Are you ready to strap some E-Ink on your wrist? No I’m not talking about some electronic tattoo, but rather a wrist watch that features a display similar to those found in e-readers.What is an E-Ink watch? Well, put simply, it is the coolest thing Santa can bring you this Christmas!.

The E-Ink watch is based on a rapidly maturing technology developed by the E-Ink Corporation, generically known as Electronic Paper Display (EPD). It is now seeing MASSIVE adoption in ebook readers such as the Amazon Kindle.
And now, we are going to see it take off in leaps and bounds in all the other areas of consumer electronics, including E-Ink watches!

The E Ink Corporation was originally spun off from an MIT project which had promising commercial potential. E Ink paper began to be commercially viable by about 2005, when Seiko presented the first E Ink watch, appropriately called Future Now, which won a design prize in autumn 2006 too.
E-Ink Watch Guide

E-ink technology is generally well known for its use in electronic book readers such as the Kindle or Sony Reader and e-ink watches use this technology in their displays.
E-ink uses very little power to provide a high contrast display, twice the contrast of LCD displays in fact, the display can also be viewed from a much greater angle almost 180 degrees, unlike similar displays such as LCD or LED. Its called E-ink because the high contrast legibility makes it similar to paper.
E-ink displays are also thin and flexible and can be of virtually any size and shape which gives watch manufacturers the opportunity to come up with some unique designs.

2005 Seiko released a prototype of the first E-ink watch , called the Spectrum. It was a very unique watch as you can see, with a bracelet style design aimed at women.

In 2007 they released another version of the Spectrum which had a limited production of 1000 watches. According to Seiko it has two different display modes, one called “efficiency” which displayed the time in a regular way and another called “mystery” mode which dispalys the time in a more imaginative way (shown in the image below) It can also reverse its display from white on black to black on white at the touch of a button has an almost 360 degree display which is encased in sapphire crystal, it weighs 80g and is 6.9mm thick.

Other manufacturers making e-ink watches are Phosphor and O.D.M

Phosphor has three main designs. One that simply shows the time in Digital format, called the ‘E-Ink Digital Hour Clock’ watch. An analog display watch, the ‘Ani-Digi‘ and one that has a calender display as well called the ‘E Ink Digital Calendar Watch ‘ they all come with a choice of Stainless steel or Leather straps.

What is E-Ink??

Electronic Ink is a paperlike display used primarily in eBook readers such as Amazon’s Kindle.Initial research for E Ink was started at MIT’s Media Lab. The rights to the proprietary technology is owned by the E Ink Corporation, which was acquired by Taiwanese company Prime View International.

E Ink technology works by using tiny microcapsules that are suspended in liquid placed within a film-like layer. The microcapsules, which are about the same width as human hair, contain both positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles.

Applying a negative electrical field causes the white particles to come to the surface. Conversely, applying a positive electrical field causes the black particles to come to the surface. By applying different fields at various parts of a screen, E Ink can produce a text display.

E Ink displays are especially popular due to their resemblance to printed paper. Besides being considered by many as easier on the eyes, E Ink also boasts lower power consumption, particularly when compared to traditional backlit liquid crystal display (LCD) screens. These advantages, along with adoption by major eReader manufacturers such as Amazon and Sony, have caused E Ink to dominate the eBook reader display market.

Active Matrix EPD Watch

Unlike other e-ink watches, the Seiko EPD watch uses an active matrix display. This allows the screen to refresh itself “actively,” as is necessary in e-ink watches. While the company’s first ‘E-Ink’ watch had an Electrophoretic Display (EPD) display made of a few hundred pre-set segments, the latest has 80,000 pixels, each capable of displaying in one of four grey scale shades rather than just in black-and-white.

Active matrix displays (if you’re using a laptop, you are probably staring at one of these right now) use a Thin Film Transistor (TFT) array to control the electrical signals being sent to the display. Seiko has developed a low energy IC to control the TFT which it says requires just 1/100th of the power needed to run a same sized display using current e-Book technology.

How does it work?

Seiko has successfully integrated the high resolution active matrix E-Ink screen technology in its watch. Following are the three highlights of its efficient functioning:

Great display: This non-analog quartz timepiece doesn’t have a name yet, but the term EPD in its present name stands for “Electrophoretic Display”. It is the preferred method of using E-Ink technology. You are gifted with an easy-to-read screen with a clear display.

Battery not required: The active matrix display in the Seiko EPD watch allows the screen to refresh itself “actively”. This facilitates in displaying information on the screen without draining the battery. If you change the display it is then that the battery is used. Moreover, this exquisite digital watch is powered through a solar cell!

Always accurate time: Seiko Active Matrix EPD watch is radio controlled. It receives local time from the nearest atomic clock. Accurate time is guaranteed for you if you select Seiko’s watch over the analog one.

Source:uniquewatchguide.com,seikowatches.com

Posted By

Sumanth

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