The next generation of E-ink may be on cloth (w/ video)

May 5th, 2011 in Technology / Hi Tech & Innovation
The next generation of E-ink may be on cloth (w/ video)

(PhysOrg.com) -- Most people have become familiar with E-ink through e-readers. Devices, such as the Amazon Kindle and the Nook, have brought a less limited version of the bookstore to the reader. E-ink technology works by using an electrophoretic display that either push black magnetic powered to the top, or hides it on the bottom, creating a black and white screen. Either way, the result is the same, a matte finished screen, without any serious sun glare issues, that displays black and white text.

Well, more recently, the E-ink of the world has been getting some upgrades. First it was the addition of images. Then it was the capability to have color screens. Now, video is the next frontier for e-ink, and this time, it won’t be on the screen of a handheld device.

It may just be on a piece of cloth. One of the most interesting, and potentially expensive ways to use E-ink in the future would be to print it on screen cloth. Demo videos, taken from CES, show off this capability to embed e-ink displays in other types of materials. In the video below, you can see an e-ink screen, embedded in a bit of Tyvex cloth which can be viewed and crumpled over and over again. Some of you may already be familiar with Tyvex cloths, since its paper-like quality allows it to be used in high durability shipping envelopes. The cloth-like paper is able to withstand significant wear and tear.

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Envelopes made for e-ink could be made to be reusable, eliminating waste, by allowing for quick and easy address changes, without the need for multiple packing slips and a new envelop every time. Basically, this type of envelope could be a kind of endless routing slip, one that would never get those annoying ink smudges or eraser marks.

No word yet on when these products would come out, or how much they would cost, but give the high cost of e-ink readers when they first came out, this e-ink fabric would not be inexpensive.

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Color Video on an E-ink Screen

More information:
via The Digital Reader

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"The next generation of E-ink may be on cloth (w/ video)." May 5th, 2011. http://phys.org/news/2011-05-e-ink-video.html