Epson unveils high-res E-Ink display

Published on: 2015-02-05

E-Ink has long been hailed as a revolution-in-the-making for large format printing and out-of-home advertising.  While high production costs and low resolutions have hampered the technology's adoption, at least one of those problems is being worked on, as Fareastgizmos notes:
Epson unveiled a 13.4-inch (A4-size) electronic paper at SID 2008, in Los Angeles, the US. Its pixel count is 3104 × 4128 and definition is as high as 385ppi. Before this the company's largest electronic paper was a 7.1-inch type. The new electronic paper was developed by combining electrophoretic electronic ink of E Ink Corp and a low-temperature polycrystal Si-TFT of Seiko Epson. The TFT was formed on a glass substrate. Its contrast ratio is 10:1 and reflectance is 40%. With this prototype, Seiko Epson considers that the company entered the final stage of replacing traditional papers with electronic papers.

Epson plans to conduct a market research, aiming at commercializing the new electronic paper and is also considering selling electronic papers in the future.

Our take:

E-Ink is ideally suited to displays that don't have to change rapidly (so no videos or even fast-moving slideshows for now), as well as displays that need to be easily readable in direct sunlight, since they reflect ambient light like a regular poster, instead of emit their own light like today's LEDs, LCDs and plasma displays.  While the tech certainly may have some applications in certain kinds of digital signage installations -- again, ones that value readability and size over fast motion or lots of colors -- the advances these days mostly come from companies hoping to use it to replace books and newspapers -- smaller devices that show mostly (or entirely) static content, but need to be really high-res to be readable without giving readers a headache.

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