Unfortunately our website crashed and we're fixing it.
User Research Typeform: https://prasad463729.typeform.com/to/cmp81P
Specs: Monochrome, 4.2", 400x300 resolution
We're looking at a selling price of $59 currently however there's a lot of scope to improve further. Looking at crowdfunding and other options for funding.
Lastly, this is the first time we've posted on HN so please bear with me if there were any novice mistakes (like spamming link/lines in every comment, which has been rectified now).
Thanks for all the support and feedback coming in!
Much less technical crowd in general than HN, but framing old tablets (as informational displays of 'smart home' state etc.) is quite popular, and I think your project is much more suited to it: much lower-power (such a device is only useful if always-on really), and much less distracting (e-paper not glaring bright colourful iPad or whatever).
Looks great, I'd definitely be interested at $59 (in £) if it's sufficiently/easily enough hackable!
Hadn't heard of Homey.app that that's for, but yes I guess what I'm suggesting is that Paperd.ink could be a good 'that, but for people that DIY with HomeAssistant/OpenHAB/whatever'.
Using a Kobo eReader on the other hand is a great purpose for when you’re not using it. Now when I leave for holiday I just take it from the wall :)
I spotted a couple of typos in the initial message in the setup screen: "Lets setup" should be "Let's set up". ("let's" = "let us", but "lets" = "allows", and "setup" is the noun but "set up" is the verb form.)
Any experience with that ?
edit: Of course all you get is the display. Paperd comes with a battery, esp32, buttons and so on plus I'm guessing examples of how to code the things.
The RGB LED looks jarring against monochrome e-ink screen. It also gives impression of cheap electronics, and rough 3d printed case doesn't help. The e-ink feels elegant, solid (no flickering) and timeless, while LED is nervous, overly bright and loud. If you really need a LED, put a white one.
Maybe try to prototype audiophile hi-fi style case. Something wooden or even black glass. It would raise the price but there is obviously large interest.
The site doesn't give any information on programming, only that UART-USB is included. Is it serving web page? Can it execute user binaries? Is some GUI toolkit supported? Without providing this info you can hardly claim it's hackable.
And we're working on the binaries and GUI, it seems like current hardware won't be able to serve web pages.
Enclosure doesn't look great.
Wow, that’s an understatement. It looks dirty and ragged.
EDIT, for context: User robertlangdon originally included the same typeform.com link in every comment, but has now edited most of the comments to remove these links.
Edit: After user tobr's useful advice, I've edited and removed links from most comments, hope that's fine. Our website will be up asap.
Yes it 3D printed, we wanted to test the prototype. If you have any suggestions do let us know.
For a prototype which is expected to drive some interest 3d printing is fine, but print at 0.15 layers and do a couple of runs of sanding combined with filler before applying some paint. The case will look just like a regular finished product. I do this for custom projects where I want a perfect finish and/or show-off prototypes.
The layering is really annoying for some people.
For a final product, depending on the sale numbers, injection molding might be the only option. SLS and MJF give a very nice result, but the price range where they're economically viable is very narrow.
If you search for something along the lines of "paint and sand 3d print" or "finish 3d print" you'll find lots of different articles.
Edit: $59 mentioned lower in the thread.
Unfortunately, they tend to be quite pricey and small, and I can't find pricing on this anywhere.
They’ve got a nice 12.5” display (1304x984) @ $170, which is pricey but big enough for league tables.
Based on my own experience (I have one) I can say it has a high enough refresh rate, and little ghosting (none is impossible as costs too much battery to do full refresh).
Also, the UPS Lite, also from China (AliExpress or whatever), is excellent.
Do keep in mind this is a specific/different project, with a much smaller screen, meant to be portable (for on the go).
Paperd.Ink has a refresh rate of 4s for full refresh and <1s for partial. We're working on lowering it further.
IIRC someone figured how to expedite it but that someone had to.
I am not affiliated with that company in any way.
Edit: just found out this project.
The version of the e-reader is important if you want to access deep sleep / RTC for lower power usage.
Thanks for the info, will definitely check it out. You can fill in our form if you'd like.
Another, inspired by that:
A little off topic, but for anybody interested in doing something for themselves, there are various "smart mirrors" that aren't e-ink, but use a tablet screen behind a mirror.
I have two different appliances that have them, and the lack of tactile feedback is really irritating, especially when a button press doesn't result in instant visual/audio feedback from the device. (Makes you wonder whether or not you actually activated the button.)
I strongly suggest using actual buttons.
Sometimes I'm absentmindedly staring at the screen trying to click the desk, because it feels almost the same as the trackpad now.
Tactile feedback is very important!
Now that's a way to put it! We were also perplexed while doing research initially as to why aren't these displays used more widely. One of the issues was cost and limited suppliers. So thought this might be a good thing to work on
What are you going to build with this, a price tag? I'd love to make some stuff using E-Ink displays that you can read from a few meters away, but screens at 8 or more inches are virtually unobtainable. :(
We're live again.
Could not resolve issue with the current hosting service provider yet so made a temporary website and routing everything there, which took its time own again to connect to the domain.
Hopefully this isn't too late. It was really frustrating but many lessons learnt. Thanks everyone for all the reviews and feedback!
What’s the status on Color e-ink nowadays? Are we far away from that?
I feel like that’s the holy grail, along with true multitouch on one (last I checked all e ink displays were resistive touch displays)
Showing the battery state in Volts is almost completely unhelpful because of the non-linear discharge curve. An approximate of the battery capacity is more useful (even if not perfectly accurate) than the voltage itself.
If that's the case, ALL the work here is going to be software, and I don't see any yet. IIRC, that calendar display is example code from somewhere (the weather icons, in particular).
It's frustrating that the website has been down all day, though. Seems kind of odd in the world of Netlify / CloudFlare even if it's been HN'd.... :-/
1. Comfort reading for long periods.
2. Ability to read outside in the sun.
3. Battery duration.
Of those, by far the most important is the first, and this product is specifically targeted away from that. The third isn't a big deal for a stationary item that can be wired or plugged in.
I wish you well, but I don't immediately see the problem it's solving - though there may well be some sort of gap in markets dealing with outdoor products, eg garden centres and the like.
This looks like a product well-suited to that sort of use case.
Reduction seems to be an important trend considering drives to try to reduce green house gas emissions.
Some of us just prefer the look of e-ink displays.
What would it take to replace the page with a static html page containing basic info and the Youtube video until the HN hug of death settles? 10 minutes of work?