SZOBT seeks $5,000 to build an E Ink open SDK board

Two months ago we reported about Shenzhen Ocean Blue Technology's bid to raise $2,000 in order to build the world's first E Ink monitor - which is actually an E Ink (6" , 800x600) e-reader that doubles as a monitor using a stand and a computer connection that will sell for $99. That campaign was succesful and the company now embarks in their second crowdfunding project.

The RockthEink project aims to build an E Ink SDK that uses a Cortex A8 RK2918 1GHz CPU -Supporting both TFT/LCD panel and e-paper panels. RockthEink will support 7inch TFT/LCD and different E-INK panels like 6, 8, 9.7, 13.3 inch 16-grey level as well as 8" color E Ink (Triton). This time SZOBT are trying to raise $5,000. Each SDK board will cost $79.

CopyTele awarded a new US e-paper technology patent

CopyTele (CTI) announced that it has been awarded two new US display patents. One of these patents (#8,519,944) covers e-paper resolution, contrast and response time improvements for the generation of images using a dual particle system. The new patent is related to Nano Field Emission Display technology (nFED). CTI now has 14 electrophoretic display US patents and 24 nFED US patents.

PocketBook to use Plastic Logic's 4.8" flexible E Ink panels in the next-gen smartphone e-book cover CoverReader

PocketBook's CoverReader is a smart cover for mobile phones that adds an e-reader functionality via a 4.8" E Ink display. It integrates with the Android OS to allow you to easily view books and information on the E Ink panel. The first model will ship for Samsung's Galaxy S4 soon, and the company plans to develop more versions for more Samsung, HTC and Sony phones.

GS4 PocketCover photo

PocketBook also announced that they will use Plastic Logic's flexible 4.8" E Ink displays in the next-gen CoverBook. The current generation CoverBook uses a glass base panel. PocketBook says that the Plastic Logic's flexible EPD 4.8" display will be manufactured in Plastic Logic's  Dresden facility. This new display has a range of benefits - such screens are flexible, shatterproof, ultra-thin, ultra-lightweight, power saving and daylight readable.

Researchers show an E Ink display that harvests its power from NFC

Researchers from the University of Washington, the University of Massachusetts and Intel Labs developed an E Ink display that is powered wirelessly using NFC. They used an NFC tag that includes a wireless power harvester microchip and 1mAh battery (to capture and store the energy). The E Ink display is 2.7" in size.

A single NFC transfer can be used to get 0.5Mb of data - or about 20 pages, and it gives energy enough to view all of those pages - several times over.

A new research project, DisplayStacks, integrates several flexible E Ink panels into a single display system

The Human Media Lab at Queen’s University in Ontario's new project, DisplayStacks, uses several flexible E Ink panels together that communicate between them using sensors to integrate them into a compound display.

The researchers explain that DisplayStacks basically enables physical stacking of digital documents via piles of flexible E Ink displays. With a conductive dot pattern sensor attached to the flexible dis- play, the system dynamically tracks the position and orientation of these displays in relation to one another. This enables several asymmetric bimanual interaction mechanisms for access and manipulation of information.

POC and E Ink developed a flexible medical triage sensor bandage

The FlexTech Alliance completed its 154th technical project and developed a flexible medical triage bandage which monitors vital signs. Physical Optics Corporation and E Ink Corporation collaborated on this project and produced the bandage, which includes a printed circuit board (PCB), low power microcontroller, flexible E Ink panel, energy harvesting, a Bluetooth wireless interface and physiological sensors (ECG, skin temperature, and respiration rate).

The two companies say that the initial feedback was extremely positive and hopefully this will be commercialized into a product in the future.

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.

Qualcomm unveils a 5.1" 2560x1440 (557 PPI) Mirasol display

Last year Qualcomm announced that it is no longer planning to mass produce Mirasol displays, but will attempt to license the technology for other companies. But it seems that Qualcomm is still developing the technology. During SID 2013 the company unveiled their latest panel, a 5.1" display with a resolution of 2560x1440 (yes, that is 577 PPI!). They are also showing a smaller, 1.5" panel with the same pixel density (600x600 resolution).

Mirasol displays offer a rather washed-out image (the color reproduction cannot match LCD or OLED displays) but the power consumption is about a sixth compared to LCDs.

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.