A new e-reader has been developed called the Inkplate 6 ESP32 and the big selling point is this device uses recycled Kindle screens. While the project is still under development, e-radionica has already some hardware design files on Github, as well as an Arduino library, and a MicroPython library is in the works.
These are the hardware specs
- ESP32-WROVER wireless module
- ESP32 dual-core Tensilica LX6 processor @ 240 MHz
- 8MB RAM, 4MB flash
- Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth 4.2
- Display – 6″ e-Paper Display (ED060SC7) with 800×600 resolution taken from discarded Kindle readers; refresh time: 0.264 s; partial updates possible
- Storage – MicroSD card socket
- USB – 1x Micro USB Port for power and programming (via CH340C)
- EasyC / Qwiic connector with I2C
- Headers for power signals, I2C, SPI, ESP32’s GPIO, and MCP23017 I2C I/O expander
- Sensor – Internal TPS65186 temperature sensor
- Misc – 3x capacitive touch pads at the front, hardware power switch, LED battery indicator. Hardware reset button
- Power Management
- Texas Instruments (TI) TPS65186 PMIC
- MCP73831 lithium battery charger with a standard JST connector
- Input – 5V via micro USB port, or LiPo battery
These are some of the things you can do with it, aside from reading ebooks.
- High Latency Information Panel – Show calendar, temperature, weather, and air quality data. Track your stocks, learn a new word each day, display information about whatever song is playing, or tally up your likes on social media (if you must). Download updates, and only hit the battery when you do.
- Collaborative Task Tracker – Maintain shared lists of groceries to buy, chores to do, and birthdays to remember. Or replace the power-hungry wall monitor in your office with an e-paper kanban on each desk. Give away your dry-erase markers.
- Minimalist E-Paper Typewriter – Get those words out. Sync them to the cloud or store them on an SD card. And keep distractions like social media and email away from your line-of-sight.
- Open Hardware E-Reader – Sweep aside the barriers put in place by restrictive, centralized platforms and e-read whatever you want.
- Art – Frame photographs pulled from an SD card or an online camera roll, sure, but why not generate abstract art from sensor data? Or torment your house guests with a modern take on the classic, four shot, black-and-white photo booth?
The Inkplate 6 has just launched on Crowd Supply with a $10,000 funding target which it has already surpassed. The device costs $99 and should be shipping in April 2020.
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.