(E Ink Corporation, Cambridge, MA, www.eink.com) Founded in 1997, E Ink makes electronic paper display (EPD) subsystems for handheld devices using E Ink Vizplex Imaging Film. Initially only monochrome, color E Ink displays were introduced in 2010. Products include seven-segment displays for smart cards and retail store shelf labels as well as the screen technology for e-books. E Ink resolution is up to 300 dpi. See seven-segment display
The EPD technology stems from the early 1990s when Dr. Joseph Jacobson of MIT Media Labs improved upon an earlier approach from Xerox PARC that used larger beads and more power. E Ink Corporation was founded to refine the MIT technology. See electronic paper
Long Battery Life for E-Books
E Ink screens can run up to 30 times longer than LCD screens without recharging, which accounts for their use in e-book readers such as the Kindle and Kobo. Unlike LCDs, which need constant refreshing, once an EPD display is rewritten, it holds its content indefinitely. People can take their e-books on vacation and not worry about recharging.
Black and White Ink Particles
Charged black and white ink particles in fluid-filled microcapsules are sandwiched between top and bottom electrodes. The ink particles are attracted to the opposite charge on the electrodes. Up to 16 shades of gray are produced by switching the field with varying durations at the pixel location, causing the black and white particles to mix.
In Bright Light
Unlike LCD displays, such as in the smartphone on the left, E Ink screens are readable outdoors in the sun.
Your Battery Is Empty!
The last drop of power in this Kindle was used to display this message. Once pixels are changed, the last screen is always visible.
Animated E Ink Magazine Cover
In 2008, Esquire's 75th Anniversary limited edition was printed with an animated E Ink cover.
Sharp as Paper
In 2008, Epson demonstrated an E Ink prototype. At 385 pixels per inch (ppi), the 13.4" display provided an outstanding 3104x4128 resolution. (Image courtesy of Seiko Epson Corporation.)