Good e-Reader broke the news a couple of days about that E INK was gearing up to launch Gallery 3, which is new color e-paper that will power the next generation of e-readers and e-notes. The company has just officially announced the technology and it is looking very good. What is most exciting about this new screen, is that it is employing Advanced Color E-Paper and can display over 50,000 different colors, which is achieved through a four particle ink system: cyan, magenta, yellow and white, which allows a full color gamut at each pixel. The first size in MP will be 8”. Other sizes will be launched in the future. Gallery 3 can, in theory, be applied to any sized TFT. However, E INK’s launch plan focuses on the most requested panel size from market research.
In Gallery 3, the black and white update time has been improved to 350 milliseconds (ms), the fast color mode is 500 ms, standard color mode is 750-1000 ms and best color is achieved at 1500 ms. This is a substantial improvement over the first generation of E Ink Gallery, which had a black and white update time of two seconds and color updates of ten seconds. In addition, Gallery 3 will have an improved resolution of 300 pixels per inch (ppi) versus the earlier 150 ppi and an operating temperature of 0-50 degrees Celsius, on par with black and white e-readers. To increase the speed of the color transition, there can be tradeoffs in the intensity of the colors. Therefore “best color” has the longest transition time to move the pigments as close to the surface as possible. In contrast, “fast mode” may be slightly more muted as the pigment’s movements are constrained by the time of the update.
Basically, vendors can chose how many different colors they want to include on their devices. Gallery 3 has three color modes to choose from: fast color, standard color and best color. To increase the speed of the color transition, there can be tradeoffs in the intensity of the colors. Therefore “best color” has the longest transition time to move the pigments as close to the surface as possible. In contrast, “fast mode” may be slightly more muted as the pigment’s movements are constrained by the time of the update.
E Ink Gallery 3 will also support pen input in black and white, with an addition of several other colors and an update time of 30 ms. The screen can support both WACOM and EMR, based on customers needs. E Ink Gallery 3 will be featuring E Ink’s new ComfortGaze front light, which offers a blue-light safe viewing experience. 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.
We know lots of Kaleido 3, because E INK answered many of the questions This included in the PPI being increased from 100 PPI to 150 PPI and improvements to the color filter array being closer to the stack. It is also compatible with E INK Regal Waveform controllers, for fast page turn speed and also modern e-paper such as On-Cell Touch, Carta 1200 and Carta 1250. Gallery 3 uses its own Waveform and controllers to solve the ghosting problem and increase performance. Kaleido 3 is a black and white Carta + CFA based module. In contrast, Gallery 3 is usingr ACeP technology (https://www.eink.com/color-technology.html), which is 4 color particles within a Microcup. Without the added layer of a CFA, the colors are at each pixel = meaning a 300 PPI Gallery 3 panel can be at full color, rather than having the color side by size and diminishing the color PPI, as with CFA products. Gallery 3 will not support support Carta 1200 and 1250 because Gallery 3 is using a four-particle ink system, whereas Carta 1200 and 1250 are a 2 particle ink system.
What are the main differences between Kaleido 3 and Gallery 3? E INK told me “This is all about experience. Some customers will prefer the fast page turns and animation frame rate support of the Kaleido 3, featuring the Carta ink line, and can leverage the color CFA for a color e-reader / e-note experience. Some customers will prefer the brighter display of Gallery 3, with a more intense color experience, and are not focused on animated / fast frame rate applications.”
Since Gallery 3 does not have a color filter array, does this mean via software companies can control what they want in color and what they just want on black and white, or is everything color by default? Like, for example, the K3 CFA is always on, so when someone is reading a book, you often don’t get true blacks and a grey screen, like a traditional e-reader, instead it is mixing different colors to make a grey screen. How is Gallery 3 different in showing colors vs not showing colors? Going back to reading, can I turn the colors off when reading a book, and then turn the colors back on when I am done? DES Slurry lets you do this via a software button, (turn colors on, turn colors off) E INK told me “Yes, companies can chose which is color, and which is black and white. I am not an expert on DES, but my understanding is that it also uses a CFA. So both DES and Kaleido will have some tradeoffs due to the CFA in the black and white state. The color in Gallery 3 comes from aligning particles close to each other, and there is less muddiness in all colors and in black and white, due to this. In Gallery 3, the black state is achieved by aligning multiple pigments, and the white state is from white pigments. In a CFA product, the underlying pigment may be black, but the CFA above it mutes it a bit. The black and white reading experience of Gallery 3 is very close to our traditional black and white displays, without color mixing. In addition, that means PPI is the same for both black and white and color, unlike Kaleido 3 and DES. CFA is additive color vs. ACeP, which is subtractive.”
“E Ink is very excited to announce this significant breakthrough with E Ink Gallery 3,” said Johnson Lee, CEO of E Ink. “For the first time, our Gallery full color ink platform series can be offered for an enhanced reading and shopping experience for eBooks, and for colorful document viewing and editing in e-notes. We have invested over $100 million dollars in R&D resources and budget to improve every aspect of this technology. Our team across the world has worked tirelessly over the past several years, and has made a product we can all be proud of.”
E INK Is going to be showcasing Gallery 3 and Kaleido 3 at Touch Taiwan next week. Good e-Reader will have an agent live on the scene taking 4K video and tons of pictures, so we should be able to answer many of the burning questions.
Michael Kozlowski has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve 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. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.