Three-Color Spectra E-ink Screens Now Available for DIY Projects

When E-ink unveiled its Spectra screens in 2013, the cutting edge 3-color epaper displays were only sold in the e-shelf label market.

With exactly three colors (black, white, and red) and no shades of gray or red, these screens wouldn’t have been much use for ereaders (not unless you wanted to forgo images). But it would be great to use the screens in DIY projects, and now we can.

Pervasive Displays sent out an email this morning with the news that they are now carrying Spectra E-ink screens in 4.2″ and 2.87″ dimensions.


With screen resolutions of 400 x 300 and 206 x 128, the screens could be used for smart labels, Internet of Things, secondary screens on mobile devices, or to display info where permanence is more important than resolution or color. One popular use for screens this size are as accessories to Raspberry Pi and other SBCs.

If you get one you will also need a gen-2 extension kit, as the earlier kits aren’t designed to work with either a Spectra or an Aurora E-ink screen. You can find both the new screens and the extension kit at Digi-Key.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Jean-Philippe Encausse12 October, 2016

    It’s seems a little bit complicated for a DIY / IoT.

    Is there E-InK SmartLabels alread setup with OTA Updates ? So we could make a smart shell or a smart fridge by forwarding message to labels.

    The TI old windows software with price > 800$ is so 1.0 world 🙁

  2. user12 October, 2016

    Always wanted this screen in 13 inch to use red as highlighter:
    3-color epaper sheet music

    1. Nate Hoffelder12 October, 2016

      Now _that_ would be a good use for the screen.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to top