E Ink is an electronic device that is similar to a computer display, but with qualities that enable it to be used for applications such as eBooks, electronic newspapers, portable signs, and foldable, rollable displays. E Ink Corp. (a Cambridge, Massachusetts company) and Lucent are developing the device, which combines E Ink's electronic ink with Lucent's flexible transistors. Prototypes have featured 25-inch display areas involving several hundred pixels. Although the new technology's more complex applications - such as electronic newspapers and improved e-books that are very similar to traditional books - are likely still at least 10 years in the future, E Ink is currently being tried for simpler applications, such as retail signage.
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
The E Ink prototypes combine thin, plastic transistors with polymer LEDs (light-emitting diodes) to create what are called smart pixels. The process involved - which is not dissimilar to traditional printing processes - uses silicon rubber stamps to actually print tiny computer circuits onto the surface. The electronic ink used is a liquid substance consisting of millions of tiny capsules floating in a substance like vegetable oil. The capsules, which are filled with a dark dye, contain negatively charged white chips that move either up or down within the capsules in response to a positive charge applied to the medium's surface. Information to be displayed is downloaded through a connection to a computer or a cell phone, or created with mechanical tools such as an electronic "pencil," and remains fixed until another charge is applied to change it. The devices use very low power: according to a spokesperson, prototypes of the device have been running on watch batteries.
Xerox, in partnership with 3M is working on a competing technology, called Gyricon.
Continue Reading About E Ink (eInk)
- MicroMedia provides video clips about microencapsulated pixels and a reversible paper from their "Electronic Paper Project."