Any e-reader news that you come across is likely to carry such terms like E-Ink or E-Paper. So at the outset, let’s get familiar with the terminology. So the next time you encounter these words, you will have a better understanding about e-book readers.
E Ink is the name of a company which makes electronic paper displays.
Vizplex is the name of the electronic paper from E-Ink, a popular electronic paper in e-book readers on the current market.
Electronic paper or e-paper, is the common term for display technology that aims to resemble ink on paper.
In electronic paper, an electrophoretic display forms visible images by rearranging charged pigment particles using an applied electric field. This technology, Electrophoresis, is designed to mimic the appearance of ordinary ink or paper or in other words e-paper or electronic paper.
The E Ink and e-Book Readers connection
One of the reasons that make e-book readers so popular is its ability to improve the readability and clarity of screen, which creates a virtual printed page image. Due to E Ink Vizplex imaging, e-paper does not drain battery power while the text is displayed on the screen.
Energy is consumed only when you turn the pages, and an electric charge rearranges e-ink capsules to either white or black to show the text. The net outcome is longer battery life which can last for nearly 6000-8000 page turns depending on the reader.
While turning pages the electronic paper refreshes the screen which leads to a blink for precisely a split second. Such display give you the feel of printed text which is sharp and clear with comfort of viewing it under bright light, and which is much unlike backlit computers and phones.
E Ink displays are formed by printing ink onto thin sheets of plastic film that are laminated to a layer of circuitry. With help of display driver, circuitry is controlled to form patterns of pixels on the film. Vizplex active matrix electronic paper display (EPD) is one such example and is the most popular among e-readers. E Ink also makes segmented e-paper displays.
Many companies manufacture various kinds of electronic paper. For instance, Pixel Qi work by modifying LCD technology and Qualcomm is working on an innovative display technology based on biomimetics study, inspired by the way light hits a butterfly’s wings.
Fujitsu Frontech, a Japanese company, is already ahead of the race by developing color e-paper for their FLEPia e-book reader. With several companies participating, the future of e-paper and e-readers is about to make a quantum jump in their display capabilities.
Application of electronic ink can be seen widely in the wristwatches, which since many years, have been in the market in a few different varieties. The same technology is now used in mobile phones for their display functions. Samsung Alias 2 applied it into the keypad to change characters.
With the advancement in color technology, significant improvement in digital photo frames would be seen. As electronic paper requires small amount of power, with help of a small battery pack images could remain for many months to even years.
Due to the versatility of e ink, it can be used in number of flexible materials.
Similar to fictional Daily Prophet, newspapers would use technology to create moving text and images with constant supply of power. What’s more, the paper need not be delivered by owls or humans as you can carry a small rolled up sheet of plastic that is capable of receiving updates directly to it or via an external connection.
Other applications are printing electrophoretic displays on T-shirts, rolled up scroll like paper, and product levels.
With scope of e-paper getting expanded, we can visualize infinite interesting application of e-paper in future.
Come April and there’s going to be an exciting new addition to the Good E-Reader family, the Good E-reader Magazine that will have all the latest and most in-depth coverage from the e-reader community. So make sure you subscribe to it if you do not want to be left out of all the exciting happenings.