Despite competition from tablets boasting full-colour LCD displays, devices that use black and white electronic paper, like Amazon’s Kindle, have remained popular. And now that E Ink has created the first full-colour electronic paper, e-readers have found yet another way to remain relevant.
The company’s new Advanced Colour ePaper — or ACeP, for short — isn’t the first electronic paper display to incorporate colour. Devices like the Pebble Time have been using colour ePaper displays for a while, although with a limited number of tints.
Previous versions of the technology also rely on coloured filters over a monochromatic display, which reduced resolution and affected the vibrance and legibility of the displays unless used in bright light. But by using various colour pigments in the tiny microcapsules that make up an ePaper display, specific colours can be recreated for every pixel in a display, instead of red, green and blue sitting side-by-side.
All eight primary colours can be reproduced on the ACeP displays, and resolutions of up to 150 pixels per inch — comparable to the Kindle DX from a few years ago — can be achieved. The new colour E Ink displays will be just as low-power as their monochromatic equivalents, and just as legible, even in low-light conditions. Eventually your Kindle could replace your iPad as your go-to for reading full-colour digital magazines, although there’s no timeline for when the new colour ACeP technology will be rolled out to consumers.