E ink and retina oLED screen would be the battery godsend - could such a screen exist

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by eish2306, Jan 23, 2015.

  1. eish2306 macrumors regular

    eish2306

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Location:
    Wales
  2. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
  3. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    #3
    I think Microsoft Band uses color eink? If that could do retina resolution, that would be great. I guess the technology isn't quite there yet.
     
  4. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    It's OLED.
     
  5. Exile714 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2015
    #5
    When it was first announced (2010?) the Notion Ink Adam Tablet hoped to have a hybrid E-Ink/LCD display. But it never came to pass.

    Of course, Apple DOES hold a patent on such technology: http://www.wired.com/2011/04/apple-patent-hybrid-display/

    But here's a funny question: would it improve Apple Watch battery life? How often do you look at a smart watch? Let's say you do it 1.5 hours a day (90 times, averaging 1 minute per look). The Apple Watch gets 3 hours of straight app usage, 2-3 days of standby, or 19 hours mixed use (1.5 hours use, 17.5 hours standby). So lets say of that 1.5 hours of average use time, the display eats half the battery and the processor eats the other half. That means in any given day, 90 minutes of display eats 25% of the battery.

    Now let's say you use E-Ink for half of that usage, and miraculously it uses 0% battery for that display. That's only 12.5% battery improvement. Of course E-Ink does use some power, as would whatever mechanism switches from one display to another.

    Of course, many people are simply upset that their watch won't show the time when they're not looking at it. It's an existential philosophy kind of problem, but let's say E-Ink was used to solve it. You would still need power to CHANGE the E-Ink display, even if it doesn't use power once it's changed. That would be a drain very second, or every minute.

    The problem (if it's actually a problem) with the Apple Watch is that it uses a power-hungry processor and does a lot of things. it's a trade off, but only time will tell if average consumers find that trade off worthwhile.
     
  6. Piggie macrumors 604

    Piggie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2010
    #6
    Well, it's up to other companies to make this stuff before Apple can use it.

    Samsung has shown off a colour, transparent computer screen.

    So, you could lay that, over the top of an E ink screen.

    So when its off you see the E ink all the time, but when it powered up the E ink went white and you saw the colour screen.

    So, yes, I think it's quite do-able now, in the lab.
     
  7. Mildredop macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    #7
    This is something I've only just worked out. Apple are seen by many as innovators, but do they really innovate? They're dependent on the true innovators like Sony, Philips, Samsung etc. to develop and create so Apple can then use.

    It's no surprise the Apple Watch's battery life is no better as they're using the same tech (if not worse tech, in fact) as all the other companies.
     
  8. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    Also E-Ink is horrible for color accuracy and reproduction. Pictures look like crap and no way to have realistic analog watch faces in color. Plus it is so slow it is unusable for any fast action. Apple is touting a 60Hz refresh rate on the :apple:Watch. E-Ink looks more like <10Hz.

    Definitely not worth it for such a small increases in Batt life. Apple wants the :apple:Watch to look great too. E-Ink would kill the look.
     
  9. Mr. Buzzcut macrumors 65816

    Mr. Buzzcut

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    I think some people recognize that the watch won't know when you are looking at it. Those who do may watch too much TV and movies. Most people don't utilize a contrived "gonna look at my watch now" movement as seen on TV so you know what they are doing. Instead, many will simple twist their wrist a bit, give their sleeve a little tug, bend their neck, etc. This reeks of SNL's "ok glass" skit. It will be interesting to watch for sure. :)

    ----------

    Apple integrates technology and UX, as I see it. They are pretty good at that. They do, however, do some of their own coding and hardware design. There are just areas where they simply don't have the knowledge and experience (and maybe patents) to dedicate resources to breakthroughs in those areas. All my layman's opinion, obviously.
     
  10. Rogifan macrumors P6

    Rogifan

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2011
    #10
    What is the worse technology being used in Watch?
     
  11. APlotdevice, Jan 23, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015

    APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    #11
    I remember those reports of a "hybrid eInk/LCD" display and laughing so hard... you can't hybridize eInk with LCD! Why not? Because, without going into too much detail, eInk is essentially "opaque". Thus it would block out all the light from the backlight. In actually the technology in question was just a new form of Transflective LCD, but since reporters had apparently forgotten that LCDs can be designed to use reflective light, and because eInk was all the rage back then, they erroneously called it a "hybrid" of the two.

    Now, all that said, in theory one could make a hybrid of eInk and OLED; Since OLED it self-emitting, and can be made transparent, it could actually be layered on top of an eInk display. The only problem I see would be the added thickness.
     
  12. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #12
    Speaking of dual displays...

    My 2011 WIMM Labs Android based smartwatch had a bi-modal transflective LCD display that was always on. Its modes were:

    1) A low power black & white reflective mode, which meant you could see the watch face of your choice at any time in sunlight or room light. It only updated once a minute, which saved power.

    2) A full color backlit mode when you stroked its touchscreen, to run apps or to see the time at night.

    wimm_bw_color.png

    I was a bit surprised that Apple went with a display that couldn't be always on. Watches that require a wrist motion seem to either turn on too often, or not enough.
     
  13. Tanegashima macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Location:
    Portugal
    #13
    Apple Watch has an OLED screen...

    So... godsend, right?
     
  14. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    #14
    It's sad that Google bought out the company, yet threw away basically everything but the form factor.
     
  15. eish2306 thread starter macrumors regular

    eish2306

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Location:
    Wales
    #15

    That's sort of what I was thinking - eink for dull always show time and - retina oLED for features and so on
     
  16. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    #16
    Something I had forgotten about when I initially replied is the fact that a bistable display doesn't just save power by only requiring it during a refresh, but also because it doesn't need constant input, allowing the processor to go into standby between refreshes.
     
  17. DC Wallaby macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    #17
    Interesting.

    However, and here's the reason that Apple went with a screen technology that can't be on constantly ... THEY LOOK LIKE GEEKY GARBAGE!

    Apple is positioning this as a fashionable accessory with a full-fledged computer inside, and a gorgeous Retina display is part of that branding. Will it come back to bite them in the ass? Maybe. But the folks at Apple would sooner release nothing at all than release something like that hideous, cheap "digital watch"-looking display.
     
  18. kdarling, Jan 25, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015

    kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #18
    Not necessarily. You're just going by that picture of an old style digital watchface. Here's some others I just snapped for you that could be used on the WiMM watch (it came with an SDK for creating your own, either digital or analog):

    wimm1.jpg

    wimm2.jpg

    wimm3.jpg

    Basically, it could display any color watch display that the Apple Watch will... plus ALSO do it in an always-on B&W low power mode.

    As for geeky looking, wait until you see people wiggling their wrists just trying to get their Apple Watch to display the time :). I know, because I've had ones like that.

    The 2011 WiMM had a full computer inside it, with WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS (not turned on due to an antenna bug), and a version of Android, which meant that it was easy to port apps to it. (I did one myself for a work demo.)

    Although it was sold as a developer's device, there were some great apps for it, from Google calendar to maps, to RSS readers to games, to Facebook to my favorite: a remote viewer of the Android widgets on your phone. Now that was super cool.

    It cost $199 and got between one and two days of battery life, IIRC. Unfortunately, Google bought WiMM Labs and support and interest dropped way off.
     
  19. eish2306 thread starter macrumors regular

    eish2306

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Location:
    Wales
    #19
    the new pebble colour eInk display under a oled display would be cool
     
  20. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #20
    It would be on top of it, and under the touchscreen, but yeah, that would be nice.

    I was recently searching Alibaba, DHGate and TaoBao for Apple Watch clones, when I ran across a Chinese smartwatch that had a dual e-Ink + LCD screen.

    When the LCD turns off, the e-ink screen overlaid on it turns on. This allows constant display of the time.

    The whole watch sells for $30-$60 depending on quantity.

    It's interesting that neither Apple nor any of the Android Wear manufacturers have gone that route (yet).
     

Share This Page