Good e-Reader is live on the scene at CEATEC 2022 in Toyoko Japan. Fujitsu has unveiled a new generation of digital note taking device or e-note that will be running Kaleido 3 color e-paper. These are the first product in the world to use this new technology. What is Kaleido 3 and will be it a game changer?
The 3rd generation color e-paper, E Ink Kaleido 3 is now available for e-readers and digital note taking devices. It offers richer colors, increasing its color saturation by 30% compared to the previous generation, E Ink Kaleido Plus, in addition to 16 levels of grayscale and 4,096 colors. Kaleido 3 also uses E Ink ComfortGaze, a new front light technology that reduces the amount of blue light, with a reduced Blue Light Ratio (BLR) and Blue Light Toxicity Factor (BLTF) by up to 60% and 24% respectively. BLR is the ratio of toxic blue to total blue light output, and BLTF is the ratio of brightness to hazardous blue. Additionally, the responsiveness of the ink means that Kaleido 3 can play animations and videos. How does the innerworkings of this new color e-paper work?
The last few generations of color e-paper could only display 4,096 colors and 100 PPI. Kaleido 3 managed to increase the color accuracy to 150 PPI. This was accomplished by putting the Color Filter Array closer to the ink layer. The company did further updates to the print pattern, in the past they used glass and they switched over to plastic. Do colors look washed out as previous versions of Kaleido? E INK said K3 reduces the light scatter and loss of color. LCDs using CFA do not have this issue given that they are emissive. The tradeoff is energy efficiency, and eye fatigue. E INK is also using RBGW colors and not CMYK.
What is the deal with the new ComfortGaze technology? ComfortGaze was specifically designed to be within certain guidelines for BLR and BLTR. In the past, most front light designs did not address both of these color spectrums, and they were tuned specifically for the aesthetics of the light color to the viewer, rather than the eye health benefit. ComfortGaze was not exclusively designed for Kaleido 3 in mind, instead it will be compatible with traditional e-readers and e-notes that use a black and white display panel.
Kaleido and Kaleido Plus were only compatible with E INK Carta HD display panels, this limited the number of digital note taking devices that employed the technology. With the Advent of Kaleido 3, E INK put a priority on supporting their latest generation screens. It is now compatible with E INK Carta 1200, which the latest generation Amazon Kindle Paperwhite and Paperwhite Signature edition employ. The main benefits is 30% performance increase, across the board. Page turn speed has also been increased. It is also compatible with Carta 1250, which is primarily designed for digital note taking devices. It includes all of the benefits of 1200, except it reduces the latency in drawing with a stylus, so pen to screen is quicker. E INK also disclosed to Good e-Reader that K3 is compatible with On-Cell Touch, which is only found on the Onyx Boox Nova 3 Color. E Ink’s new technology incorporates touch directly into the e-paper – making the display clearer for the end-user and the cost of materials lower for device manufacturers. It will be the new standard going forward, and capacitive displays will be a thing of the past. This new technology dramatically increases performance of black and white displays by 30% and increases the contrast ratio, providing readers with clearer and more defined text. When used with E Ink Kaleido Plus or E INK Kaleido 3, the color contrast ratio and color saturation increase by 40% and 15% respectively, providing an enhanced display for color ebook and digital textbooks.
I will be writing a dedicated post on the new Quaderno and Sharp products. Here is some info to tide you all over. The Quaderno A4 will have a 13.3 inch screen and will their 3rd generation e-note. It will have a black and white resolution of 240 PPI and a color resolution of 80 PPI. It will be using an E INK Carta 1250 display, similar to their second generation. This will result in faster page turns and increase performance. It will display 4096 colors. The A5 Quaderno will not have color, but will have a front-lit display and color temperature system.
Sharp is actually going to be releasing the first 8.0 e-note with Gallery 3. Resolution will be 300 PPI and display 50,000 colors. It will be able to display black and white only or color only. It will be using a Adopt SDRC IGZO backplane, which shortens screen update time. Black and white will be 0.35 seconds and color will be 0.5 to 1.5 seconds.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.