New-Gen E Ink Displays Feature More Saturated, Vivid Colors, Adds Flashing Sparkle Feature

April 6, 2023 by Dave Haynes

E-paper manufacturer E Ink has launched a new generation of its Spectra color displays that it says delivers more vivid, saturated visuals and includes the ability to draw consumer eyes by flashing elements of the otherwise static on-screen images.

Spectra 6 – which I assume means this is the sixth generation – “builds upon the prior generations of the Spectra platform and has been engineered to provide a truly print quality replacement for any paper sign, including POP displays, signage and posters and other in-store advertising. E Ink Spectra 6 features an enhanced color spectrum and an advanced color imaging algorithm to provide full color to improve marketing and advertising performance.”

The tech will be shown at trade shows this spring but won’t be available until 2024.

The PR adds:

E Ink Spectra 6 will be optimized for up to 200 pixels per inch (PPI), depending on panel size, a typical contrast ratio of 30:1 and an operating range of 0-50 degrees Celsius. E Ink Spectra 6 will be offered in a variety of display sizes, allowing customers to choose a suitable size for different application scenarios. E Ink Spectra 6 can also create a partial image flashing effect, E Ink Sparkle, which enhances the effect of advertising messages through motion, and helps advertisers achieve better results for their product promotions. E Ink Spectra 6 display modules are planned for release in 2024.

E Ink will be showcasing Spectra 6 in Touch Taiwan from April 19-21, 2022, in E Ink’s booth, #M901 at the Taipei Nangang Exhibition Center, and during Display Week from May 23-25 in E Ink’s booth #807 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“We are very excited to announce this revolutionary new color platform, E Ink Spectra 6,” says Johnson Lee, CEO of E Ink. “Spectra 6 represents years of continuing research and development to improve our technology and will bring the power of full, vivid color to advertising installations, while maintaining E Ink’s signature low-power features that allow our customers to meet their sustainability goals.”

Digital transformation has driven retailers to accelerate the adoption of digital signage. E Ink reviewed the CO2 emissions effects of using paper versus LCD screens versus ePaper displays. In using a model of 10-inch displays, with 30 million of the tags deployed, an E Ink ePaper display is approximately 12,000 times more efficient in terms of kilograms of CO2 emission than LCD screens, and approximately 60,000 times more efficient in terms of kilograms of CO2 emission than using paper. In short, using low-power E Ink displays can enable retailers and advertisers the ability to reach their sustainability goals, while still providing timely updates seamlessly.

These color e-paper displays have come a long way, but then again they’ve been out in different generations for probably a decade or more. The first ones I saw, years ago in Taiwan, had very muted colors because of a filter. That’s obviously been sorted out and the sample image up top suggests this iteration can rival conventional flat panel displays for static visuals. An important reminder that this kind of tech does not support video.

I think the flashing thing is interesting and would indeed draw shopper eyes. E-paper displays tend to look like they are having medical episodes as they flash crazily when visuals change, but this “Sparkle” feature is controlled and deliberate.

This video – read by a deadpanning guy who has no future in narration – shows the flashing mode at about 2 minutes in.

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