updated 08:30 am EDT, Tue August 17, 2010
E-paper keyboards, watches on the way
Taiwan's E Ink has indicated that it is looking at expanding the uses for its electrophoretic e-paper display technology beyond e-readers. Possibilities for the wider use of the technology include keyboards, tags, watches, and advertising displays.
A key advantage of the technology is its low power consumption requirements, since it doesn't need a backlight and only uses power when it changes the screen. It's this characteristic that has attracted Samsung in applying the technology for use as a keypad on the Alias 2 and upcoming cellphones. Like other LCD capacitive screens that feature letters and symbols that can change according to needs, e-paper keyboards could also morph as necessary.
At present, E Ink's displays are most notably used in Amazon's Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook e-readers. The recently released Kindle DX and third-generation Kindle incorporates the latest generation of the technology, which has double the contrast ratio and faster refresh rates over previous iterations.
Other extensions also include the development of rugged displays that can be bent or crushed with no ill effects. Color displays are also currently in undergoing testing and are set for release in 2011.
E Ink has said that it will support companies seeking to apply EPD in different contexts. [via DigiTimes]