E-ink and Innolux Are Developing 28″ Color ePaper Signage

Here’s something to keep you interested while we wait for the new color ereaders to ship. A couple days ago E-ink announced they are developing a larger color screen to be used for station signs in  mass transit systems.

The new screen panel uses the ACeP (Advanced Color ePaper) tech, and not the Kaleido tech that will be used in the new color ereaders. ACeP uses multiple inks, and takes too long to refresh to be used in mobile devices, but it could be used for signs.

Although I don’t see any reason why you would (aside from thinking it would look cool).

This story inspired me to check with a construction manager I know, and they told me that they couldn’t imagine why anyone would use this kind of screen.  They also could not name any display systems supplier that even offered E-ink screens as an option (which means it’s not being used in anything more than small-scale pilot projects).

It would look cool, though.

 

 

Nate Hoffelder

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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.

8 Comments

  1. Xavier Basora7 May, 2020

    Nate

    All it takes is a cool scifi/ speculative future movie to incorporate it. And then advertisers will put them up real fast in the real world.

    xavier

    Reply
  2. Allen F7 May, 2020

    If it ‘takes to long to refresh’ is an issue, then it’s a gimmick looking for a way to be useful. The only real advantage in e-inks is the low/no power needed to ‘hold’ what’s already being displayed, if you then have to point a light or back-light it you might as well just go LCD and be done with it.

    (And station signs have to be cheap and useful, not overpriced for what they do and so-called ‘cool’. 😉 )

    Reply
  3. Ijb8 May, 2020

    The “takes too long to refresh” issue is with ereaders only, not for signs. “Too long“ just means something like eight seconds or so, which is not an issue for signs, but not appealing to a book reader. You cannot use LCDs for large signs, if you want them to be readable in bright sunlight. Well, you could, using ultrabright backlight, but clearly, you’d want a reflective screen and not a transmissive one in such installations.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 May, 2020

      “You cannot use LCDs for large signs, if you want them to be readable in bright sunlight.”

      That isn’t even close to being true. My local McDonalds, for example, has replaced the signs in its drive through with LED screens. I can most definitely see them in full sunlight.

      Reply
  4. Ijb9 May, 2020

    I said, you can, right in the next sentence. An ultrabright LCD, however, cannot be the most power-efficient solution. Reflective LCDs are also rather expensive. Therefore, I wouldn’t consider an eink sign a “gimmick” or “overpriced” simply from looking superficially on it, as Allen F suggested in his comment.

    Reply
    1. Nate Hoffelder9 May, 2020

      Yeah, I read your comment too early in the morning, and screwed up. Sorry about that.

      But the fact remains that virtually all the digital signs use LED screens, not E-ink, and that is true for both inside and outside. The simple truth is the market has decided against E-ink signage.

      Reply
  5. Allen F10 May, 2020

    @ Ijb

    The problem e-inks face over most LCD/LED screens/signs is that ‘power’ is not the primary factor – cost is.

    Battery powered devices, e-ink can make good sense, but if I’m plugging it into mains anyway – or even a large solar/battery setup – the extra costs for the e-ink doesn’t float.

    Which is why it’s just a gimmick at this point – it’s at the wrong price-point for what they’re suggesting it be used as …

    Reply

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