Despite competition from tablets boasting full-color 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-color electronic paper, e-readers have found yet another way to remain relevant.
The company’s new Advanced Color ePaper—or ACeP, for short—isn’t the first electronic paper display to incorporate color. Devices like the Pebble Time have been using color ePaper displays for a while, although with a limited number of tints.
Previous versions of the technology also rely on colored 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 color pigments in the tiny microcapsules that make up an ePaper display, specific colors can be recreated for every pixel in a display, instead of red, green, and blue sitting side-by-side.
All eight primary colors 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 color 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-color digital magazines, although there’s no timeline for when the new color ACeP technology will be rolled out to consumers.