Electronic Ink Technology Review

Abstract

Electronic Ink Technology is the revolution in software development. This technology mainly deals with Electronic Ink Display devices like E-readers, E-Newspapers. This technology uses the process called Electrophoretic technology. In this technology there are millions of microencapsulated in which there are electrically white and black particles along with a clear fluid are present. Each microencapsulated are of a diameter of human hair. This whole setup is spread between two parallelly charged plates. When a specific amount of current is passed on to the surface then particles in the capsule gets activated and changes their position according to the current with help of clear fluid thus showing an image on the screen. Many devices are using this type of display technology due to its many benefits like these devices consumes very less power, can be used under bright sunlight too and most importantly these devices are inexpensive compared to other devices like LCD, LED etc.

Introduction

There are many ways to obtain knowledge reading is one of the oldest and common method. Books are the main source for reading. Paper is the stable material in the making of books. (Hogben, 1951) It is said that the pulp papermaking process is started in the early year of 105 CE in China (Ref). Gradually the process of making and uses of paper have been changed, at present due the evolution of technology traditional paper is changed into Electronic Paper which also called as E-Paper, sometimes also known as Electronic Ink touchscreen display devices. As the name suggests the Electronic ink devices resembles the paper, the reader can feel that he is looking to a paper which is not true. The power of E Ink technology creates that feeling. E Ink display devices are available in various forms like E readers, E newspapers, Digital Signage (Ref), Smartphones (Ref), Electronic Billboards and so on. There are some other types of display technologies and devices are available in the market. The usage of these type of devices depends on the requirement of each individual, say if you are a bookworm then it is much advisable to use E-reader devices like Kindle Paperwhite, if you are a creative writer who uses web for your writings, to look for references, to get reviews about your published books and articles then it’s better to choose other than E-reader devices like Tablet Computer (Ref. April 2010). There are some substantial differences between E Ink technology devices and other display technology devices.

Electronic Ink Display vs Other Display Devices

Firstly, there is the wide range of touchscreen display devices are available for us like Liquid Crystal Display (LCD), Light Emitting Diode (LED), Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED), at present we have the most advanced display technology called Quantum Dot LED (QLED). As stated earlier the usage of these display devices are according to our requirements only. Although there are many types of display technologies are available to us the Electronic Ink Technology had its own importance. There is a major drawback for other types of display devices other than E ink display devices i.e. power consumption. The E ink display devices take very less power when compared to other display devices. The other type of devices needs to be charged on a regular basis whereas the E ink can run up to 10 days depending on the capacity of the battery in the device. There is one more advantage for E ink display devices i.e. the users can enjoy their precious time under sunlight to this kind of approach is achieved due to the E ink display screens doesn’t has any light so that the daylight cannot show the glaze effect on the screen which combines and gives the user to feel that he is actually looking to a book. The light is present at the bottom of the screen where the rays will just reflect reducing the glaze effect to the screen. Whereas the other displays consist of the light under the screen so that the user cannot use it under bright sunlight. But the E Ink displays cannot produce colour display due to the way it is developed.

Electrophoretic Technology and Electrophoretic Microencapsulated Display

Electrophoretic Technology is the diffusion mixture of titanium particles which are about the diameter of one micrometre on a hydrocarbon oil on two parallel conductive plates separated with a specific amount of distance i.e. 10 to 100 micrometres (Ref). When the plates are in contact with the desired amount of voltage then the particles present on the surface activates and turns the screen into the black. A while later a team of undergraduate students from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) developed another type of technology called Electrophoretic Microencapsulated Display (Ref Alec Klein 2015). (Ref Comiskey) These display devices consist of millions of microcapsule particles. The microcapsules are made of black and white particles which are electrically charged positively and negatively along with a clear fluid. This whole setup is arranged in between two parallel plates which are also charged too. When a certain amount of electrical contacts with plates then the charged particles move with help of clear fluid thus generating an image on the screen.

A picture containing remote, monitor, front, indoor

Description automatically generated

Figure 1

Source: Wikipedia Electronic Paper

The evidence in the Figure. 1 shows that the working of Electrophoretic Microencapsulated Display. This whole process produces an image on the surface which is in black and white in colour. There are some substantial differences between these types of devices.

E Ink Display Other Display Devices (LCD, LED etc.)
1. Consumes Less Power.

2. Long battery life.

3. Can be used under bright     sunlight.

4. No sign of eye strain while using for a long time.

5. Cannot produce multi-coloured display.

6. The refresh rate of the display is slow when compared to other displays.

7. Low pixel density.

8. A wide range of devices is using this type of technology.

9. These display devices are inexpensive.

10. Less lifetime compared to other display devices.

1. Consumes More Power.

2. Less battery life.

3. Cannot be used under bright sunlight.

4. Bit eye strain while using for a long time.

5. Can produce multi- coloured display.

6. The High refresh rate.

7. High pixel density.

8. Many devices are available with this type of technology.

9. These display devices are expensive.

10. Long lasting lifetime

Table 1

Differences between E Ink Technology and Other Display Devices

The above Table 1 shows some of the well-known differences between E ink display devices and other display devices. As stated in the table the E ink display devices are not available with colour display. But (Ref ECTACO 2012) in the year 2012 a US- based hardware and software manufacturing company called ECTACO released their first E coloured display devices into the market called ECTACO jetBook. This E coloured book used the next advanced E ink technology called E Ink’s Triton Display technology (Ref ECTACO 2012). (Ref Liszewski 2015) Later in 2015 the E ink Dudley corporation introduced another E ink technology called Prism which is a colour display screen technology. But the Prism technology is not being entertained by the hardware companies because of its cost. The jetBook claimed that is more expensive than the standard E ink displays devices which are very affordable than jetBook. This made to fail Prism to enter into the market like traditional E ink display devices. There are a variety of application devices are using this E ink display technology.

Some of the Devices with E Ink Display Technology

Amazon Kindle

One of the world’s best E-commerce company introduced their best E-book reader i.e. Kindle. Kindle is an e-book reader where we can find a number of books to read. These Ebook are available in its store called Kindle store. Kindle became a huge success to Amazon. Amazon used the E ink technology to make Kindle.

Remarkable E-Paper

A startup in Norwegian developed their first e-Reader tablet called Remarkable. As the name itself, it is remarkable. The company made the tablet with unique features like the user can not only read, he can write, sketch, take notes like best features also added. (Ref)There is one feature which made this tablet to attain huge reputation is the user can feel exactly as he is writing on a paper while he is taking notes or sketching using their magic tool which is their stylus and that made this E-paper tablet truly remarkable.

Sony Digital Paper

This multi-technical company made their kind of e-reader tablet i.e. Sony Digital Paper DPTS1 which is phenomenal. The DPTS1 is top class in the e-paper tablet. Sony offered all the features what a writer, reader and artist needed. The stylus working is amazing with various types of sensors like pressure, tilt etc. The palm rejection gives that you can write or sketch without any interruptions. The only problem with this tablet is it is too expensive at this price we are not getting other e-paper devices we can also get 2017 MacBook Air one of the best laptops. Due to this major flaw, this device is not customer friendly in terms of price aspect.

Conclusion

This review confirms that how the Electronic Ink Technology changed the usage of the books by humans. The development of the E ink made every book lover to feel the joy of reading a book to next the level. Although the introduction of coloured e-reader display devices is available there are some issues to be solved like the refresh rate, the lifetime of the e-readers and etc. Further studies to be done to overcome the present issues. In addition to the available E ink technology, the access of web to the e-readers could help a lot for users

References

[1] Am Kim, Chul, Meyoung Ju Joung, Seong Deok Ahn, Gi Heon Kim, Seung-Youl Kang, In-Kyu-You, Jiyoung Oh, Hey Jin Myoung, Kyu Ha Baek, and Kyung Soo Suh. “Microcapsules as an electronic ink to fabricate color electrophoretic displays.” Synthetic Metals 151, no. 3 (2005): 181-185.

[2] Comiskey, Barrett, Jonathan D. Albert, Hidekazu Yoshizawa, and Joseph Jacobson. “An electrophoretic ink                  for all-printed reflective electronic displays.” Nature 394, no. 6690 (1998): 253

[3] Dudley, Brier (November 19, 2007). “Kindle hacking, iPod parallels and a chat with the Kindle director”. Seattle Times. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved December 28, 2010.

[4]E-Paper (E Ink) introduction and basic e-paper information.

[5] Hands on with the reMarkable, the closest thing to paper since paper.

[6] Henzen, Alex, Neculai Ailenei, Frank Van Reeth, Gert Vansichem, Robert W. Zehner, and Karl Amundson.           “32.4: An electronic ink low latency drawing tablet.” In SID Symposium Digest of Technical Papers, vol. 35,

no. 1, pp. 1070-1073. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing Ltd, 2004.

[7] Hogben, Lancelot. “Printing, Paper and Playing Cards”. Bennett, Paul A. (ed.) Books and Printing: A Treasury for Typophiles. New York: The World Publishing Company, 1951. pp. 15–31. p. 17. & Mann, George. Print: A Manual for Librarians and Students Describing in Detail the History, Methods, and Applications of Printing and Paper Making. London: Grafton & Co., 1952. p. 77

[8] Journal, Alec Klein Staff Reporter of The Wall Street. “A New Printing Technology Sets Off a High-Stakes Race”. Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2015-11-27.

[9] Liszewski, Andrew. “Color-Changing E Ink Is Here, But Not In eBook Readers”.

[10] Magink e-paper billboards. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2008-01-13

[11] SiPix pricing labels. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-13.

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