An 18-inch ePaper display is at the heart of every BluBoard.
We’re not the first ones to use this technology: if you’ve used an Amazon Kindle e-reader or a Pebble smartwatch, you’re already familiar with ePaper.
While a monochromatic screen may seem like an odd choice for digital signage, we believe that it’s a better choice than traditional TV-style displays. To understand why, take a look at the technology.
ePaper displays were designed from the ground up to mimic the appearance of ink on paper. In the world of display technology, traditional printing still has its strengths: as a reflective type of display, black ink on white paper has a high contrast and a large viewing angle, especially when compared to TV-style LCD screens. Practically, this translates to a more “readable” display that has fewer issues with contrast and glare.
BluBoard uses a type of ePaper known as a Cholesteric Liquid Crystal Display. This type of display, known as a ChLCD, manipulates thin layers of liquid crystal to produce a coherent image that is seen via reflection rather than the projection process of traditional, backlit displays. This gives ChLCDs readability comparable to ink on paper.
And, while other types of ePaper displays can have afterimage problems (known as “ghosting,”) ChLCDs avoid this issue by manipulating entire layers of liquid crystal instead of small microcapsules.
ePaper has other advantages. Our ChLCD’s low power consumption means that a BluBoard can run for up to two weeks on a full charge. If you’re in a hurry, our quick charge technology allows a full day’s usage on a 90-minute charge. And BluBoard’s low temperature sensitivity makes it perfect for outdoor applications — where glare won’t be an issue, even in the brightest sunlight.
So, what’s stopping ePaper from dominating the display market? The technology does have a few disadvantages compared to a traditional LCD screen. ePaper displays have a very low refresh rate; practically speaking, ePaper can’t “draw” images fast enough to display video content, and even rapid scrolling can push the limits of the display. Additionally, full-color ePaper displays are very costly, limiting commercial usage to monochromatic screens.
One of the biggest movements in ePaper technology is toward thinner screens — flexible displays are in the future, as are less-expensive color displays, roll-based manufacturing, and faster refresh times to help ePaper keep up with LCD competition.
In short, BluBoard’s ePaper display is perfectly suited to replace traditional paper signage. And we’re ready to put The World’s Most Adaptable Digital Display to work.