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Old 05-08-2009, 12:32 PM   #1
GntlmnBndt
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eInk and lighting on the Samsung Alias 2

It has been said time and again on these forums that it is not possible to backlight an eInk screen. When a friend of mine told me he was considering a Samsung Alias2, with an eInk keypad that changes for different functions I asked about how it would be used in the dark, which he often needs to do as a plumber working in basements and cramped spaces. He kindly informed me that it was backlit, and pointed me to a video (http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/08/v...pad-in-action/).

Looking at the vid, it does appear to be backlit, yet I thought people had made it clear on these forums that this was not possible. Anyone know what Samsung is doing differently?

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Old 05-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #2
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Are you sure it is e-ink? It looks like the screen of an iphone.
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Old 05-08-2009, 12:51 PM   #3
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Engadget started the EInk "rumour" because the key labels can change (Samsung Phone with EInk Keyboard), but if it has back lighting that seems unlikely.
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Old 05-08-2009, 01:47 PM   #4
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While eInk does not require backlighting to work, nothing really prohibits the eInk from being back lit. I suspect more eInk devices in the future will have some sort of lighting mechanism.

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Old 05-08-2009, 02:04 PM   #5
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I'd always thought that back-lighting required a transmissive display (i.e. one that relied on light passing through it to generate the image), and that e-ink was a reflective display, i.e. that light was reflected from it. Whilst being a reflective display doesn't preclude lighting, I'd assumed that it would not then be a back-lit, but instead a front-lit display (e.g. as the Sony accessory does). Or have I misunderstood something (decidedly possible!)?
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Old 05-08-2009, 05:06 PM   #6
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There are filters/surfaces/film that reflect light on one side and allow light to pass through on another side. It's not far fetch to imaging an eInk device using such a material.

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Old 05-08-2009, 05:30 PM   #7
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My dream screen would be a backlit e-ink screen.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:09 PM   #8
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Do we know it's not a lightwedge type screen? Lit from the side, like the Sony PRS 700?
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:21 PM   #9
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It appears from the web pages I looked at that they are talking about the keypad being e-ink or e-paper (making the keys changeable), not the screen part. The screen is in color, so probably not e-ink.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DixieGal View Post
My dream screen would be a backlit e-ink screen.
It is not possible to backlight an e-INK screen as the light cannot show through since the ink is not transparent. However other e-Paper technologies might be able to support a transparent screen that could be backlit. You would have to study the various techniques, one is bi-stable LCD.

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Old 05-09-2009, 01:50 AM   #11
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Yes, this looks to be a kind of LCD. That is definitely backlighting (look at the dark keys when the lights go on and off).
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:27 PM   #12
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Well, I still don't get it. They are definitely claiming it is eInk, or as they put it: "Magic Keypad with E–Ink Technology." I suppose it could be an illuminated film as =X= suggests. Looks nice. Certainly brings up some interesting possibilities.

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Old 05-11-2009, 02:26 PM   #13
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Is Samsung saying "Magic Keypad with E-Ink Technology" or are reviews/blogs saying that? (I looked around and didn't see a Samsung advert, but I didn't look that hard)

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Old 05-11-2009, 02:30 PM   #14
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While eInk does not require backlighting to work, nothing really prohibits the eInk from being back lit.
The fact that an eInk screen is opaque rather does prohibit it .
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Old 05-11-2009, 03:18 PM   #15
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Is Samsung saying "Magic Keypad with E-Ink Technology" or are reviews/blogs saying that? (I looked around and didn't see a Samsung advert, but I didn't look that hard)
The quote is from the details tab on Verizon's product page (I think they are theonly US carrier selling this model). I could not find any information at Samsung either.

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