Refreshing news! E-ink is improving.

E-ink is the display technology that drives ereaders such as the Kindle Keyboard or Kobo Touch. As with display technologies before it, e-ink‘s full potential has yet to be realised. Nate Hoffelder reports on a hack of Barnes and Noble’s Nook Touch ereader that dramatically increases its refresh rate .

Interaction with information that doesn’t happen in real-time is a terrible jolt to the user experience. We experience this frustration when web pages load slowly, video stutters, Google Earth view lags…

Even for non internet-based products, such as head-mounted displays for virtual reality or a PC application that’s just taking an age to respond, this delayed response thoroughly confounds us.

If you’re familiar with e-ink displays, you’ll know their limitations are related to their refresh rate. The video you see demonstrates a step closer to real-time interaction with e-ink displays. Since colour e-ink displays are being produced, this leads to the possibility of low-power, durable and sun-friendly displays that have the capabilities we expect from media tablets: touch interaction, responsive applications and video.

Maybe I’m making too much of a deal of a hack. Yet, I’m excited about low-power technology (anyone living in South Africa during Eskom’s “load shedding” debacle can attest to this!).

 

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