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I wonder what the current situation with e-ink is.

From my point of view,current e-ink displays have not really improved significantly in terms of resolution and refreshing speed. Where are the current difficulties with the technology?

I remember the difficulty of making larger, highly monodisperse SiO2/polymer particle spheres in the end of the 90s. But I believe this problem was overcome long ago.

So is it the electronic/particle interface that is problematic e.g. size of "pixels"/sphere clusters?




I think the real issue is there is an IP moat - Eink corporation was pretty much a monopoly which kept prices high and research and innovation spending low - but the patent has been partially annulled in Germany so there might be more innovation in that field coming soon

http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2015/03/02/german-court-fin...


I hope the IP ownership loosens sooner than later. The cost of e-ink is ridiculous. A few months ago I wanted to design a picture frame-sized dashboard suitable for wall mounting, but the prices are exorbitant. I can't feasibly afford to build such a display.


Very interesting, indeed. I thought that patent issues were a roadblock. Kudos to Trekstor to stand up for a fight, and thanks for the link.

On the other hand, taken from the article: "overall quality of the screen wasn’t quite as good as E Ink, but it wasn’t very far off either".


> Kudos to Trekstor to stand up for a fight, and thanks for the link.

I fear you may have misinterpreted that result. Trekstor doesn't make panels. They buy panels from OED Tech based in Shenzhen. OED Tech is actually a company started by former E Ink engineers who left Boston and moved to China. They were sued by E Ink because those guys just stole the chemical formulas and production processes. OED Tech even approached us (we buy E Ink panels) and promised to undercut their price.

Competition is good but I kind of prefer genuine competition. I had high hopes for interferometric but Qualcomm shut that down.


Competition is good but I kind of prefer genuine competition.

Except in the industries and product areas where IP is being used for land-grabs, rent-collection, little-to-none innovation and roadblocking any and all competition. In those cases (as E-Ink), I am glad there are still places in this world where people can continue to push the envelope and innovate to create better products for our species. IP be damned.


There are apparently already a bunch of small companies in China making EPDs (electrophoretic display, the "generic name" and associated components; E-Ink is just one company/trademark) so the end of the monopoly may be near, and prices may drop enough to make them as commonly available as LCDs.


I wouldn't count on it. There are still many manufacturing difficulties to overcome before making large format electrophoretics cheaper.


Interesting. Could you perhaps elaborate further, or point towards any sources re manufacturering difficulties?


Shouldn't the original patents be expiring soon anyway?


Patents are only a very small portion of IP value. A huge portion of knowledge is kept as trade secrets. It's not easy to manufacture epaper.


> e-ink displays have not really improved significantly in terms of resolution and refreshing speed.

When we started using E-Ink displays in 2010, we were getting 6" 800x600 panels. In 2017, we're using (standard, not top of the line) 1600x1200 6" panels with significantly better white. You can put the old and new panels side by side and see the difference. There's a wide variety of sizes. There's also the Spectra black,white+red displays which I haven't played with yet. http://www.theverge.com/2013/5/23/4358326/e-ink-spectra-colo...

Refresh speed. E-Ink panels don't need refresh. Update speed is a bit better. You can do animation. Yotaphone used that for mirroring the LCD on E-Ink. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZoTfd7MzKs


Resolution and refresh speed do not matter to me, as current models are already acceptable.

Yet a full A/4 size e-ink based "tablet" notepad with inking support would be nice, if would be available on affordable prices.

I know some products are available, yet they are way more expensive than useful. (I can have a laser printer for mere 100$ and print those few articles, for other stuff a Kindle for yet another 100$ is nice. This is my current setup.)




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