E-paper is evolving, although not as fast as other display technologies, but it is making its own leaps. The displays have gotten much better lately, even shipping with a backlight option on some devices. One area is still worked on: color. Well, Ricoh may have a solution for that!


Manufacturing color e-paper is still a problem, especially if you’re looking for a commercially viable solution, one to use on a popular e-reading device. Ricoh came up with a new color e-paper display, one with a totally unique concept behind it. The screen is transparent and it relies on an electrochromic material, that changes color from cyan to magenta and then to yellow. The electrochromic ability allows materials to change color when an electric current passes through them.

The charge only changes the color and there’s no need for extra power to maintain the color. Ricoh also tried to keep the solution thin and also tried not to use too many elements and electrodes, to keep it simpler. A single electrode driver should be enough for the display. The prototype shown recently is a 3.5 inch, 113.6 ppi one, that reaches a 35% color reproduction. Ricoh will also unveil 6 inch and 10 inch models, that could birth the future Kindle Fire screens or Nooks…