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CLEARink Wins Best in Show at DisplayWeek 2017 for its Reflective Displays

Charbax met with CLEARink Displays Chairman and CEO, Frank Christiaens and VP of Engineering, Scott Ferguson, at SID DisplayWeek 2017 in Los Angeles this week.

The company won the "Best of Show" award for its reflective screens.

CLEARink Displays' tech works on the principle of Total Internal Reflection (TIR) which occurs on the top plane of the display where light is reflected back creating white state images.

The top plane also encompasses an electrophoretic mechanism where applying a charge causes black particles to rise to the top and absorb light, thus creating the black state, and all this is driven by the back of the display, which is a TFT backplane essentially identical to what is used in E-ink screens and LCDs.

The CLEARink demos are running video at 30 frames per second. The company said that they are targeting wearables, mobile devices, electronic shelf labels as well as signage.

CLEARink is in trial production in a LCD fab and will have samples ready for the customer in the next few months with mass production in the first quarter of 2018.

I suggest that you take the claims of "first ever" with a grain of salt.

Reflective LCDs are old hat; the Pebble watch uses a reflective LCD screen made by Samsung, and you can even buy old stock reflective LCDs from discontinued product lines.

And of course Qualcomm’s Mirasol and Pixtronix each had reflective screen tech. Their screens were based on very different tech from CLEARink, but the screen tech was low-power and reflective, and Mirasol could display video.

So CLEARink is not the first, but it does have at least one advantage over Mirasol and Pixtronix: CLEARink is still around, and it’s about to bring a product to market.

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Javi June 2, 2017 um 4:00 am

Mirasol, Pixtronix, Brigedstone, Liquavista, Eink (triton)… reflective color screen are cursed.
About Clearink and Plastic Logic… How can a company live for 10 years without selling?

Nate Hoffelder June 2, 2017 um 5:43 am

Capital investors.

Also, they can hire out their engineers to other companies.

Jim June 3, 2017 um 11:47 am

This looks good I would buy a color reader like this !

vicente June 3, 2017 um 3:21 pm

Does anyone know why other technologies of color e-ink didn’t succeed?

Nate Hoffelder June 3, 2017 um 5:10 pm

Color E-ink failed because it looked terrible. Its base color was gray, and it could not how a bright white or solid black.

As for the rest, a lot of the screen tech wanted to solve the same problem as E-ink: mobile device battery life. Unfortunately for the screen tech companies, that problem solved itself without the need for custom screen tech.

LCD screens got more and more efficient while batteries efficiency grew and CPU power demand decreased. As a result there’s not much of a market for special types of screen tech.

Vicente June 4, 2017 um 1:37 pm

Ok, but I bought a e-ink reader because its screen doesn’t emit light and, supposedly, is less aggressive

Ben June 23, 2017 um 11:53 am

Yeah, but these screens don’t emit light either – plus they’re colour and can display videos- and they’re cheaper than e-ink displays.

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