Color E Ink coming at the end of the year

In an interview with Xconomy.com, the new head of E Ink talks about the company's plans to launch color displays at the end of this year. T.H. Peng, executive vice president of E Ink's parent company, Prime View International, admitted to Xconomy that in terms of quality color E Ink won't be ready to go head-to-head with LCD anytime soon.

"Our color quality will not be as good as LCD, initially," Peng told Xconomy. "But we have already received very encouraging signs from a few customers that they want to launch our color e-paper product by the end of this year or the beginning of 2011."

Peng went on to insist that E Ink's color capabilities compare favorably with that of newsprint—a bar that Peng himself admits is substantially lower than that of glossy magazines.

I actually got a glimpse of a color E Ink prototype at this past CES, and I will admit that I wasn't too impressed. Color saturation and contrast were very low, and it was fairly hard to tell the different colors apart. But the Skiff spokesperson who had the demo mentioned that it represented only one of a number of possible methods for bringing color to E Ink, and this fits with what Peng says in the interview.

Right now, E Ink is staffing up in R&D and is exploring a range of options for bringing color to E Ink screens. It's likely that the company will iterate through a number of approaches in the coming years as it pursues its goal of getting E Ink closer to full-color printing.

While E Ink explores its color options, competing approaches aren't standing still. I didn't care for the Mirasol demo that I saw at Qualcomm's CES booth, but the company claims that it has a newer, much improved version of the MEMs-based technology that looks significantly better. I was supposed to get a demo of the new Mirasol tech last week, but I wasn't able to go. We've rescheduled, though, so look for a report next month.

Source: ars technica

Tags: E Ink

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