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    I’m a disappointed in the lack of e-ink ubiquity as I am in the fact we never got the flying noodle-bars promised by science fiction. I want walls of e-ink. That stuff should be everywhere.

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      I agree. There was a post here a month or so ago where someone had made a pretty large e-ink display to hang on his wall. The entire thing cost around 4k USD if I remember correctly. It’s stupid expensive for something that should be ubiquitous. Same goes for OLED displays. I really want to have rooms plastered in them to have cool effects on the walls. Patterns and videos and whatnot.

      And while we’re at it…. Where’s my flying cars?!

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        We do have hover bikes to be fair

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        Any one have an idea on what the barriers for e-ink are? Is it the low refresh rate preventing it from wider use and subsequent economies of scale? Or is there some other issue?

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          remarkable made an e-ink drawing/reading tablet with amazing responsiveness and fair price. I consider them a fairly small company, so it is really possible to make a wide spread product based on e-ink.

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            Mostly patents I think. Those that can afford to license them are mostly interested in selling commercial signage. It’s definitely not the refresh rate, the use-cases where refresh rates really matter are always going to be better suited to emissive displays, e-ink has value because it keeps state.

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              IIRC there is one company who really designs and makes on e-ink panels which might be a problem…

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                +1 e-ink (the company) appears to have a monopoly on the technology via patents, though that could change in the future if competition authorities decide that the patent is harmful to consumer welfare (see this link).

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                That’s the main problem, yeah. It’s lovely for things which don’t update very often but you have to think very carefully about your UI to make anything work.

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                  It’s certainly possible as remarkable did, e-ink has a partial refresh feature so if you are clever enough you don’t have to do a full panel refresh. It certainly costs more effort but ereaders have already proven that it can work

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              I remember being optimistic regarding e-ink a decade ago. I was expecting open hardware book readers to pop up left and right.

              Fast forward to today, not even one, and thus I still do not have any e-ink reader despite being ready to buy one.

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                That’s not true, there is actually an open hardware book reader and I’ve been to plenty of hacker camps with eink badges such as SHA2017

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                    It doesn’t seem to be made for the purpose, but it looks pretty useful for else, regardless.

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                    Eink badges (and small such eink screens, I own a few) I was aware of.

                    The open book, on the other hand, I had not heard about. From the link, it does look quite recent. And it fortunately is not Linux-based.

                    Thank you, I’ll investigate. I’m a little happier now that I am aware :-)

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                  A neat little project. I had no idea you could get real E-ink displays so cheap. Too bad it’s only one bit per channel so you can’t really smoothen out the fonts.

                  One thing that jumped out at me were those depressing headlines. Maybe some funny Twitter feed would make it more positive? Could make a big difference if you end up checking it out every morning.

                  Anyway, thanks for the writeup and showing us how the Python library works with the display. You made it all sound straightforward and now I want an E-ink screen of my own.

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                    “Ghosting”? That’s something on CRTs. An e-ink display is doing precisely no work while a static image is displayed — that’s part of what makes it cool — so I don’t see how there could be any burn-in. My Kindle leaves the same wallpaper picture on its screen for weeks or months while it’s turned off, with no damage I can see.

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                      Ghosting on eink is the same effect but a different cause. Usually eink screens have two modes of operating: there is normal mode in which to change the screen all “pixels” are refreshed and fast mode (aka A2 mode) in which only the affected pixels are changed.

                      The problems in fast mode is that it is not that “precise”, it does refreshes the screen faster but it tends to leave artifacts in place. That is why in many ereaders you have settings such as “full refresh every 5 pages” or similar. This way it can remain in fast mode and do a full refresh once in a while to erase those artifacts.

                      This leads to another problem, which is that there is no good FOSS eink waveform available, those blobs are tightly guarded secrets. IIRC most devs are working with waveforms adapted from a kindle source dump (or that was the case many many years ago). Because of the lack of an open source waveform to use, many of the hobby eink projects lack the tools necessary to provide a better display experience.

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                        Have you got a better description for the effect where, on an e-ink display, a picture doesn’t entirely get replaced and you can see a “ghost” of the old one? It doesn’t have quite the same cause as CRT ghosting, and it has less to do with how long an image is left on there and more to do with how many times you’ve refreshed the page, but I’ve seen it on my old e-ink-based Nook Simple Touch.

                        The Nook seems to have a process where it flashes the screen full-black and then full-white, in order to remove the ghosting, but unless it does that, I can still see the old image. It doesn’t seem to be damage, just a tradeoff between properly clearing the image and quickly changing.

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                          I’ve had the same experience as you with other e-ink screens. I found this on the FAQ.

                          Question: Why my e-paper has ghosting problem after working for some days

                          Answer: Please set the e-paper to sleep mode or disconnect it if you needn’t refresh the e-paper but need to power on your development board or Raspberry Pi for long time.Otherwise, the voltage of panel keeps high and it will damage the panel

                          So I decided to play it safe.

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                          What version/model of the Raspberry Pi are you using?

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                            Model    : 3 Model B
                            Memory   : 1 GB
                            Overvolt : No
                            Released : Q1 2016
                            Notes    : (Mfg by Sony)
                            
                            Raspbian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch)
                            
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                            This is a nice use of E-Ink!

                            I think there is something wrong with the rendering because the image the panel ships with is nice but the font that is rendered looks mangled pretty badly.

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                              You’re right!

                              I used the font that came packaged with the examples which didn’t like being resized. I ignored it for now to ship a prototype.