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Project Vivit Shows Off Video Playing on Color E-ink Screen

November 3rd, 2012 by · 2 Comments · hardware news

The FPDI screen tech trade show wrapped up in Japan yesterday and one late attendee is turning some heads. A Japanese company by the name of Project Vivit had gotten a new demo screen from E-ink only hours before and immediately started showing it off.

That is a 6″ color E-ink screen you’re looking at, though the exhibitors wouldn’t reveal any more details than that. It’s driven by a project board which incorporates an Epson controller chip.

Update: I’ve heard back from E-ink and that is the same Triton E-ink screen as seen elsewhere. The resolution is 300×400.

Color me unimpressed. I’ve been seeing decent quality video on consumer model ereaders for nearly a year now. The Nook Touch in particular has been a favorite of  hackers due to the fact it runs Android underneath.

Okay, seeing the video in color is kinda interesting, but in the long term it doesn’t have much use.  The low-power benefit of E-ink screens is lost when you have to refresh the screen 30 times a second. And the quality and resolution of the video is much lower than you would find on most any LCD screen.

In any case, this demo is likely not intended for the consumer market.Project Vivit’s main business is reportedly commercial signage. They plan to use the video-capable color epaper display to sell to businesses for use in commercial facilities and medical practices – not for ereaders.

via Tech-On

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Xyzzy

    I wonder if it might be possible for a manufacturer to create a driver/app that would temporarily boost the refresh rate as-needed for short bursts of time (e.g. for page turn animations) much as an app lets us do on-demand on the Nook Touch; if so, that could greatly boost the device’s battery performance. Code to turn rapid-refresh on full-time when plugged in could also be made available for free/open-source hacking groups to include in their ROMs; that would avoid the threat of clueless consumers giving it a low rating for only having the option on AC power, while still allowing savvy users like us to use it when appropriate.

    My main thought here is from the disability perspective of people with a condition that sometimes/often makes it painful or problematic to use a backlit screen. Color and a temporary high refresh rate in “burst” mode would significantly improve the use of an e-ink device for web surfing, notetaking/highlighting, and typing in word processors, among other things. If the price could be brought low enough, the device’s “high refresh on AC” limitation and lack of backlight could additionally make it attractive to people (or parents/teachers of kids) that are easily distracted by the temptations a tablet can bring.

  • Ingo Lembcke, Hamburg

    While I would like a high-res and fast e-ink, I do not need colour.
    Even then, I am also not impressed, having seen demo videos for some time now.
    A real device with an attached price and a date when it can be bought is needed.
    Next year I will probably look for something like the Kindle Paperwhite but preferably with Android (Sony? Are you still around?).
    If HD E-Ink-Colour for a reasonable price appears suddenly, I will consider that, but I won’t hold my breath.

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