Q&A with Sri Peruvemba, Visionect's new board member and E Ink veteran

Sri Peruvemba sketchVisionect recently appointed Sri Pervuemba to its board of directory. Sri is a long time display veteran and was E Ink's chief marketing manager for over 10 years. Sri is also a good friend and has been supporting E-Ink-Info from its launch. Sri was kind enough to answer a few questions we had regarding the e-paper market and Visionect's technology and platform.

But first, an official bio: Sri Peruvemba is the CEO of Marketer International. His 25 years of experience in the electronics industry include marketing LCD, CRT, TFEL, OLED, LED, Plasma and ePaper displays into the consumer, mobile, industrial, medical, signage and TV markets. He earned a BSEE, a MBA and a Post Graduate Diploma in Management. He was previously CMO for E Ink and also held senior level positions at Sharp Corp, TFS Inc., Planar Systems and Suntronic Technology. Peruvemba currently serves as Director on the Board of Visionect Inc., as well as on the board of the Society for Information Display(SID).

Technavio sees the e-paper market growing at a 39% CAGR

Market research firm Technavio says that the global e-paper market is expected to grow at a very fast rate of 39% CAGR.

E Ink Dev-Kits at SID 2016

The top three segments of the e-paper market, according to Technavio, are e-readers, mobile displays and public displays. E-readers are still the main e-paper display application, and E Ink itself also says that the market is finally set to start growing after years of decline and stagnation.

E Ink Holdings sees increase ESL and e-reader sales

E Ink Holdings reported its financial results for Q2 2017. E Ink's revenues were $121 million USD while profit totaled $31 million USD. EIH's gross margin increased from 35.1% in Q2 2016 to 39.5% in Q2 2017.

E Ink expects that electronic shelf labels sales will continue to grow in the rest of 2017. A report from China suggests that E Ink has orders from Amazon, the Alibaba Group and China-based jd.com. The same report also says that e-reader sales are expected to finally grow again as these readers are now entering the Chinese and Indian markets.

E Ink Holdings posts first operating profit in five years

E Ink Holdings reported its financial results for 2016, with the first operating profit in five years. The company was still profitable, due to royalty earnings, but now its operations are profitable too - in 2016 operating income was NT$61 million ($2 million USD).

The company's chairman says that the improvement stems from a better product mix, enhanced productivity - and the company's new asset-light policy and divestment from unprofitable business. E Ink quite the LCD market to focus on its e-paper technologies. New sales drivers are e-paper displays, electronic shelf labels and electronic signages. Demand from e-reader remains stable and E Ink actually expects annual growth in that market.

Kobo reports high demand for the Aura One

Canada-based Rakuten Kobo says that demand for its new 7.8" E Ink Aura One e-reader is very strong in Canada. The e-reader is "selling at a blistering pace in Canada" - and some locations have run out of stock.

Kobo Aura One photo

The Kobo Aura One is a large e-reader that sports a 7.8" 300 PPI E Ink display and is water resistant (IPX8, which means it can be submerged in 2 meters of water). Other features include a 1Ghz CPU and 512Mb of RAM. The Aura One weighs 230 grams and is only 6.9mm thick. The Aura One costs $229.

E Ink Holdings reports lower revenues and a loss in Q1 2016

E Ink Holdings reported its financial results for Q1 2016 - revenues were  NT$2.5 billion ($76.6 million USD) and the net loss was NT$272 million ($3.84 USD) - down from a net profit of NT$766 in Q4 2015 (but up from a loss of $1.23 billion in Q1 2015).

EIH says that its licensing revenues from Hydis FFS LCD technology is lower than it used to be because the display industry is shifting from LCD to OLED technologies.

Americans read more e-books, but e-reader ownership is dropping

According to a new report, e-reader ownership in the US is falling. 19% of adults in the US own a dedicated e-reader - down from 32% two years ago.

But people are still reading e-books - in fact a different report says that 27% of Americans have read an e-book in the past year up from 17% in 2011. This means that people are reading e-books, but not on dedicated e-readers but rather on other platforms (mostly tablets and smartphones, I guess).

GoodEReader wants to crowdfund the ultimate e-reader

The GoodEReader web site launched a $220,000 crowd funding campaign to develop the "ultimate e-reader". If successful, they will develop a 6" touch front-lit 1430x1080 E Ink Carta e-reader that features a 1Ghz CPU, 512MB RAM and 8GB of storage (plus a microSD slot). The e-reader will be based on an open Android 6 operation system. 

The ultimate e-reader concept

The Ultimate E-reader will cost $189.99. Together with the e-reader device, the project will also launch the first App Store designed specifically for E Ink devices. 

Kobo announces a waterproof E Ink e-reader

Kobo announced a new e-reader, the Aura H20 which is the world's first E Ink waterproof e-reader, as far as I know. This e-reader sports a 6.8" E Ink Carta display (265 PPI), and it will survive up to 30 minutes in water up to one meter deep.

The Aura H20 will cost $179 when it launches next month in the US, Canada and Europe.