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.

Phase-change materials could enable ultra-low-power color displays

Researchers at Oxford University developed a phase-change based display. These materials, the same materials used to make some rewrite-able DVD discs, may enable ultra-low-power (non-volatile) full-color displays with a much faster refresh rate compared to E Ink displays.

The researcher use small jolt of power to change the crystal structure of the material, which changes the way light bends when it hit it, and so it changes the color of the material. Light reflects of each of the layers in different ways, canceling some wavelengths and amplifying others—green and blue light might be eliminated, leaving red, for example. Varying the thickness of the layers, or the voltage applied to the phase change material, affects what colors each pixel in a display shows.

About IRX's Electro Osmosis display technology

IRX Innovations was established by ex-Philips employees (that developed Philips' E Ink technologies) to develop EPD products. The company is now developing a technology they call 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.

The company is currently developing a prototype black and white display, but they are aiming towards color. They expect the displays to have similar properties as E Ink, but with better contrast and much better color gamut.

CopyTele awarded a new US patent that covers improvements in electrophoretic displays

CopyTele (CTI) announced that is has been awarded a new US Patent that covers electrophoretic displays. The patent relates to improvements in the resolution and response time for particles used to generate images. CTI now has 13 US patents for e-paper electrophoretic displays.

In January 2013 CTI filed a lawsuit against E Ink Holdings, alleging an elaborate scheme to steal valuable, patented electrophoretic display technologies developed by CopyTele. CTI also filed a similar lawsuit against AU Optronics.

E Ink announces a new 1.73" flexible E Ink display for smart watches

E Ink announced a new 1.73" flexible "Mobius" display, specifically engineered for smartwatch and watch applications. The display features a 320x240 resolution and 16 grayscale levels, and it can be cut into different shapes.

The first produce to use this new display is the Sonostar Smartwatch, which was announced at Computex, Taiwan. The watch was jointly developed by Sonostar and E Ink's subsidiary Transmart.

Amazon buys Samsung's Liquavista electrowetting display unit

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.

Artile wants to raise $273,000 on Kickstarter to develop bluetooth E Ink photo frames

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 to buy Samsung's electrowetting display unit (Liquavista)?

According to Bloomberg, Samsung wants to sell its electrowetting display unit LiquaVista which they bought back in January 2011. They are currently in talks with Amazon, that will pay a sub-$100 million sum to Samsung for the unit. According to the report, a Samsung spokesperson admitted that the Liquavista acquisition "didn't meet its expectations".

I believe Amazon does want to bring new life into its Kindle e-reader line, and LiquaVista's display can enable color e-paper displays with a fast refresh rate compared to E Ink. On the other hand the technology is much less mature and I'm not sure if Amazon is the sort of company to actually succeed in commercializing such a technology. This one is going to be interesting to watch...

ICAP to auction an IP package of full-color e-paper patents

ICAP Patent Brokerage is going to auction an IP package of high-definition, full-color e-paper innovations from the Industry-Academic Cooperation Foundation, Yonsei University.

ICAP says that the IP package features a flexible electrophoretic display capable of displaying multi-color, high-definition images. The IP portfolio covers a grayscale representation unit with various charged particles for displaying grayscale by using light reflection and transmission. The color in the display is presented by using colored particles in an electrode placed above the grayscale unit. These colored particles are made of metallic nano-particles and formed in a specific pattern on the upper electrode for presenting a high-definition, multi-color colored display. Manufacturing of the colored particles or layers may include slurry process, screen printing, ink-jet, or nano-printing that may have high industrial applicability and is cost effective.

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