E Ink and Wacom have just unveiled a new breed of color e-paper. It does not have a name yet, but the two sides are going to market this new technology to other major players in the game. Wacom has disclosed to Good e-Reader at Connected Ink 2019 about the new technology and it will be in a series of products in late 2020 and target the digital note taking or e-note sector.
Wacom was displaying the technology at the event Good e-Reader attended. They produce the active digitizer layer, that allows you to interact with the screen with a stylus. E Ink has developed a new type of TFT screen, each pixel displays either red, green, blue, black or white. Colors can be combined to give you different colors or shades. The way it works is if you want light blue, blue will be toned down and white will be brighter. If you want orange, then yellow and red would be blended. It will ultimately display thousands of different color combinations.
The prototype that was on display was a 10.3 inch and the body was from the Whisky EE Note, except it was black. Not only did it have a flush screen and bezel design, but the screen made of glass. It had a Wacom digitizer layer and a Wacom stylus with 4,000 degrees of pressure sensitivity.
These new E Ink screens will start to undergo mass production in Q2 of 2020 and will be ready for finished products in Q3 2020. This means that we might finally see color e-paper used by major companies such as Boyue, Onyx Books, Sony and SuperNote. Wacom said all of the big guys will be using their tech and already have a series of hard confirmed orders.
I am excited about this new E Ink technology. You can see from the colors, that they are bright and vibrant, and are not all washed out. It still is not good as Advanced Color E-Paper, which still has not resolved the refreshing issues and we might not see this in a consumer product until either late 2020 or even 2021.
Update November 28th.
One of the senior E Ink technical engineers told Good e-Reader the following “The new color ePaper sample that Peter saw was a CFA (Color Filter Array) type ePaper display, but instead of using glass-based CFA, the color filter is now printed on the E Ink ePaper film. We call it Print-Color ePaper technology. That being said, it inherent all the characteristics and benefit s of B/W ePaper displays, still a reflective display technology, in addition it can displays color content.
The color ePaper module itself will be thinner and lighter than the ones with glass-based CFA display module.
The samples showcased at the Connected Ink event used a 10.3” display module with front light (no backlight) and Wacom EMR as testing vehicle and demonstrated the color and writing experience.
It is an early stage prototype, we are still working on the display performance. It can display thousands of color combinations and the whole color and writing experience will be improved over the next few months.”
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 CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.