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E-ink Debuts Spectra 3 Color Display – Not Ready For eReaders

May 21st, 2013 by · 6 Comments · conferences & trade shows, hardware news, video

spectra_img_052113[1]E-ink has managed to be the most exciting and biggest letdown at SID Display Week this year.

They’ve just unveiled a new screen tech that promises to offer the sharp color that the Triton 2 color E-ink lacks in no less than 3 colors, but unfortunately it is also limited to exactly 3 colors.

The Spectra 3 Color Display is the second new shelf label tech that E-ink is showing off this year. It’s based in part on Sipix screen tech that E-ink bought last year, a detail which the following chart made clear and which was confirmed by E-ink’s reps.

e-ink spectra electronic shelf label 1

Click to enlarge

This is E-ink’s first practical example of a screen that uses more than simply black and white: it adds red to the mix. The screens I saw really were as red as the image at right, but sadly that is the only shade of red that this screen can show.

The downside to the Spectra screen tech (and the reason it’s only being offered as a shelf label) is that this screen can only show black, white, or red.

But what this screen tech cannot do is show pink, gray, or any shade in between. Spectra is no more and no less than a 3 color display, in much the same way that a Pearl E-ink screen is a 16 color display (16 shades of black, white, and gray).

Update: I’ve just come across an animated GIF that shows the red, black, and white ink capsules in action:

spectra_how_it_works[1]

While I’m sure that E-ink would like to develop a variation on this screen tech that could be used for ereaders, they were not willing to even guess when that might happen. But they did say that it will be available as a shelf label later this year with screen sizes measuring from 2″ to 6″.

So when you see this video, don’t get too excited over the fact that this 6″ screen has a resolution of 1024×758:

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