How difficult is it to make an e-ink screen with color support? It seems so: we have been immersed in the world of e-book readers with monochrome electronic ink screens for more than 20 years, but this technology does not just offer that demanded color option.
There have already been notable attempts to come up with a solution, but the most promising is possibly ACeP (Advanced Color ePaper), a new development from E Ink that promises much more vivid colors and all the advantages of electronic ink in terms of efficiency.
The promise: goodbye to pale colors
This company has been working on projects that offer this type of screen for some time. E Ink Kaleido has been one of the first great approaches to this technology, and in fact it is available in devices like the PocketBook Color, but now those responsible for this firm are preparing an even better option.
It’s about the second generation of Advanced Color ePaper or ACeP technology, an alternative to Kaleido (in its two generations) and which is already being evaluated by some manufacturers of e-book readers.
The first generation of ACeP was more geared towards digital signature devices, but now the approach is totally different And the idea is to apply these color e-ink displays to e-book readers.
In E Ink they seem to have solved the limitations of that first generation, which had very long refreshment times and forced thick and heavy products. With the new version of ACeP it is possible to offer a full color gamut through the use of colored pigments.
A single layer of electrophoretic fluid is used, and the application of color is higher than that achieved with CFA (Color Filter Array) panels. In addition, attenuation by light is eliminated, which it caused those pale colors of the first e-book readers with a color screen.
This type of reader could therefore be a perfect choice for lovers of comics and graphic novels, a format that continues to resist reaching e-book readers precisely because it does not have support for color.
These displays are expected to be capable of displaying up to 32,000 colors with a density of 200 or 300 pixels per inch depending on the size of the screen.
The first products will still be late in arriving, however: the technology will be refined throughout 2021 and we may see the first commercial products with such displays in 2022. Of course, they will foreseeably be products with a high price due to this technological novelty.