Plextek aims to make drones invisible by covering them with E Ink panels

UK-based Plextek Consulting is developing E Ink based panels to cover drones with an aim to make them invisible. Plextek is using 8 inch by 10 inch E Ink panels that are monochrome and lightweight (probably flexible panels). The panels can change their pattern and design and by adding a camera can help camouflage the drone.

Plextek actually wanted to cover military vehicles, but this was too difficult and they switched to drones. Making military vehicles and aircraft invisible using flexible displays is an old idea - I remember the US military playing around with flexible OLEDs back in 1998 or so.

E Ink like panels to enable smart windows that dynamically change their opacity and color temperature

Researchers from the University of Cincinnati, in collaboration with Merck and HP are developing low-cost large films that can be used to create smart windows that can dynamically adapt for brightness, color temperatures and opacity.

The so-called electro-kinetic pixel technology is based on the electrophoretic principle - the same one used in E Ink panels. The researchers are developing a way to create large-sized sheets of those pixels at low cost.

E Ink launches a new Spectra Yellow ePaper display

Two years ago, E Ink announced the Spectra e-paper panels that feature three pigments - black, white and red. Today the company announced an expansion of that product line to include the Spectra Yellow, which can show black, white or yellow colors.

The Spectra panels are aimed for electronic shelf label (ESL) retail applications. E Ink says that red and yellow are two of the most widely used colors relevant to in-store displays and signage. Spectra panels support both active-matrix and segmented format displays.

Bookeen and SunPartner co-develop a solar-powered e-reader

Bookeen and solar innovator SunPartner are developing an e-reader with a built-in solar panel. SunPartner's technology (called Wysips - What You See is Photovoltaic Surface) enables a transparent solar panel to be embedded in the display. This means that the device will charge when light is present - even while reading and you do not have to turn it over.

Most mobile devices use too much power to be actually solar charged, but with an e-reader this may work very well. Bookeen aims to release the solar-powered e-reader in 2016.

Phase-change materials could enable ultra-low-power color displays

Researchers at Oxford University developed a phase-change based display. These materials, the same materials used to make some rewrite-able DVD discs, may enable ultra-low-power (non-volatile) full-color displays with a much faster refresh rate compared to E Ink displays.

The researcher use small jolt of power to change the crystal structure of the material, which changes the way light bends when it hit it, and so it changes the color of the material. Light reflects of each of the layers in different ways, canceling some wavelengths and amplifying others—green and blue light might be eliminated, leaving red, for example. Varying the thickness of the layers, or the voltage applied to the phase change material, affects what colors each pixel in a display shows.

Qualcomm shows next-gen SMI-Mirasol displays with a higher color gamut and pixel density

Qualcomm unveiled their next-generation Mirasol displays that use a single mirrors to achieve a better color gamut than previous Mirasol displays. These new displays are called SMI (Single Mirror IMOD). Qualcomm showed prototype 5.1" , 2560x1440 (577 PPI) displays.

In SMI-IMOD displays, a single pixel can create all colors - there's no need for three different subpixels as in previous generation IMOD displays. An IMOD (Interferometric Modulator) display shows a color using a mirror film that changes its orientation to create a cavity that interferes with the light. An SMI-IMOD pixel has a mirror that change both its orientation and depth - which enables it to show all colors.

E Ink announced the thin-glass substrate based Fina display

E Ink announced a new thin and lightweight EPD technology branded E Ink Fina. The Fina uses a very thin glass substrate that enables it to be lighter and thinner than previous E Ink displays. They weigh less than 50% compared to glass-based LCDs and are less than 50% thick. A 13.3" Fina display weighs about 60 grams.

E Ink also announced the first e-reader to use the Fina, the PocketBook CAD reader. This 13.3" device sports a 1Ghz dual-core CPU, 2GB of RAM, 16 GB of storage, a large 8000 mAh battery, Wi-Fi, 3G and it runs Android 4.0.4. It includes a Wacom digitizer for both touch and stylus input.