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Old 10-22-2009, 04:53 PM   #1
yuliang
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Fascinated and Frustrated.

I am very fascinated by the E-Ink technology, and I am going to buy one when a A4 sized device is out. But I have a question from the very beginning: why all the devices existing today transits to black screen when turning pages?! Are the designers thinking it's more appealing to the eyes than transiting to a white screen? Considering the underline technology, both methods and be implemented the same way. Even more confusing is that the animations of menus and icons can be done without turn the whole screen to black or white, why don't they make the same design for turning pages. It won't increase any cost!
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Old 10-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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I know somebody can hack the device to make it transiting to a white screen. But why the designers don't make it a default? I swear 99% people like the latter one.
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Old 10-22-2009, 05:18 PM   #3
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If it was primarily white being sent to the front (IE, being made visible), that would be feasible, but the black gets brought to the front. It is easier to clear the screen by sending forward the black particles, and having them bring back their buddies in one mass. If they just fired the white particles to the front, well, the black ones that remained behind would still be there and thus you'd still see a ghost of what was there previously.

EDIT: I should clarify. What I said before may be interpreted another way. Both white and black get sent up front, but ghosting happens at the edge of the differing colors, and where the colors are mixed. The only real way is to invert the screen (White to black, black to white). Any particles on the edge, that get dragged along with those of the cell next door, get corrected then (much like I was saying before).

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Old 10-22-2009, 05:41 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by yuliang View Post
I am very fascinated by the E-Ink technology, and I am going to buy one when a A4 sized device is out. But I have a question from the very beginning: why all the devices existing today transits to black screen when turning pages?! Are the designers thinking it's more appealing to the eyes than transiting to a white screen? Considering the underline technology, both methods and be implemented the same way. Even more confusing is that the animations of menus and icons can be done without turn the whole screen to black or white, why don't they make the same design for turning pages. It won't increase any cost!
It has to do with a limitation of eInk technology right now. It tends to leave residual "ghost" images behind. The multi-step screen refresh (there are various methods employed by different devices) such as "page1 -> black -> page2" or "page1 -> inverse -> page2" are done to help cleanup the screen and reduce ghosting.

When they have something that only does a partial refresh of the screen and needs to be quicker (like a menu or icon), then they skip the extra steps. This speeds it up, but can cause more ghosting. Since it's usually done this way on a smaller portion of the screen, extra ghosting isn't as noticeable. If they tried to do all the full screen refreshes this way, there would be lots of problems.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:23 PM   #5
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This limitation must be cleared, otherwise I don't think the technology can go any further, because besides that, the mechanical movement of the particles really puts a hard limit on the refreshing rate.

I am anticipating a paper like display that also can be used as a computer monitor. A paper like display is a dream for those who work on computers. If one wants to watch videos or play games, then a big screen plasma display is the choice. E-Ink can't be used because of its poor refreshing rate. Old LCD watches or LCD displays on car radios use reflecting light other than back light, the actually has the same functionally as a E-Ink display despite of the worse contrast, but I have seen a car radio with a pretty white background LCD. If we can make the background even whiter, then the E-Ink isn't really necessary. I hope some LCD manufactures can make a reflecting LCD, it sure has a market.
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Old 10-22-2009, 11:51 PM   #6
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Check this out:

Pixel Qi vs. Kindle

Laptops, netbooks, tablets, and dedicated e-readers with this new reflective LCD screen will be out soon.
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Old 10-23-2009, 12:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by yuliang View Post
This limitation must be cleared, otherwise I don't think the technology can go any further, because besides that, the mechanical movement of the particles really puts a hard limit on the refreshing rate.

I am anticipating a paper like display that also can be used as a computer monitor. A paper like display is a dream for those who work on computers. If one wants to watch videos or play games, then a big screen plasma display is the choice. E-Ink can't be used because of its poor refreshing rate. Old LCD watches or LCD displays on car radios use reflecting light other than back light, the actually has the same functionally as a E-Ink display despite of the worse contrast, but I have seen a car radio with a pretty white background LCD. If we can make the background even whiter, then the E-Ink isn't really necessary. I hope some LCD manufactures can make a reflecting LCD, it sure has a market.
Technically speaking, it isn't a mechanical movement. Everything is solid state. Yes things move, but, things also move in a LCD screen.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:58 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by yuliang View Post
why all the devices existing today transits to black screen when turning pages?!
Not all. You can disable this in the Gen3 (and possibly the Opus). If you do, you'll notice that there is a noticeable inverse ghosting (you see the text from the previous page in a whiter colour than the background, behind the current text page). Why is the "flashing" to black? Well, because most pages are mainly white and either they choose black as the default or they do an inversion and black is what you see. Why is the "flashing" necessary at all? Undoubtedly because the current technology is limited, and e-ink droplets are not "perfect", they have some memory/inertia/friction/whatever.
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Old 10-23-2009, 09:09 AM   #9
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This limitation must be cleared....
Why?

The "black flash" doesn't bother a lot of users, and there's no pressing need for an ebook to have animations. While animation could be useful for some specific ebook uses (e.g. a how-to manual), it can also be distracting and rather gimmicky.

eInk's advantage is that it is a very low-power option; if you're expecting it to refresh fast enough for animations, you're going to lose that advantage. It is a niche product, but for that specific type of purpose, it's very useful.

PixelQi might be a step forward, but it's easy to praise a technology that hasn't hit the market, has no solid release date, has never been in the hands of reviewers, or gone past the prototype stage.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:36 AM   #10
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I am very fascinated by the E-Ink technology, and I am going to buy one when a A4 sized device is out.
That would be the DR 1000s, and it has been out for a while now.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:50 AM   #11
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This limitation must be cleared, otherwise I don't think the technology can go any further, because besides that, the mechanical movement of the particles really puts a hard limit on the refreshing rate.

I am anticipating a paper like display that also can be used as a computer monitor. A paper like display is a dream for those who work on computers. If one wants to watch videos or play games, then a big screen plasma display is the choice. E-Ink can't be used because of its poor refreshing rate. Old LCD watches or LCD displays on car radios use reflecting light other than back light, the actually has the same functionally as a E-Ink display despite of the worse contrast, but I have seen a car radio with a pretty white background LCD. If we can make the background even whiter, then the E-Ink isn't really necessary. I hope some LCD manufactures can make a reflecting LCD, it sure has a market.
There are already reflecting LCD screens and products for sale. The JetBook is one example. check our wiki.

Dale

Last edited by DaleDe; 10-23-2009 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:51 AM   #12
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Laptops, netbooks, tablets, and dedicated e-readers with this new reflective LCD screen will be out soon.
Soon(TM)
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Old 10-23-2009, 10:58 AM   #13
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Soon(TM)
More specifically, netbooks & e-readers in 2009; tablets and laptops in 2010.
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:16 AM   #14
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Old 10-23-2009, 11:59 AM   #15
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PixelQi might be a step forward, but it's easy to praise a technology that hasn't hit the market, has no solid release date, has never been in the hands of reviewers, or gone past the prototype stage.
There are some disadvantages to it compared with eInk as well. Lower contrast and higher power drain.

IMO, PixelQi is a step forward for notebook/laptop screens, it's not really a direct competitor to eInk.
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