E Ink has just unveiled an online store where they are directly selling e-paper displays for e-readers and also niche segments such as luggage tags, grocery labels and smartwatches. This marks the first occasion in which E Ink is getting involved in assisting startups and developers with providing the screens they need to be able create their own products.
In the past, if you wanted to develop an e-reader you had to contact E Ink directly and they would forward you to one of their partners. For example if your city wanted to do some sort of solar powered city map that showed popular landmarks you would have to deal with Visionect or if you wanted to create a new e-reader you would have to do business with various Taiwan companies.
The decision to sell e-paper screens directly for the purpose of internal development or for hobbyists is welcome news to the future of digital paper. It will allow people to easily buy things, without the need to deal with other companies or to play email tag.
Update: E Ink has confirmed with Good e-Reader that next month they will be launching more e-Paper modules with different sizes and some of them with Black/White/Red. It is then followed by driving boards with Touch panel and Front light functions with compatible panel modules in Feb, 2017.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.