E Ink Newspapers Ready To Roll

Chris Heap

We hear from PC Pro that NEC is soon to launch a new E Ink display. The technology is reminiscent of the battery powered shelf-edge labels currently trialling in Tesco and it is only a matter of time before we start to see deployments of more e-ink based solutions trialling in out of home venues and especially in retail at the point of purchase over the coming year

Barry Collins at PC Pro writes

NEC is preparing to launch a 19.5in E Ink display that could pave the way for full-sized electronic newspapers that could pave the way for full-sized electronic newspapers.

Until now, E Ink screens have been largely contained to pocket-sized eBook readers, such as Amazon’s Kindle and the Sony Reader. However, NEC’s super-sized display brings the technology to a host of new potential formats,including broadsheet newspapers that are displayed in the same way as their printed counterparts.

The NEC prototype offers a resolution of 1,600 x 2,400 pixels – far higher than any monitor of that size – and can display 16 different shades of grey. NEC claims the E Ink display has a higher contrast ratio than traditional newsprint. The page has a refresh time of between 400ms and two seconds, depending on the content that’s displayed.

Newspapers aren’t the only use that NEC plans to put the device to. The company claims the technology is also well suited to infrequently updated displays, such as train timetables, cinema listings and restaurant menus. Because the E Ink displays only require power to refresh the page, they could be kept running with the minimum of electricity, and would save on the cost and inconvenience of printed materials.

NEC has a fully working prototype of the display, but the company hasn’t confirmed when it will be released or how much it would cost.

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