Friday, January 11, 2013

E Ink's future foretold at CES: Next-gen will be high-res, support color

LAS VEGAS?While dedicated e-readers struggle in the face of competition from multipurpose tablets, the company E Ink and its electrophoretic display technology (more commonly known as electronic paper) continues to evolve.

The discontinued high-resolution iRiver Story HD

For starters, the next wave of e-readers should complete the shift towards high-resolution, 768 by 1024 pixel, 6-inch displays, according to E Ink spokesperson Sriram Peruvemba. The current standard is 600 by 800 pixel resolution; only two e-readers have hit the higher-resolution?the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite, and the now-discontinued iRiver Story HD. At 212 dpi, the higher-res display can help smooth how text appears.

Also expect to find faster page turn samples. For example, the fourth-generation Kindle can turn 5 to 6 pages without the flashing effect on the page; next year, Peruvemba says, it will be total of 25 pages with any flash. ?We've tested the software for even more than 25, but we're advertising 25. and we've minimized the flash so much that most people won't even notice it,? he says.

Don't go looking for a color E Ink display any time soon, though. Although E Ink demoed some electronic display sign examples with spot color and motion support, and Etaco has a color device available for educational markets, that's where they'll stay for now. ?The color displays have primarily gotten some traction in the textbook market,? explains Peruvemba.

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