Electronic Ink and Apple

in Future Apple Hardware edited January 2014
I added this to another thread, but I think it is worthy of its own.

Apple years ago was being rumored to have put alot of effort into helping adding paper-like displays and electronic ink, to their display technology.

This came from initially the desk-top publishing market, but also from the video eye-fatigue that most people that don't stare at AI until 2am seem to get. It has kept IMHO the tablet from being as nice of an experience as it could be. It has been one factor cited in actually removing paper from the "paperless" office.

So if anyone has any knowledge about this and computers and Apple, please fill us in!!!



  • Reply 1 of 6
    LCDs have eliminated a lot of this problem. . . but. . . I do know a whole lot about eink.

    The actual company "Eink" is the entity that has all the rights to electronic ink. Phillips has a big, big stake in them, but aside from a product demonstration they have in a JC PEnny somewhere in New England, they haven't gotten anything out to the market yet and it has been several years (4). The tie to Phillips may explain this.

    Anyway, I've tried to secure product samples in order for my own interests, namely building a single, mips-based CPU core that does everything for a tablet like device. Really, not too much unlike the AMD alchemy project. . . hmmmmm considerations. . . .

    But I have inside connections to Eink, and let me tell you that they won't let me in on anything.

    One more thing: last I checked, they weren't even close to getting a color display out the door. Also, eink is not for everything. For sufficiently dynamic media OLEDs will probably be much better suited.
  • Reply 2 of 6
    Thanks for the info!!
  • Reply 3 of 6
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member

    Bypass Eink altogether and go direct to video-capable sheets.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    jcgjcg Posts: 777member
    It is my understanding that the main benefit of e-Ink is that it does not require a charge to maintain the display once it has been set, thus it if good for eBooks. Load the content into your e-Book and it stays there without a charge (or at least minimal charge) untill you clear it from memory or write over it. Due to refresh rate LCD technology will be prefered for active displays (ie. multimedia).

    If I recall correctly, the first application of the technology that the companies (I believe that there is another one working on it as well, Xerox?) are targeting for initial release of the product is billboards since the resolution could be relatively low compared to the 2-300 dpi that would be required for to adequatly represent grayscale or color images, as well as sharp enough text to meet market requirements.
  • Reply 5 of 6
    coscos Posts: 99member
    I used to work for Eller Media (the largest billboard company in the world)

    After remembering a review about EInk that i read in Wired magazine many Many years back, I talked about it in passing to our company's CEO to which he seemed very interested.

    We had done tons of investigative research on Eink and their competitors and found Eink to be the best among them (so far). However, the technology was (and still is) in its infancy.

    We did managed to secure a demoonstration unit similar to the ones used in some sears locations. They were very leery about this but I demanded that if we're going to do a deal with them, we would have to keep a demo unit for a short while.

    Although I have since left the company, we were ready to run with it if only they could get full color to work properly.

    Apparently, that's their biggest stumbling block right now.
  • Reply 6 of 6
    electrowetting sounds pretty cool, but also pretty distant.

    Eink eBooks are supposed to be able to run for quite a while on watch batteries. That's not bad for power efficiency.
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