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Old 11-23-2008, 04:40 PM   #1
ProDigit
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E-ink magnetic? Not mine!

E-ink screens are said to be magnetic.
If so, that would mean that any magnet could distort the image on the screen.
We know from a previous post I posted that the e-ink screen seems to be affected by sunlight.

So far I've quickly tested using a magnetic screwdriver,and a magnet from the fridge, but the screen does not seem to be affected by that.
At this moment I have no more powerful magnet than those, but if sunlight affects the e-ink, surely a weak magnet should too.

So far there's no evidence that the e-ink screen is magnetic.
I have more the sensation it is a TFT / LCD screen stripped of the RGB grid, and backlight.
The basic function of using a polarization filter and a Liquid+Crystal when adding a voltage the liquid will be like 2 opposing polarization filters, darkening the screen.

This same principle is used in solar powered calculators, and some PDA's,only now there is a white plastic background.

On the other hand, no matter how I tile the screen, the black ink does not appear to be 'floating' above the white screen, as should be with polarization filters.

Makes me wonder, why, if the e-ink screen truly is magnetic, why it is not affected by standard magnets.
I could start experimenting with more powerful speaker magnets,or Neodymium magnets soon,to see if the same applies here.

Last edited by ProDigit; 11-24-2008 at 10:08 AM.
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:08 PM   #2
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My BeBook has a warning in the manual to keep it away from magnets -- and has a magnet on the clasp of the cover that comes with it!
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
E-ink screens are said to be magnetic.
If so, that would mean that any magnet could distort the image on the screen.
I was told to never mix magnets with memory
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
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A strong changing magnetic field can destroy feeble electronic equipement indeed; however if a magnet is gently applied and removed I see no harm.
Acording to the theory, the e-ink screen should become black(or white) when applying a magnet on it depending on the polarity of the magnet.
So far doing so does not change the screen not even under prolonged periods of time.
At least not on the Sony Reader PRS-505
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
A strong changing magnetic field can destroy feeble electronic equipement indeed; however if a magnet is gently applied and removed I see no harm.
Acording to the theory, the e-ink screen should become black(or white) when applying a magnet on it depending on the polarity of the magnet.
So far doing so does not change the screen not even under prolonged periods of time.
At least not on the Sony Reader PRS-505
My Sony PRS505 has small magnets in the body(*), so I think I'd be alarmed if a weak magnetic field caused eInk screens harm!

(* Definitely the body and not the case - small metal objects will stick to the relevant areas of the body, but not to the case)
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Old 11-23-2008, 06:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
A strong changing magnetic field can destroy feeble electronic equipement indeed; however if a magnet is gently applied and removed I see no harm.
Acording to the theory, the e-ink screen should become black(or white) when applying a magnet on it depending on the polarity of the magnet.
So far doing so does not change the screen not even under prolonged periods of time.
At least not on the Sony Reader PRS-505
You're playing with black and white magic. I guess Wizards can do that
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ProDigit View Post
E-ink screens are said to be magnetic.
If so, that would mean that any magnet could distort the image on the screen.
We know from a previous post I posted that the e-ink screen seems to be affected by sunlight.

So far I've quickly tested using a magnetic screwdriver,and a magnet from the fridge, but the screen does not seem to be affected by that.
At this moment I have no more powerful magnet than those, but if sunlight affects the e-ink, surely a weak magnet should too.

So far there's no evidence that the e-ink screen is magnetic.
I have more the sensation it is a TFT screen stripped of the RGB grid, and backlight.
The basic function of using a polarization filter and a Liquid when adding a voltage the liquid will be like 2 opposing polarization filters, darkening the screen.

This same principle is used in solar powered calculators, and some PDA's,only now there is a white plastic background.

On the other hand, no matter how I tile the screen, the black ink does not appear to be 'floating' above the white screen, as should be with polarization filters.

Makes me wonder, why, if the e-ink screen truly is magnetic, why it is not affected by standard magnets.
I could start experimenting with more powerful speaker magnets,or Neodymium magnets soon,to see if the same applies here.
I have been using Neodymium magnets next to my Kindle screen for some months. They have had absolutely NO effect at all.

You may have a different result, but that's what my experience has been. I have four 1/2 inch by 1/8th inch Neodymium magnets right up close and personal. Hasn't done anything to the screen, or to the memory.

Again .... that is my experience.
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Old 11-23-2008, 07:58 PM   #8
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I have been using Neodymium magnets next to my Kindle screen for some months. They have had absolutely NO effect at all.

You may have a different result, but that's what my experience has been. I have four 1/2 inch by 1/8th inch Neodymium magnets right up close and personal. Hasn't done anything to the screen, or to the memory.

Again .... that is my experience.
Exactly!
This makes me think about the e-ink screen, if it is a hoax to believe there is really magnetism involved with this screen.

I mean, if you look at esquire's 75'th edition e-ink screen,they used a similar approach on a plastic foil.
I'm sure there was no magnetism involved there,since the screen is just laminated with 2 plastic layers,and there's absolutely no visible magnet there!

There was not even liquid there (the screen was cut with a knife, and still worked),otherwise you'd expect the screen once destroyed, would leak,and stop to function.

Last edited by ProDigit; 11-23-2008 at 08:02 PM.
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Old 11-23-2008, 11:02 PM   #9
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My understanding is that the screen uses a static charge, not magnetism.
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Old 11-24-2008, 01:05 AM   #10
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That's more or less correct -- it's an electronic field effect of some sort, not simple magnetism.

For a time I was very much hoping that it would be something directly manipulable by a simple magnet, since that would have suggested a lot of possibilities in the area of input. But, alas, 'twas not to be.
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Old 11-24-2008, 10:04 AM   #11
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That's more or less correct -- it's an electronic field effect of some sort, not simple magnetism.

For a time I was very much hoping that it would be something directly manipulable by a simple magnet, since that would have suggested a lot of possibilities in the area of input. But, alas, 'twas not to be.
I can follow your trail of thought; a simple pen with a magnetic pin could make it like a magnetic drawingboard (like found in kids toystores).

However it would make it hard for the device to read that input, so the magnetic input would be limited on the screen, and can not be saved into the memory.

Maybe an idea for future developements?
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Old 11-24-2008, 11:03 AM   #12
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However it would make it hard for the device to read that input, so the magnetic input would be limited on the screen, and can not be saved into the memory.
Well, it would depend on how it was implemented.

If the display were built such that the processor could go back and "read" how each pixel was "set" (black or white), then it might be able to read it back out as a bitmap. At that point it might be possible to, for example, filter out the original "image" from the bitmap and store the remainder as notations that could then be overlaid back on the page when it was displayed again next time. That would most likely require a more complex display structure, but then again, it would also require a totally different structure from what they're using now.

As for future development ... I like the idea, obviously, since I've spent a fair bit of time kicking it around, but I'm nowhere near a place to be able to answer whether it would be feasible or not.
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