We have had numerous examples of E Ink displays being put to innovative applications. Those include smartwatches, E Ink typewriters, smartphones, tablets, e-readers, and whatnot. Now, here is one where a 32-inch E Ink display is used to serve as a digital newspaper.
That said, its a one-off project that has been accomplished by entrepreneur and technology enthusiasts Graiz who said he had come across such an idea of an E Ink display-powered newspaper before but since that wasn’t available for purchase, he opted to make one himself.
His take on a large screen digital newspaper is based on the 32-inch Visionect place and play display which forms the visible face of the device. There isn’t much else to it though as the device comes with negligible processing power. Essentially, there are just two external components to the entire setup, those being an HTML rendering server and the other being an application server.
The HTML rendering server functions by fetching the web pages and rendering the same as a headless browser so that it is able to push images to the display. With the application server, its job is to download national newspapers as PDF files. Those are then converted into images and HTML that the device is able to process. A web application then accepts the large-format PDF files and resizes them to fit the display. The newspapers refresh every 10 mins so that you always have the latest info to comprehend.
Graiz said he’d prefer a standalone server over an HTML rendering server. Maybe that is going to happen on the next upgraded version of the device as the lack of enough documentation on the client/ server protocol made him to opt for the present set-up. As of now, the HTML rendering server is based on a Visionect docker container which runs on the Synology NAS backup server that Graiz already has up and running in his home.
Also, true to the intended purpose of allowing for a pure newspaper reading experience, the device does just that and nothing else. There are no UI as such, not even buttons, physical or otherwise, all of which make it the closest you can have to read a real newspaper.
Lastly, not to mention all the benefits that an E Ink display provides for. For, not only do you get to read via an electronic display that mimics real paper, but power consumption is also just the bare minimum. As Graiz said, his device can survive for months on a single charge.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles as well, the latter being my latest fad. Besides writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music, or experimenting with different recipes. Motion picture is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I’ll make a film sometime in the future.