E Ink Corporation
|Founder||J.D. Albert, Barrett Comiskey, Joseph Jacobson, Jerome Rubin and Russ Wilcox|
E Ink Corporation (E Ink) is a privately held manufacturer of electrophoretic displays (EPDs), a kind of electronic paper. E Ink is located in Billerica, Massachusetts, and was co-founded in 1997 by undergraduates J.D. Albert & Barrett Comiskey, Joseph Jacobson (professor in the MIT Media Lab), Jerome Rubin (LexisNexis co-founder) and Russ Wilcox. Two years later, E Ink partnered with Philips to develop and market the technology. Jacobson and Comiskey are listed as inventors on the original patent filed in 1996. Albert, Comiskey and Jacobsen were inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame in May 2016. In 2005, Philips sold the electronic paper business as well as its related patents to Prime View International (PVI).
E Ink has since partnered with various companies, including Sony, Motorola and Amazon, to allow for the development of products like the Sony Reader, MOTOFONE F3, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kindle and Kobo eReader, which all utilize E Ink displays.
Applications of E Ink displays also include electronic pricing labels in retail stores, digital luggage tags, wayfinding solutions at bus stations and digital kiosks and architectural design elements.
On June 1, 2009, E Ink announced an agreement to be purchased by one of its primary business partners, PVI, a Hsinchu, Taiwan-based manufacturer, for over $400 million. It is predicted that the acquisition will speed the development of color E Ink. PVI renamed itself E Ink Holdings Inc. after the purchase. In December 2012, E Ink acquired SiPix, a rival electrophoretic display company.
E Ink's "Vizplex" technology is used by Nook, Kindle 2, txtr Beagle and Kobo Mini. E Ink's "Pearl" technology is claimed to have a 50% better contrast ratio. It is used by 2011-2012 Kindle models, Barnes & Noble Nook Simple Touch, Kobo Touch and Sony PRS-T1. E Ink's "Carta" technology is used by Kindle Paperwhite (2nd and 3rd generation), Kindle Voyage, Kobo Glo HD, Kobo Aura H2O and Kindle Oasis. At SID Display Week in May 2016, E Ink announced Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP), a high quality, full color reflective display capable of displaying up to 32,000 colors. It is expected for commercial production in the next two years.
The E Ink logo was designed by Andre Hsieh and was created to represent the cultural legacy passed on by technology. Sharing his thought process on the design, Hsieh says, “The E Ink drop symbolizes the merging of the traditional qualities of printed text with the precision of electronic media. The combination of upper and lowercase letters shows our natural reading habits and the human touch of technology.”
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- US filing date 25-Oct-1996 5930026, Joseph Jacobson, Barrett Comiskey, "Nonemissive displays and piezoelectric power supplies therefor"
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- Official Site of E Ink