This is just like when they released camera module. Instead of opening MIPI interface to the developers they shipped binary blob locked to one particular camera module from one vendor, because fuck you thats why (well, actually one of rpi/broadcom engineers said something like "people wouldnt be able to figure out how to color correct/debayer because its trade secret of camera module manufacturers, so why bother")
(It looks like the Nook is probably my best bet, but it unfortunately doesn't have a powered USB port so I'd need to find an external power supply of some description for the keyboard. Any other suggestions gratefully appreciated.)
Also guaranteed to cause comment as practically no-one has seen one before.
The key piece of hardware is the Keyrah:
The specs are modest, but I bet it can handle your one requirement: "text editing".
I'm imagining literally just a CLI or rudimentary text editor with an e-paper interface... no video or images, just text. Very spartan. Response time is more than good enough for something like that.
I could also imagine that searching through a textfile to find the place you want to edit would be pretty frustrating if you had to do it at Kindle speed.
In 1-bit mono mode you can flip a pixel in ~100ms, which is plenty fast enough for text entry, although scrolling might not be good.
Early LCDs had terrible ghosting (anyone remember trying to play Doom on an early mono LCD and the image instantly turning into incomprehensible hash?), but I can't find any references for actual numbers for the pixel flip time. I'd be interested to know how they compare to eink. Does anyone know?
If only the Nook had a powered USB port...
I will say the market might be too small. But if the market existed slow response times (which are still sub-second) would likely not hurt it too much for that usage.
It's a 13 inch eink monitor. Refresh rate is apparently reasonable. The price is ludicrous, unfortunately, because I want.
It would be ideal if they provided a shell, but I haven't heard them making any of those noises.
I really do wonder how much the eink saves vs going for a monochrome screen that early laptops used, and just do ones writing in a *nix shell.
For some reason the shiny, curved black plastic reminds me of a weird cross between Darth Vader and something a character in a Terry Gilliam film would use. Stick a Fresnel lens over the screen and you're all set.
Even in non-power-constrained environments e-paper can be preferable - the glow of a typical LCD display is really distracting and doesn't fit in a lot of (most) environments. Have enough gadgets around with LED displays and indicators and your home suddenly seems like a really bad 80s movie.
One of the more glaring problems with smart devices - smart watches especially - is that they have have a slight pause before they realize they're being used and activates. An always-on device doesn't have this problem and can be immediately used without delay.
By themselves they're not huge issues, but as you own more and more such devices it becomes really annoying to be surrounded by "smart" inanimate objects that constantly make you wait - even for a brief moment - before they are usable, and in that way they seem much less pleasant than the dumb objects they replaced.
Imagine having to rest a pen on paper for 500ms before you can begin writing, every time.
Smart but task-dedicated devices should probably run the display/buttons on a dedicated chip that talks to the CPU asynchronously, to avoid this problem.
Your microwave and VCR are always on - their displays are also always on, so they don't need to be woken up before being used, they are already awake.
A thermostat with an always-on screen is the same, they're already displaying information and the touch screen can be immediately used without delay - but we don't want the display to be always on, because in general LCDs look awful in their environments. In general people prefer their homes to not look like server rooms with blinking lights and garish panels everywhere.
So there is a non-technological need to keep the screen off, and this presents a fundamental problem - before anything can be done, the screen must first be woken up. No matter how fast you make this process, at the end of the day is one extra step that the user must do before the device can be used.
Apple Watch detects when your wrist is held in a certain position to activate - but sensing this gesture itself introduces lag. Hell, even a simplistic "on" button on the device itself - even if the response is perfectly immediately - necessarily requires the time for the user to trigger the action itself.
You can't work around this with better software, because at the end of the day "activate device" is step 1, whereas with dumb technology step 1 is "use device".
The only real solution is for your devices to be always-on in a much more fundamental way - like your VCR or microwave - and that in some cases means e-ink screens.
Another example, look at this handheld game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1naGfmzkh9w
Is there any perceived delay when the On button is pressed? I frankly can't see it.
EDIT: This one even has full color and movement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD4DDewpOF8&feature=youtu.be...
It goes from complete shut-off of the entire device to moving animation in less time, from what I can tell, than it takes for him to move the button until the end.
EDIT2: I measured it frame-by-frame, it takes 5 frames from the moment the button starts to move until the screen is completely functional, showing the proper image. The video is at 25 fps, so that's 200ms, for the whole device to go from non-powered to fully working animation.
That's 200ms more than 0ms, which is the status quo for dumb devices.
> "yet, it's still fast enough that I can't perceive any delay."
Right, because the inputs aren't on-screen. Touchscreen devices inject more delay because you have to:
- wake the device
- read the output
- decide on input
- press the input
With a device like your microwave (or your arcade game) steps 1 and 2 don't exist, because the inputs are visible even when the screen is off. With your microwave you just walk up and start punching your desired buttons right away, the screen will catch up to you quickly.
And this is also why this is fundamentally a product design problem that isn't fixable via simply faster software - a non-primed human will take 500ms+ at each of these steps just in reaction time, the 200ms wake-time and whatnot is minor in comparison to the delay caused by having the human take multiple steps to do something. This is fundamentally about modes of interaction and not really about software performance.
We are at a stage in tech development where human delays vastly overwhelm purely machine-caused lag time. This is why compressing multi-step processes into a single step (or eliminating them altogether) is so valuable in terms of improving usability. Conversely - and this is something a lot of futurists just don't get - injecting additional steps into the use of something, even with very high performance software, results in disproportionate delays, and makes the product overall more annoying and cumbersome to use. This is the heart of why nearly all smarthome devices have been utter failures so far - despite doing something useful, they dramatically increase the human load on their usage.
Now, you could have a single home control display - or perhaps a single display in every room. And they'd all show the same information, maybe customised for each room, and include a few extra pages for setting up timers, lights, proximity sensors, or whatever.
There are plenty of applications for this kind of IoT, but the tech just hasn't come together yet. I think the lack of good, cheap, large, low-energy displays is more of an issue than wake up times - because if the display uses very little energy, you can skip the wake up time.
You can more or less pick any two from the list, but getting all four seems to be impossible for now.
Sure, yes, one reason we keep displays off most of the time is because of their usage, but more and more so it's the secondary reason - there are lots of power efficient displays nowadays that can maintain an always-on screen at relatively low power cost, and smarthome devices generally aren't reliant on battery power.
But the bigger problem is that LCD displays are ugly. They are backlit, and their response to better lighting in the room is to increase its own strength to make itself even more apparent. They are ugly, obnoxious, and annoying in the same way blinking router lights are, but multiplied several times over.
So we keep them off - we can afford to keep them on, but the fact that we keep them off 99% of the time less environmental consciousness but more an acknowledgment that they're visually noisy, distracting, and just kind of don't fit in. When you walk into a room you don't want your attention immediately drawn to this LCD panel on the wall with its pale glow.
E-ink fortunately doesn't suffer from this problem. It's clearly legible, doesn't require backlighting, and more importantly doesn't appear distractingly electronic in everyday use. You can afford to keep an always-on e-ink display, not just because of its low power use, but because it won't be this annoying glow in your peripheral vision always.
1. Wonder what the thermostat is currently set to.
2. Approach thermostat hoping to trigger the proximity detection.
3. Stand in front of thermostat like idiot for 2.4 seconds to see if proximity sensor activates.
4. Decide proximity sensor won't activate.
5. Turn bezel by smallest possible amount to wake thermostat without changing setting.
6. Overshoot and change setting anyway.
7. Realize original setting was acceptable. Put it back.
Being always on would be nice. You can work around not having it be so (I'm sure the Nest's implementation can be improved) but the ideal would just be to have it always be visible.
Of course, half the time I'm doing this, it's dark enough that I couldn't read an e-ink display....
Though, it's not so easy to read the temperature across the room on these bad boys either:
I think those are much more common in new installations. These are segmented LCD displays. An eInk display would not require an explicit segmentation layout, so new layouts could be programmed on the fly, prototyped very quickly, etc. And might even be a little easier to read, even during daylight hours I find these types of LCD displays difficult to read, especially from off-angles.
Or you could tile smaller modules: http://www.eink.com/press_releases/e_ink_mpicosys_pdi_eWall_...
I'm more inclined to do the 6 rows of 7 displays which allow for a day aligned calendar for every month. It wastes a few displays of course, but the displays are easier to get.
It's great as a mini screen for your Pi though. :-)
The official RPi display is great because it uses the onboard display connector (which has been useless this far).
No, you can certainly get them for less than that:
I spent this weekend creating a small micro-controller system (freescale uC) with an attached tft lcd+touch, the latter cost me less than a 1/4 of this display and uses standard connections and readily available datasheets.
In their own words, the raspberry pi display uses interface signals that most other manufactures shunned due to several issues (EMI,etc) and their connector is hard to find on any other sbc currently in the market.
The display is huge compared to the raspberry pi board, what is the use case, considering the low resolution? Why go through all the trouble of using the connector on the pi instead of its other standard hdmi port ?
I've been working with these types of LCDs for a long time, and when it comes to these WVGA/SVGA 7" units you can get a ton from Asia at great prices but the factory will literally disappear in a few months. The LCD fabs constantly get bought/sold/churned as the major players like Sharp and LG shed off their last-generation fabs and the other smaller fish scoop them up.
Ideally a group like RPi will want to have the same part available for a long time so that they don't need to create new revisions of the interface cables, power supplies, or software drivers to handle the change. It's nearly impossible to autodetect one 7" LCD from another via software so you need to configure it entirely in a bootloader or kernel configuration line. And then that becomes a massive support issue.
I like how this lets people just tape a RPi to a screen to make a tablet. Nice first step for young tinkerers. Step 2, lasers.
Here's pretty much the article I followed, though I bumped my console up to 115200. http://blog.miguelgrinberg.com/post/a-cheap-bluetooth-serial...
I have a RPi sitting here and I'm not sure what to do with it!
My example is that you can rig the Pi to work with your own Receiver as a wifi flac player with this device: https://www.hifiberry.com/. You have to control it over wi-fi, but having a console that I can go up to and interact with will be awesome. Also will be great for people like my Father-in-law, I wanted to build him a device that has all 60s/70s/80s rock for christmas, but I didn't want to have to set-up a wifi router and get a device for him just to control it.
I'm not as familiar with mobile device displays but given that standards like MIPI DSI exist, I suspect it's a similar situation.
included video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HvWXQsBeHk
This explains the $60 price, which I personally find to be great value.
First one to do a teardown can tell us what panel it contains. I'm almost willing to bet it's that one, as the specs are close.
Still cheaper to source these parts yourself, you are right, but the official screen isn't meant to be the cheapest, it's meant to be cheap enough to be affordable, to workout-of-the-box, to be reliable, of good quality and have some guaranteed availability.
You can work with other screens and build and write your own interface if that's part of the pleasure you get from hacking on these devices, but for people who have other goals, being able to get an affordable screen that just works allows them to spend their time on other parts of their project.
It's good to have choice.
Don't get me wrong, i love the pi, and the problem is not the price tag of the pi + accessories but the unsustainable pricetag of entry level android tablets.
Plus the pi comes with its GPIO, raspbian, and is more suited than an aout of the box android tablet for most projects.
There is a recycling tax here that is as low as ~5 cts for a tablet or a comparable electronic device. The burden of recycling is on the developping countries we send our used gear to. Not to mention the use of raw materials.
Can't say that this does not apply to higher end device that tend to be unrepairable but their lifespan is longer.
 - http://gizmodo.com/5364703/bug-labs-releases-wi-fi-base-at-l...
"Adding video input means we need an additional connector on the device, which the Industrial Design guys hate."
"We could multiplex the signal, but then we need some kind of proprietary connector and the additional cost of that circuitry."
"How many customers want to record video from an external source anyway? It's not worth adding $5 to the MSRP for a feature that isn't going to get used."
We sell it with our own stand solution (in six colours!) that is manufactured by us in our workshop in Sheffield, UK.
They also run the official swag store. You can order the display on there. http://swag.raspberrypi.org/products/raspberry-pi-7-inch-tou...
I ordered a Sense HAT from them recently and it arrived in a couple of days. It's pretty fun BTW, my thoughts are here: https://unop.uk/dev/raspberry-pi-sense-hat
$60 is only £39. Why is it so much more expensive in the UK, when it's fricking made here?
Have you guys got a physical store yet? I'm moving from hotel to hotel at the mo, so getting stuff delivered is a nightmare.
straight from RPI foundation: "No there is no software support for direct DSI displays."
It would be easy to put a battery + charging circuit in front. If you still want to power it through USB you could get increased efficiency by bypassing the DC-DC converter (just cut the trace from it and solder the output from your own PSU there).
If the RPi itself had a charging circuit, they would have to decide for the end-users what kind of battery chemistry, charge rate etc. it should support, and they would not be able to please everyone as these things are used for so many different purposes.
version in cache of google:
I tried out Win 10 IoT a bit. You can find my thoughts in this post and the others linked from it. https://unop.uk/dev/windows-10-iot-core-on-a-raspberry-pi-2
1) Separate power supply
2) USB link
3) GPIO pins
Yes, it is possible to switch the display off and leave the RPi powered on.
The display driver board backpowers the Pi itself so there is no change of process for existing users there.
I can't put one of these in my bedroom unless I can easily and instantly switch the monitor on/off.
 I have an existing PiTFT which also doesn't have a power button. I can turn it on/off programatically, but still a power button would be highly useful.
[edit2] Can this screen be turned off programatically without turning the Pi off at the same time, if the screen is powering the Pi?
[edit3] Hang on. Is it even possible to turn the screen on/off programatically from the Pi if the Pi is powered separately?
So your use case will be possible!
I've got one myself as an attempted NAS device. It worked 'ok', wouldn't advise it as full-time thing though, these things don't provide the AC nor CPU power to perform such tasks.
For comparison, my original Android G1 (several years ago) was 180 PPI, and it looked shit.
This is $60 plus taxes and shipping. I just found a 7-inch tablet for £28 ($43.10) on Amazon (plus a camera and RAM and stuff). Including taxes and shipping. Why is this so expensive?
The vast majority of the cost of this display is driven by factors unrelated to the technology level. Labour to build it, logistical costs, EMC qualification etc. That's the case for almost all cheap consumer electronics.
Sales volumes determine economies of scale, it is likely the £28 tablet was made in quantities much larger than the pi screen (I'd guess at least 2 orders of magnitude).
Also, not all screens are equal. It's not just resolution: there's colour reproduction, viewing angles, brightness, contrast and response time. On the non-technical side mentioned on the blog, they mentioned they wanted a manufacture who would make the panel for a long time. I would bet a dollar that Pi screen beats the £28-tablet display on all the above parameters
Which seem to be all crap for this panel anyway – 70° viewing angles implies it's the cheapest TN panel they could find.
For a non-profit(!) like the RPi foundation that can neither guarantee sales nor buy them in advance in massive bulks, availability is the only factor that really matters.
1. Economies of scale
2. Difference in quality of the display
3. Booking factory capacity in advance (there's likely a huge opportunity cost to the manufacturer)
Good luck taking the screen apart and making it work on Raspberry Pi.
Mass producing a PCB is 'fairly' simple these days assuming the quantity is sufficient.
Anyone have any insights into the cost?