For the record, Modos is just the EI2030 group wearing Groucho Marx glasses. I’m kind of surprised that they’d seek VC funding.
It also seems the EI2030 Git repos and Twitter account went idle in spring 2021. Maybe stealth in prep for getting funding? Or Modos picking up where EI2030 stopped?
I love the idea of an E-Ink laptop. I only hope it has a backlight as well.
I was really hoping that the line of research of layered displays that produced the OLPC display would give me an eInk display under an OLED. I’d love to be able to use a colour eInk layer (which draws power only on change) for everything that’s static and then OLED (which draws power only when lit) for videos on top and possibly a mouse cursor (a glowing cursor on a matte screen would be very easy to find!).
Having a backlight in a pinch is a good idea, but if you use it regularly during standard usage then it wrecks battery life and defeats the point of having a passive display.
The problem isn’t the feature itself, but that people tend to assume that if a device has a feature built in, it’s meant to be used.
I have a backlight on my Kobo reader that is permanently on, but I set it close to the minimum for reading in a pitch-black room. It also happens to help in low-light conditions. Battery life is still quite long. I’d say at least 48 hours, not counting the time it stays asleep (total time between two recharges is measured in weeks).
From this one data point, I guess a backlight is unlikely to be the most power hungry thing on a laptop.
My experience (Kobo Clara HD) is the same. When I moved from an early-generation Kobo Touch with no frontlight to the Clara, I thought I’d have to turn the frontlight off during the day to get the kind of battery life I was used to. But instead, I keep it turned on, usually around 10-25% brightness, and get similar battery life (a couple weeks of normal usage). The frontlight also improves the contrast even in a well-lit room.
I find that it is easier on my eyes so for me it makes sense and doesn’t defeat the purpose. That said I only use the backlight in the evenings, anyhow.
The meat of this link is their recent update https://www.modos.tech/blog/get-involved-with-modos calling for 50000 survey signups and a demo video of monochrome (not grayscale) mode eink operating at high refresh: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ds38T8wVuDg
I’m glad I watched the video demo. I didn’t realize that E-ink could refresh so quickly, that was very impressive, even if it’s only monochrome instead of grayscale.
Not actually made of paper, headline is misleading :/