In this article:
- What is E-ink Technology ?
- How Does E-Ink Work ?
- What are the key features of E Ink Technology?
- How do E Ink Solutions compare to using LCDs or paper?
- What are the benefits of E-Inks Digital Paper Display Solutions?
- What Applications are suitable for E-Ink Technology ?
What is E-ink Technology ?
Electronic ink technology produces a low-power, paper-like display.
Initial research on e-ink started at the MIT Media Lab, where the first such patent was filed in 1996. The rights to the technology are currently owned by the Massachusetts-based E Ink Corporation, which was acquired by Taiwanese company Prime View International in 2009.
How Does E-Ink Work ?
With e-ink technology, tiny microcapsules are suspended in a liquid that is encased within a film layer. The microcapsules, roughly the width of a human hair, contain positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles.
Applying a negative electrical field causes the white particles to rise to the surface. Conversely, applying a positive electrical field causes the black particles to rise to the surface. By applying different fields at different parts of a screen, e-ink produces a monochromatic text display.
What are the key features of E Ink Technology?
- High Performance - E Ink technology is powered by Intel x86 platform, offering high performance (the performance on x86 platform is better than nowadays EPD products).
- Low Power Consumption - One of the main features of this technology is its low power consumption, EPD (Electronic Paper Display) technology is very energy efficient with high sustainability as information always stays on the screen even when powered down.
- Comfortable display experience – With an ultra-wide viewing angle, the sunlight readable paper-like display is eye friendly without Blu-ray.
- Windows/Android support – E Ink Technology comes with Windows 10 IoT and x86 Android 8.1, API/ Sample code/test tool complete support.
- Multi-Appearance design – The E Ink solutions contain a flat front panel with an optional open frame or front bezel. The slim and lightweight structure makes them easy to install and implement.
- Flexible Function – Finally, the E Ink solutions integrate an optional P-CAP touch and front light module alongside LAN/Wi-Fi/LTE for flexible function.
How do E Ink Solutions compare to using LCDs or paper?
Compared to LCDs, E Ink solutions offer a paper-like reading experience where no backlight is needed, which is perfect for sunlight-readable applications. In addition, compared to LCD, the E Ink solutions use ultra-low power consumption with information on the screen even after removing the power source, whilst also easier to install and implement.
E Ink technology allows you to digitise traditional content with automatic updates whilst managing and scheduling through a backend service which is all time efficient – ultimately allowing saving on labour costs alongside purchasing costs due to the reusability of the solutions. These solutions also support multiple modes by refreshing the screen.
What are the benefits of E-Inks Digital Paper Display Solutions?
- No Light pollution
- Adopt E-Ink Technology
- Digital workflow with mobility
- Green products, energy saving
- Easy and low-cost installation
- Low requirement for data bandwidth
- As a gateway to communicate with Health Information Services
- Displays inpatients information or status in real-time
- Low power consumption – can be powered by batteries/PoE
- Connect to HER/EMR to show HIPAA compliant, “always-on” information
What Applications are suitable for E-Ink Technology ?
The E Ink technology can be beneficial for many industries. For example, in the Healthcare Sector these solutions can be used to help connect patients and hospitals by providing patients with accurate and real-time information, including treatment reminders, pain management, meals and allergy alert and medical team contacts, providing greater peace of mind. The patients can also use it to send feedback and complete surveys. The hospital will benefit from increased nurse productivity, reduced errors and operation costs, ultimately achieving higher patient satisfaction.
Healthcare Sector uses:
Inpatient satisfaction survey (Inspection/Physical Examination)
- Schedule reminder
- Medication/Pill reminder
- Show the name of medical staff
- Impatient safety: real-time alert
- Regular ward check report
- Medication check report
- Guide for specialised care/treatment
- Look over inpatient information quickly
Another application scenario, is E Ink solutions used in the retail sector to display a menu, price , etc, whilst keeping it updated via Wi-Fi/LAN/LTE.
Key Advantages of using E-Ink technology within Retail Sector:
- Easy to use and maintain
- Cost Efficient
- Portable with powerbank
- Info always on even when powered down
Finally, for the Outdoor Digital Signage sector, it is essential for solutions to be sunlight readable, which E Ink solutions are perfect for due to their paper-like aesthetic.
The technology can include Wi-Fi/LTE modules, offering optional wireless connection function, often used in outdoor areas to connect to a server for updating information.
Additionally, these products allow for easy installation and due to the low power consumption and power source option, such as battery or solar-cell, eco-friendly.