Electronic ink is a very interesting technology. Although it has been with us for a long time and its advantages when it comes to saving energy, it has never finished taking off for two important limitations: color and its refresh time. The first of the limitations is less and less limitation and E Ink has a new panel that demonstrates that.
Under the name of Kaleido Plus, E Ink’s new color e-ink panel brings display and performance improvements. E Ink provides electronic ink panels to most manufacturers and where it has been innovating the most in recent years is in color panels. Panels ideal for reading comics or other content that goes beyond simple text.
As indicated, the new panels can display up to 4,096 colors and 16 hues in grayscale. This is actually the same number of colors as its previous generation, but it promises to be more saturated colors than before. For this, the color electronic ink has been placed in a different way on the panel so that it is closer to the final layer and that the dispersion of light is less.
E Ink says that they have also managed to do panels larger in size than those they currently have with the first generation of Kaleido. Still, they are limiting end-product panels to six inches for now.
Finally they say that now transitions are faster than before, obviously without having the screen refreshment of an LCD or OLED panel. There is not such a big soft drink, but at the same time the panel is able to consume only a fraction of the energy that an LCD screen or an OLED screen consumes.
Electronic ink in consumer devices
We will most likely see these new Kaleido Plus panels in e-book readers. PocketBook is one of the companies that has bet more on them to allow the reading of comics. But these panels can also be really useful on devices that are more interactive, such as the reMarkable 2 or a notepad.
Electronic ink has enormous potential in devices where it is required to display constant and (almost) static information. This is because it requires hardly any refreshment and does not consume any energy as long as it does not have to change the information it displays. Hence, e-book readers have autonomy of several weeks or there are tablets with electronic ink panels that do not even have a battery.