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Old 09-10-2009, 08:20 AM   #1
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E-Ink talks about plans; promises color in 2010

At the DisplaySearch Emerging Display Technology Conference Sriram Peruvemba, VP of Marketing at E Ink talked about their successes and plans.

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Display Search's Jennifer Colegrove said she expected 22 million e-paper displays will be shipped this year, growing to 1.8 billion by 2018. This would see an increase in revenues from $431 million this year to $9.6 billion in 2018.
Sriram Peruvemba of E-ink, whose technology is in most of the e-readers currently shipping, said there are now more than 45 e-book models available worldwide from over 25 makers, with millions of units sold.
...
Coming up will be flexible displays and larger displays, but the "killer application" for ebooks will be e-textbooks, Peruvemba said. He said there are over 100 million post-secondary students worldwide, and students tend to spend more for textbooks than the cost of an electronic reader.
Peruvemba said he expected color would be important for some applications (and is particularly need for advertising) and said he expected mass production of color displays to be started by the end of next year. He said the current display has a 250 ms response time and about a 6:1 contrast ratio, but that would be improved next year.
Another report from the conference.
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Old 09-10-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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I want color, but most things i like color for, also do better with a much larger display.

If they could make a 17 inch tablet, and keep it at say 1 1/2 pounds I would be happy. Lighter than that and I would be ecstatic.
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Phogg View Post
I want color, but most things i like color for, also do better with a much larger display.

If they could make a 17 inch tablet, and keep it at say 1 1/2 pounds I would be happy. Lighter than that and I would be ecstatic.
Wouldn't you be afraid of smashing it all to hell?
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Old 09-10-2009, 02:28 PM   #4
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He said the current display has a 250 ms response time and about a 6:1 contrast ratio, but that would be improved next year.
What is the response time & the contrast for the current eink generation?
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dave Berk View Post
What is the response time & the contrast for the current eink generation?
260ms and 8:1, I think (maybe 9:1 ?).

Note, the 260/250 ms is a little misleading. That is the raw response time, but because of ghosting you almost never see that type of refresh done (unless it's a partial screen refresh). Most of the time the device does a "multi refresh" consisting of several stages every time you turn the page. It either inverts the current image, goes to a black screen, etc, and then refreshes the next page. There are typically 2-3 iterations of the response time that make up a single page turn (depending on the device's implementation).

Typical real world page turns with existing eInk are more on the order of 750ms.

So if the color has a 10ms shorter response time, you'll probably triple that for a single page turn. That would put it more on the order of 720ms vs 750ms for a page turn.

Assuming everything else is the same (multi stage refreshes, processing time, etc), which may not be true.
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Old 09-10-2009, 03:55 PM   #6
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Would color be more difficult on the eyes? Curious!
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:45 PM   #7
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Old 09-10-2009, 04:56 PM   #8
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Would color be more difficult on the eyes? Curious!
think it through...what color is the sky in your world.

And no people in Seattle, the UK or Greenland are not allowed to answer with E-Ink Grey...
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:26 PM   #9
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No, that's a legit question. I work on commerical phone systems all day, and I've seen some displays, where the color was washed out, and so, it was more difficult to read things. Muddy pictures are not good pictures.
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Old 09-10-2009, 06:40 PM   #10
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17" like the size of a computer monitor? The battery would be HUGE to power such a large screen so the weight would be about that of a laptop. Until battery technology improves we won't see portable 17" tablets of any decent battery life with low weight.

I think a 10" screen would be fine for most books. They have to worry about contrast as well, it seems to always be a compromise between contrast/pixels per inch/brightness/screen size.
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:26 PM   #11
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Why BLACK flash instead of WHITE flash

What I've never understood is this: the eInk works by having a Sagan ("billyuns and billyuns") of tiny particles, coated white on one side and black on the other. Apply charge, flip them all one way, selectively apply charge to flip SOME of them back the other way.

So... why do they have to flash BLACK and then turn some white. Why can't they flash WHITE, and then turn some of them black. That would certainly make for a far more esthetically pleasing experience.

I'm sure there's a reason, but still, curiosity and the cat...
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Old 09-10-2009, 07:42 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by ekaser View Post
What I've never understood is this: the eInk works by having a Sagan ("billyuns and billyuns") of tiny particles, coated white on one side and black on the other. Apply charge, flip them all one way, selectively apply charge to flip SOME of them back the other way.

So... why do they have to flash BLACK and then turn some white. Why can't they flash WHITE, and then turn some of them black. That would certainly make for a far more esthetically pleasing experience.

I'm sure there's a reason, but still, curiosity and the cat...
Actually the screen isn't flashing black. It's inverting. The reason you mostly notice the black is because there is usually more white in the regular image.
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Old 09-11-2009, 06:21 AM   #13
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Taiwan LCD panel makers have brought the original US epaper producers. They are focusing on this type of technology as the traditional LCD monitor profit margins dries up and their TV panel technology is a generation behind the Japanese, so the profit there is not looking too bright until they upgrade their production lines.
But they got the resources to make epaper big and the devices are still very expensive (compare 20 inch LCD panels with cost of E-inks... vs the retail price)

Colour epapers may appear in 2010, but won't get anywhere until 2011. Who needs colour epaper when current generation devices can't even display large size,, picture filled pdf properly!

E-readers in 2010 must have 9 inch + screens and 1024 + resolutions, approx 200g in weight, good battery plus good software. All the respond time and stuff has little impact unlike normal LCDs. customer really want is bigger screen, easier to use, better page display layout... n Off course: CHEAPER!
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #14
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E-readers in 2010 must have 9 inch + screens and 1024 + resolutions, approx 200g in weight, good battery plus good software.
We really must get away from "pixel count WxH" resolutions. That worked for years (okay, decades) for computer screens, but this is a new class of device, more akin to a book than a computer (although, as time progresses, the distinction will blur). But regardless, when talking about the display resolution, I think it's much more useful to talk about the DPI (dots per inch) than the absolute count of number of pixels. Current 6" readers are pretty much all 166 DPI, whereas the 5" devices are 200 DPI. I hesitate to say that any resolution higher than that is wasted, but it's certainly a case of "diminishing returns". So, if you want to think in terms of absolute pixel count, then figure a 9" display is going to be roughly 5" x 8". At 166 DPI, that's around 830x1328 pixels. (9.7, which seems to be popular for some reason, would be slightly higher, around 5.4x8.6, or about 900x1430 pixels. At 200 DPI it would be 1000x1600 for 5x8 and 1080x1720 for the 9.7. But DPI is much easier to think about than absolute WxH pixels. Who cares how many pixels it has, WxH-wise, if the DPI stays the same and the display gets bigger, that's really all you need to know.

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All the respond time and stuff has little impact unlike normal LCDs. customer really want is bigger screen, easier to use, better page display layout... n Off course: CHEAPER!
Well, for right now, I'd agree with you. But long term, it's inevitable that people will want more and more functionality from these devices, as the line between "e-book readers" and "tablet computers" starts to blur (which it will, inevitably). So, long term, yes, "response time" and things like that will matter. Even now, folks complain about page-turn times of more than a second and the "black flash."
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:27 AM   #15
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All the respond time and stuff has little impact unlike normal LCDs. customer really want is bigger screen, easier to use, better page display layout... n Off course: CHEAPER!
I have to disagree on one point - I don't want a bigger screen for my ebook. If I wanted a 17" screen I'd be using a tablet PC. I want my ebook to be easily portable to take with me everywhere. I don't want anything larger than the Sony 500 I've got right now (or the Rocket Ebook I had before that).
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