E Ink. E Ink Holdings (EIH) has been very successful in bringing its ePaper displays to the market - and today these are prevalent in e-readers, electronic shelf labels, e-notebooks and many other applications. While EIH indeed has a clear leadership in the ePaper market, it is not alone.

Amazon Kindle Kids Edition photo

But first of all, it is important to note that there are many display technologies that could be called ePaper displays. Most people would only consider truly bi-stable displays able to show dot-matrix images as ePaper displays, but some other technologies that are not truly bi-stable also exist and some consider these as ePaper displays as well - for example Memory LCDs. In addition some simpler displays technologies that are similar to ePaper in properties also exist. We will discuss both these technologies in this article.

Ynvisible and NXN launches new electrochromic ink colors for Ynvisible's displays

Ynvisible announced a new partnership with Electrochromic Polymers developer NxtGen Nano. The two companies will work together to incorporate NXN's color Electrochromic Polymers (ECP) inks in Ynvisible's systems and manufacturing services. This will enable Ynvisible to offer a new range of color displays.

Ynvisible NXN color printed electrochromics displays photo

The two companies announced that they already sold a prototype multi-color project to a Fortune 500 medical and diagnostics devices company. NXN and Ynvisible have earlier experience in working together and sold several commercial color electrochromic prototype devices to several premium consumer brand product companies.

Meet SRD: Bodle's e-paper display technology based on PCM materials

While E Ink is certainly the clear leader in the e-paper market, some companies are developing what they hope will become next-gen e-paper displays. Bodle, based in Oxford, UK, is developing a technology it calls SRD, based on research that started in Oxford University a few years ago.

Bodle SRD display mechanism

SRD, or Solid-State Reflective Displays, creates color using light interference inside an ultra-thin film. The film contains a phase-change material, the same one used in writable CD-R discs. When this material is switched between its amorphous and crystalline phases, the color is changed.

Visionect discusses digital signage e-paper deployment issues

E Ink developer and integrator Visionect published a new article in which the company analyses all the intricacies of deploying electronic paper in different digital signage scenarios.

Visionect 32'' E Ink dev kit photo

The article discusses the need of a new kind of signage, the power efficiency and readability of e-paper, and the challenges in deploying e-paper signage solutions. This is a very comprehensive report, and is a good read for anyone interested in signage and in e-paper. Read it here.

Guangzou OED develops a graphene-based e-paper technology, to start making displays within a year

China-based e-paper developer Guangzou OED Technologies announced that it developed a new graphene e-paper technology. The company aims to start producing these new screens within a year.

Graphene is the world's strongest and most conductive (to both electricity and heat) material, and it is set to revolutionize many industries - including the display industry. The company says that the new graphene-based paper is brighter and more flexible. The graphene paper is also said to have "more intensity", but I'm not sure what this means.

New technologies uses phase-change materials to create efficient and bright e-paper displays

Oxford University researchers developed new technology based on phase-change materials (similar to ones used in re-writable DVDs) that can be used to create non-volatile highly-efficient e-paper displays. Oxford established a new company called Bodle Technologies to commercialize this new technology.

Bodle Technologies phase-change display mechanism

The phase-change materials can manipulate light - by electrical, optical or mechanical means - they can be used to filter, steer or dim light using very little power. Bodle already demonstrated a sub-100nm pixel size and a very rich color gamut (they say it exceeds "other display technologies"). David Fyfe (the executive chairman of Oxford Photovoltaics and the former CEO of Cambridge Display Technology) will serve as executive chairman.

E Ink like panels to enable smart windows that dynamically change their opacity and color temperature

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with Merck and HP are developing low-cost large films that can be used to create smart windows that can dynamically adapt for brightness, color temperatures and opacity.

The so-called electro-kinetic pixel technology is based on the electrophoretic principle - the same one used in E Ink panels. The researchers are developing a way to create large-sized sheets of those pixels at low cost.

Electro Osmosis developer IRX Innovation went bankrupt

There are reports that Dutch-based EPD developer IRX Innovations has gone bankrupt. This is sad news from one of the early EPD pioneers (the original company was established over 10 years ago as Irex Technologies by ex-Philips employees).

Irex first aimed to develop e-reader based on an E Ink display. Their first e-reader (the Iliad) shipped in 2006, and they launched several more models later on. Irex Innovation went bankrupt in 2010, but it was bought by IRX Innovation which also kept all employees. Irex developed a new EPD technology which they called Electro Osmosis which is similar to E Ink (electrophoresis) but the big difference is that the liquid that contains the charged particles also move inside the pixels in Electro Osmosis (in electrophoresis only the charged particles are moving). This enables much faster refresh rates.

Hands - on: Boogie Board Sync 9.7 LCD eWriter review

Kent displays, a leading Reflex LCD company launched several models of eWriters since 2010, which are now sold in around 30 countries around the world.

About the Sync 9.7 Boogie Board

The Sync 9.7 is a 9.7 inch electronic notebook launched in 2003, sporting the company's eWriting technology. It also has a microSD card slot (in addition to a built-in 2BG of on-board SD memory), USB and Bluetooth. It comes with its own stylus, micro USB charge cable and a 1-cell lithium-ion battery.

ynvisible ink kit - create your own electrochrommic printed displaysynvisible ink kit - create your own electrochrommic printed displays