E Ink newspapers ready to roll
By Barry Collins
Posted on 20 Feb 2009 at 07:55
NEC is preparing to launch a 19.5in E Ink display that could pave the way for full-sized electronic newspapers.
Until now, E Ink screens have been largely contained to pocket-sized eBook readers, such as Amazon's Kindle and the Sony Reader. However, NEC's super-sized display brings the technology to a host of new potential formats, including broadsheet newspapers that are displayed in the same way as their printed counterparts.
The NEC prototype offers a resolution of 1,600 x 2,400 pixels - far higher than any monitor of that size - and can display 16 different shades of grey. NEC claims the E Ink display has a higher contrast ratio than traditional newsprint.
The page has a refresh time of between 400ms and two seconds, depending on the content that's displayed.
Newspapers aren't the only use that NEC plans to put the device to. The company claims the technology is also well suited to infrequently updated displays, such as train timetables, cinema listings and restaurant menus.
Because the E Ink displays only require power to refresh the page, they could be kept running with the minimum of electricity, and would save on the cost and inconvenience of printed materials.
NEC has a fully working prototype of the display, but the company hasn't confirmed when it will be released or how much it would cost.
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