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E-ink Debuts Spectra 3 Color Display – Not Ready For eReaders

spectra_img_052113[1]E-ink has managed to be the most exciting and biggest letdown at SID Display Week this year. They've just unveiled a new screen tech that promises to offer the sharp color that the Triton 2 color E-ink lacks in no less than 3 colors, but unfortunately it is also limited to exactly 3 colors.

The Spectra 3 Color Display is the second new shelf label tech that E-ink is showing off this year. It's based in part on Sipix screen tech that E-ink bought last year, a detail which the following chart made clear and which was confirmed by E-ink's reps.

e-ink spectra electronic shelf label 1

Click to enlarge

This is E-ink's first practical example of a screen that uses more than simply black and white: it adds red to the mix. The screens I saw really were as red as the image at right, but sadly that is the only shade of red that this screen can show.

The downside to the Spectra screen tech (and the reason it's only being offered as a shelf label) is that this screen can only show black, white, or red.

But what this screen tech cannot do is show pink, gray, or any shade in between. Spectra is no more and no less than a 3 color display, in much the same way that a Pearl E-ink screen is a 16 color display (16 shades of black, white, and gray).

Update: I've just come across an animated GIF that shows the red, black, and white ink capsules in action:


While I'm sure that E-ink would like to develop a variation on this screen tech that could be used for ereaders, they were not willing to even guess when that might happen. But they did say that it will be available as a shelf label later this year with screen sizes measuring from 2" to 6".

So when you see this video, don't get too excited over the fact that this 6" screen has a resolution of 1024x758:

About Nate Hoffelder (11119 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

1 Comment on E-ink Debuts Spectra 3 Color Display – Not Ready For eReaders

  1. totally kicking myself for not finding time to go to SID. The confusion over the freezer version would be the only Bi-Stable ESL material available in both segmented AND Active Matrix. the others that ar e freezer worthy are probably just LCDs

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