Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Ask Slashdot: Where Are the E-Ink Dashboards?

timothy posted about a year ago | from the it's-called-chalkboard-learn-it dept.

Displays 242

fsck! writes "My office recently installed a pair of huge plasma TVs to display some metrics and graphs. They only update every 15 minutes or so, and I couldn't help but wonder, why can't this be E-Ink? I searched all over the place but couldn't find anything bigger than 9.5" (Amazon's Kindle DX). I want a >30" E-Ink picture frame with USB or WiFi. Can the Slashdot community find anything greener than these energy sucking plasma TVs that seem to be everywhere?"

cancel ×

242 comments

DIY (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703661)

Use a white board and erasable marker plotter, computer controlled.
Bonus, it would put you on slashdot and earn you nerd cred. Maybe.

Re:DIY (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703881)

Overly complex. You only need a screen-wide sponge under computer control, to erase it.

And a USB-controlled paintball "projector".

Re:DIY (4, Interesting)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#42703951)

How about a giant Raspberry Pi-powered etch-a-sketch?

The video isn't very good, and it's not giant, but: http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3046 [raspberrypi.org]

Use E-Ink in an actual dash? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704789)

It occurs to me that one place you could possibly use E-Ink would be in an actual cars dash, well provided you could make a good way to see it at night anyway. (The main advantage of E-Ink here, would be that the sun wouldn't wash it out, and perhaps you would stop seeing radios so integrated into the car. A radio should just be a radio in my opinion, although there can be value in tossing a GPS in there, if you manage to at least get a double din I suppose. In another thought, I half wish they just sold a double din radio that had a docking station for a standard low cost android tablet that size. That way you could upgrade cheaply, and when it was docked it could automatically be in car mode.

At any rate, with in dash E-Ink you could select how you wanted your dash to look with software, such as which sensors you will monitor and where the displays will be. If you combined it with a touch screen you could even do your own troubleshooting when a problem was detected, provided the software bothered to let you get to the real data. Of course a colored screen would be even better. Even one additional color would help.

I suppose the update rate for E-Ink might be a little slow for some who like to watch tach needles and miles per hour displays update quickly, although some other display tech could be used there I suppose. Then again, if peoples car dashs were configurable, someone would probably want to sell advertising on them, although I suppose laws have protected us from that, so far...

Use LED LCD TV instead (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703665)

Plasmas can easily be replaced by LED LCD TVs that use a lot less energy.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (0, Troll)

blahbooboo (839709) | about a year ago | (#42703823)

Plasmas can easily be replaced by LED LCD TVs that use a lot less energy.

LCD and plasma for several years use similar amount of power...

http://www.techlicious.com/blog/lcd-vs-plasma-what-are-their-true-energy-costs/ [techlicious.com]

"Our friends at HD Guru did some analysis to determine if there is the real difference between “energy efficient” LED models, and “power hungry” plasmas. According to HD Guru, the LG 47-inch 47LW6500 LED LCD will have an EnergyGuide yearly estimated cost of $13. While the LG 42-inch 42PT350 plasma will have an estimated cost of $21.

That's not much. And, as HD Guru points out, given the vast price discrepancy between the average plasma and the average LED LCD (over $500, in this example), it is highly unlikely you would ever see a return on your investment, power consumption-wise (62.5 years, between these two).

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (3, Insightful)

Jmc23 (2353706) | about a year ago | (#42704003)

So a 20% smaller screen uses ~60% more energy and you say energy use is 'similar'?

Did you pay for that education?

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704793)

So a 20% smaller screen uses ~60% more energy and you say energy use is 'similar'?

Did you pay for that education?

Not only that, but those numbers represent 5 hours of usage per day at 11 cents per kWh. If these are in use at a company I would assume that they are on at least 8 hours per day, if not 24. The average cost / kWh in the US is 13.5 cents. In NYC it's around 20 cents per kWh.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (4, Insightful)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year ago | (#42704015)

True, but with 15-minute updates, the plasma will burn in in a few weeks to months and the LED will stay in decent shape for a few years.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (5, Funny)

kh31d4r (2591021) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704419)

And once it's burned in he can turn it off and save loads of power!

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42704017)

$8 may not make much difference to couch potatoes singularly, but think corporate: that is a 61% difference, and over thousands of units, it does add up.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (4, Interesting)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year ago | (#42704253)

It's not $8. Those numbers came from probably very conservative assumptions about how much the average TV buyer actually uses his TV, which probably isn't 24 hours/day (or even 8-16 hours, as you might expect for a TV being used as an in-office "dashboard"). I'm guessing their assumption might be 2 hours/day.

I just did some very rough calculations: if the TV is going to be on 2 hours/day on average, that's 730.5 hours/year. If the TV uses 100W when operating, that's about 73kWh over the whole year. If your power costs $0.20/kWh, then the TV will cost $14.61 to operate for one year.

I'd assume that these "dashboard" TVs will be operated 10-12 hours a day, which is 5-6 times those previous numbers. Plus, commercial electricity costs more than residential, IIRC (I could be wrong about that). So it's probably much closer to $100/year to run these TVs, or maybe more. Still not an astronomical amount of money, though.

What I want to know is: what kind of TVs is the submitter using anyway? He's apparently interested in an e-Ink screen that's 30 FEET diagonally.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (1)

RobbieThe1st (1977364) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704401)

Actually, commercial power is usually cheaper than residential on a per-KWH basis, because they use more and get bumped into a lower cost bracket(if they aren't already there by being on a "commercial" account). The monthly cost, however, is much higher.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704471)

Pretty much. Some utilities will kick a residential customer into a higher bracket if they 'use too much', but most actually drop the price for volume customers. Still, the bill consists of a utility charge per kwh, a fuel charge per kwh, and a connection/administration fee that's static.

Most Commercial customers pay a lower kwh charge, but also pay the connection fee, and a feeder charge that's set to their max draw - IE if they need 200A max, that's what they have to pay, even if they only need it for 1 hour a month. Lastly, they can get hit with a power factor charge - Bad PF factors like cheap fluorescent ballasts can raise their cost per kwh.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (1)

Kohath (38547) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704823)

So we should buy a super expensive product (that doesn't even actually exist) to replace a cheap readily available product. Because we'll save a few dollars a year in electricity.

Why? Are we buying our way into environmentalist heaven?

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704897)

If you read my post further, I did note that even when you adjust the numbers for the amount of usage they'd get in this application, it's still not that much money. I was just pointing out that the difference is much more than $8. Of course, if you add in the fact that you'll need to toss out that plasma in 6 months because it'll have burn-in, that adds up to more money, but still not enough to buy some super-expensive product instead of using a cheap off-the-shelf product.

Still, however, this whole post does point out how large e-ink displays could be really useful for certain markets. It's not just his company with their "dashboard"; there's many other posts here pointing out similar applications, from displays outside of university classrooms showing class schedules, to airport displays showing flight statuses. Of course, the fact that e-ink requires sufficient ambient light to be easily readable may be a problem that could limit its use.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704279)

Ignoring the rather large screen diagonal difference here, multiplying all figures by a few thousand doesn't magically reverse the price/energy ratio of each of those units.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704857)

Indeed, what's not cost effective in small quantities can make a huge difference for thousands of units. Think of it this way, if I can save $2 by driving across town, it's not worth it. I've probably spent more on gas than I'd be saving. Not to mention the time spent. But, if I'm buying 200 units, that's $400 saved and it's probably cost effective to send somebody to do it.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead -- not really (2)

aitikin (909209) | about a year ago | (#42704135)

Yes, but that's based on 5 hours a day of usage. Imagine the discrepancy when you're talking about 24 hrs/day or in high priced electricity areas. Also, and I may be wrong on this so please correct me if so, as I recall the LEDs' backlights tend to last a significantly longer time than their plasma counterparts.

Furthermore, if you ever had any scientific credentials, I'd probably be asking for them given the fact that you're comparing two different sized units as though they were completely comparable. 47"42". The only variable that should be changing is the one you're trying to test, and obviously that's not the case here.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year ago | (#42704111)

Plasmas can easily be replaced by LED LCD TVs that use a lot less energy.

Less but still a lot.

Re:Use LED LCD TV instead (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704511)

I just replaced a 42" LCD TV that consumed 200W with a 39" LED LCD TV that consumes 50W. Even if you leave that 39" TV on 24/7, it probably still won't cost more than about $50/year. I think that's why there isn't a market for big eink displays.

And the Kindle DX is practically the only 9.7" eink reader (there's one other one). Other than that, the next size is 6".

A better Ask Slashdot is why some Chinese company hasn't tried to marry an eink 9.7" screen to dual core Arm A9 to make a $100-150 android eink tablet with awesome battery life. I would buy two of this yesterday.

' vs. " -- [ref Spinal Tap] (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703679)

You want a greater than 30 foot display? Sounds pricey.

Re:' vs. " -- [ref Spinal Tap] (1)

3dr (169908) | about a year ago | (#42704177)

I want a >30' E-Ink picture frame with...

Yep, e-ink billboards...

Led (2)

martin (1336) | about a year ago | (#42703707)

Another vote for LED
You can get v big 60" jobs quite easily and theres no burn-in esp if theres alot of static content as you imply

Re:Led (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#42703799)

You havent needed to burn in your Plasma for half a decade now

Re:Led (2)

PhotoJim (813785) | about a year ago | (#42704027)

Plasmas take work to create burn-in now, but they will if you make them. Updating content once every 15 minutes will definitely make them get persistent images.

CRTs had the same problem. They were fine for regular viewing, but persistent content burned in badly, even on good ones. Plasmas are at least as bad, even modern ones. Use them for normal content and they're fine (mine's two years old and doing great) but persistent content is not good use of a plasma.

Re:Led (1)

mrbester (200927) | about a year ago | (#42704221)

My decade old plasma has a anti burnin feature to prevent this. It's basically set all pixels on (so bright white) for a few minutes a month.

Re:Led (4, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704321)

Back in the eighties we had something similar to prevent CRT burn, it would display a moving or non-regular image, we called it a "screensaver". Everyone seems to have forgotten why they exist. Kids, lawn, etc.

Re:Led (4, Funny)

obarel (670863) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704679)

Yes, I vaguely remember a time when "screensaver" wasn't an official synonym for "a zombie-making, disk encrypting, key logging trojan".

Re:Led (2)

MavenW (839198) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704903)

This was especially bad in server monitor screens. I remember when Novell added the moving snake screen saver. The longer the snake, the higher the server utilization. Prevented CRT burn AND gave useful information.

Re:Led (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704827)

My decade old plasma has a anti burnin feature to prevent this. It's basically set all pixels on (so bright white) for a few minutes a month.

I've seen some other ones that would shift the image a few pixels every so often if the image was persistent for too long.

Re:Led (1)

icebike (68054) | about a year ago | (#42704065)

He meant there will be no burned in images on the LCD due to long exposure of static content.

Re:Led (1)

MiG82au (2594721) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704573)

Current panasonic plasmas really suffer from image retention. Look up "cnet unintentional image retention test". When I went to view them in a store they had elements of the looping video burned in (one scene was an ad with bright red graphical elements that stayed still for maybe 10 seconds, it left slight green patches on the rest of the material). Viewers are reporting that even leaving the netflix pause icon on the screen for a minute is sufficient to leave a slowly fading mark, let alone a score board during a game.
I was going to buy one, but after seeing how easily they get very long lasting image retention / burn in, and seeing the horrible power/brightness limiting on white scenes, I gave up and got an LCD.

Re:Led (2)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year ago | (#42704267)

Image persistence on LCD is a real thing. I've only seen it on panels that have been in use for a long time but it's still real.

Of course, it's not a big deal if the displays are only used for fairly static displays. It'll only be a problem when the display format is updated to a new layout. Then you'll have outlines of boxes, dark patches where the text was, etc. Fortunately, the damage can usually be reversed by "exercising" the pixels. I have a 37" 1080p panel that I rehab'd by using it to display video content for a few months.

Re:Led (4, Informative)

Endo13 (1000782) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704537)

Usually just setting an LCD to all-white for overnight will get rid of any persistent images. That's from what I've read online and my own personal experience.

Re:Led (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704577)

Tried that for several days with no change. Also tried the "turn it off" method for several days with no change. So I moved it to video playback duty and now the shadows are gone.

Re:Led (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704273)

The problem, however, is that there's no 30-foot LED/LCD screens (then again, neither are there any Plasma screens that large). This guy needs one of those outdoor displays like they use in Times Square or on highway billboards.

Black white or grey (1, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | about a year ago | (#42703711)

E-ink is only black white or grey. So there is very little need for large sized versions. As most things that big you want color for.

a 30" eink display could be built though. make it from panels of smaller units like they do jumbo tron's.

Re:Black white or grey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703763)

Why would there me more or less need for a big sized display depending on how many colors it can display?
As long as the contrast is decent I would love a large eInk display

Re:Black white or grey (1, Informative)

painandgreed (692585) | about a year ago | (#42703845)

Why would there me more or less need for a big sized display depending on how many colors it can display? As long as the contrast is decent I would love a large eInk display

You and a few other maybe, but most want to take advantage of having color. In the systems at my work, rows can be made red, yellow, green, or white, each indicating the status of that item. Furthermore, each item has icons to designate different things and the color adds to the recognition of such icons. Even if they did make such thing, most display programs will already be done in color as the are probably expecting to output to a computer monitor, which these large LCDs are simply acting as. The actual need for monotone displays is slight and can be done with current color LCDs displays.

Re:Black white or grey (4, Insightful)

ThePhilips (752041) | about a year ago | (#42703999)

Why would there me more or less need for a big sized display depending on how many colors it can display?
As long as the contrast is decent I would love a large eInk display

You alone do not make large enough market.

Large CRTs and panels, before becoming parts of consumer products, where literally exclusively used by businesses for marketing purposes (displays in shops, exhibitions and so on). They bore the high price of very early adopters. And: marketing wants to have colors.

Unless there would appear a market for large B/W panels or the color version of e-Ink would enter production, chances of a large e-Ink panel are very close to zero.

Re:Black white or grey (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704557)

> You alone do not make large enough market.

maybe not, but I'd buy one too. and I'm guessing lots of other people too.

Re:Black white or grey (1)

EETech1 (1179269) | about a year ago | (#42703789)

Agreed. The purpose of these large screens is to provide status updates, and give notice to things requiring special attention. Something that color was born for. It's very difficult to draw attention to something on a monochrome display.

Having the majority of the content grey and saving the black for important items, or trying to make something flash on E-Ink would make an unreadable mess of it all.

Re:Black white or grey (5, Insightful)

jouassou (1854178) | about a year ago | (#42704023)

I still think there is a market for large e-ink displays.

For instance, there is a large LCD screen outside every lecture hall at my university. Each screen displays a blue-on-white list of scheduled lectures and events for that hall, which is updated every second hour or so. Replacing those screens with e-ink displays would presumably save a lot of power, without any loss of functionality.

Re:Black white or grey (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704507)

I still think there is a market for large e-ink displays.

  For instance, there is a large LCD screen outside every lecture hall at my university. Each screen displays a blue-on-white list of scheduled lectures and events for that hall, which is updated every second hour or so. Replacing those screens with e-ink displays would presumably save a lot of power, without any loss of functionality.

There may be a market for large e-ink displays (thousands? tens of thousands?), but it's a tiny fraction of the market for 50 inch LCD/Plasma screens (millions), so the economies of scale mean that it would be prohibitively expensive.

The black-and-white nature of the displays and limited refresh rate mean they aren't a drop-in replacement for every large format display, which limits their usefulness.

Re:Black white or grey (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about a year ago | (#42703923)

A Japanese company called Soken demoed an e-ink display covering an entire wall a few years ago, but it used a different technology to the type used in the Kindle and similar devices. I have a feeling those won't scale, or someone would have demonstrated a larger display by now.

Also the OP is wrong, his company didn't buy plasma screens. Plasma suffers from burn-in and would be ruined by a static image being displayed for 15 minutes, so chances are they are LCD.

you have way too much faith (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703975)

I believe htey bought plasmas. Stupidity is ripe.

Re:Black white or grey (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704289)

You're absolutely right: plasma would suffer from burn-in pretty quickly in that application. But what makes you think the OP is wrong? Companies make bone-headed purchasing decisions all the time. You think the average manager knows about plasma burn-in?

Re:Black white or grey (5, Informative)

Incadenza (560402) | about a year ago | (#42704005)

E-ink is only black white or grey.

Definitively not. Color E-ink does exist, and what's more: it exists in large sizes. This stuff was developed for digital signage projects.

Check out Magink [magink.com] .

Unfortunately in most real world situations it is easier to either use a billboard, or a LED screen.

Color E-ink (1)

Alwin Henseler (640539) | about a year ago | (#42704219)

Wikipedia has this: the jetBook Color [jetbook.net]
Wouldn't know if that's for sale already, haven't seen such a display in real life. So if anyone has some hands-on experience with this or similar device: please share.

And original poster's question remains very valid. From an ergonomic p.o.v., plasma/LCD/LED simply is not the same as E-ink. What's best in one situation, may not be optimal in another situation. True, LCD or (probably better) LED will consume less power than a plasma display, but E-ink even less since it's static and doesn't produce light itself.

None of that may matter to most consumers, but that doesn't mean there's isn't a market for color E-ink displays. The tech was shown a while ago, so where are the products? Had a look around shops myself a while ago, there were a couple of e-readers with color display, but again: those were LED or LCD/backlight technology, real E-ink devices only in b/w.

Re:Color E-ink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704899)

They're on eBay, believe it or not. $500 each.

Re:Black white or grey (2)

devnullkac (223246) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704569)

My favorite part of the practical applications they present is the security camera pointed at the billboard. Presumably the tech is expensive enough that someone might just scale the tower and steal it.

Re:Black white or grey (1)

locopuyo (1433631) | about a year ago | (#42704033)

Mirasol makes color e-ink displays that can do video. They are small e-readers though.

Re:Black white or grey (1)

sjames (1099) | about a year ago | (#42704089)

It comes in color now.

Re:Black white or grey (1)

guttentag (313541) | about a year ago | (#42704139)

So much for my plan to pitch Eco-friendly, glare-resistant e-ink traffic lights!

Maybe I can just use an e-ink billboard that says "STOP," "GO," or "GET OUT OF THE INTERSECTION."

Re:Black white or grey (5, Informative)

Lluc (703772) | about a year ago | (#42704263)

E-ink is only black white or grey. So there is very little need for large sized versions. As most things that big you want color for.

a 30" eink display could be built though. make it from panels of smaller units like they do jumbo tron's.

You are completely incorrect. Prototype color eInk screens have been around for years, and they are now commercially available. Of course, they are not used in a Kindle or Nook, so perhaps you are not familar with them. Google "color e-ink" or just look at this ECTACO jetBook Color with color E Ink screen [newegg.com] for an example.

The trick with color e-ink is that, just like black and white e-ink, the screen looks more like newsprint rather than a bright plasma or LCD. If a billboard or advertisement used color e-ink, it would require some kind of bright lighting to make the screen look vibrant. Once you add a bright LED lamp to illuminate your e-ink board, will it save much energy vs. an LCD tv?

You Can Getr Colour e-Ink Readers, Just Not In US (2)

meehawl (73285) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704777)

E-ink is only black white or gre

That's not true [mobileread.com] and hasn't been true for a number of years. You can get colour e-ink readers [mobileread.com] , just not in the US which is, as has become depressingly common for many consumer portable electronics gadgets, running several years behind Asia for newest tech.

Energy sucking plasma? (4, Insightful)

Aranykai (1053846) | about a year ago | (#42703753)

Seriously dude?

Most 60" LED LCD tvs can be run 24/7 for less than $75 a year. That is practically nothing.

Your office could easily save an order of magnitude more by turning the thermostat up 1 degree.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

Jimbookis (517778) | about a year ago | (#42703785)

Not to mention that LCD's don't suffer the after-image and phosphor burn in that plasmas get with static images.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | about a year ago | (#42703811)

Image retention is not phosphor burn. You'd be hard pressed to burn an image into a modern plasma if you tried your damnest

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703837)

uh huh. One of my coworkers burned the goatse image into my plasma screen while I was on vacation.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704531)

That's a bummer.

It is possible to "burn-in" a modern LCD (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704715)

I haven't yet figured out how it happened, but I have a second-hand laptop that clearly displays a ghost image (of a gdm login menu screen), even when output to a second screen.

My best guess is that it's coming from an internal memory buffer. I've never seen it before on any other system, but on this one the effect is very obvious.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

Alien Being (18488) | about a year ago | (#42703981)

My 3 year old Sony does. Plus it has a flaky power supply for the backlight.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (2)

rsalvo1975 (752350) | about a year ago | (#42703851)

Plasma != LED LCD

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

bjoeg (629707) | about a year ago | (#42703895)

Seriously, we dont all pay the same for electricity as you.

If I had to run a 60" Plasma 24/7, it would be $1095/year

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#42704019)

I doubt 24/7 is necessary.

08-18h (10 hours a day, allowing for flexible working hours) 5 days a week for a 92W 60" TV [currys.co.uk] works out to 0.092*10*5*52 = 240kWh a year. I think my electric is about 15p/kWh, so £35/year.

24/7 it would be £120/year.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

amorsen (7485) | about a year ago | (#42704107)

Don't believe manufacturer's claims for energy use. Especially not if you are using the display for things that aren't regular home TV-viewing. A TV used during working hours will typically need its brightness set quite high, and that can use quite a bit extra power. It will also wear the display out faster, but often you can buy 3 regular TV's for the price of one display made for business use. Even if it does wear out after 2 years, prices will have come down and quality improved.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

xaxa (988988) | about a year ago | (#42704187)

I picked the first large TV that came up on a search, but the same TV is the "best" for energy efficiency according to an impartial consumer review organisation in the UK: http://www.which.co.uk/technology/tv-and-dvd/guides/tv-energy-running-costs/#/the-best [which.co.uk] . You have to pay to see the detailed statistics (that's how they remain impartial), so I don't know how they measured the consumption.

In any case, it's closer to £120 than $1095 a year.

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704349)

Cost to a business would also including the cost of having somebody buy the TV's and installing them.
You can buy 3 regular TV's for the price of a business-use display, but you'll also have to pay three times as much to install them. (plus 3x as much downtime, assuming the mechanic won't be able to replace the TV within a 1/50th of a second).

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703907)

Your office could easily save an order of magnitude more by turning the thermostat up 1 degree.

Where I am, it's been in the -30s all week. Turning the thermostat up 1 degree sounds good to me, though I doubt it will save me any money...

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

webmistressrachel (903577) | about a year ago | (#42704051)

Yes, I was thinking when I first read the GP that he should have remembered the rest of the world before posting that.... I'm the UK, I doubt turning the thermostat up would save me money either.

Where are you, anyway? Alaska? A polar station? The ISS??? Hi from -3 England, anyhow! Brrrr!

Re:Energy sucking plasma? (1)

Firethorn (177587) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704543)

Alaska sounds like a real possibility, or Canada. Personally, I'm in Alaska, -41 when I woke up this morning.

Turning the thermostat up a degree would certainly feel nice; but it'd be expensive. Of course, heating oil is still a lot cheaper than electricity for heat, so I still use energy saving appliances - not to mention that said energy saving appliances keeps me from looking at installing an air conditioner at all.

Call Centres (5, Interesting)

Jedismj (1751730) | about a year ago | (#42703765)

I currently work in a call centre while I'm studying.

They have 4 large LCD screen in the centre of the rooms, facing outwards. These screens only show how many people are on the phones and how many customers are waiting. This display is updated every 15 seconds.

A large e-Ink display would be perfect for this. There is no colour needed and should save a fair chunk of power. That is, of course, I'm mistaken about the energy usage of e-ink displays?

Surely someone has created one if that is the case? Surely there would be a market for it now? And if you needed a bit of colour, I'm sure basic colour e-ink displays can do the job fine.

Not mistaken. 99.9% power savings (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#42703947)

Updated every 15 seconds. ... should save a fair chunk of power. That is, of course, I'm mistaken about the energy usage of e-ink dislays.

You are not mistaken. E-ink only uses power when it updates, so for something updated every 15 minutes, that would be 99.9% power savings.

In one type of e-ink display, each pixel is a ball, white on one side, black on the other. The balls sit in grease / oil. Power is used only to turn the balls the right direction, black-side-up or white-side-up. You could unplug it / remove the battery and the display would stay.

Re:Not mistaken. 99.9% power savings (3, Informative)

EdZ (755139) | about a year ago | (#42704233)

each pixel is a ball

Close, but not quite. Each pixel is made up of hundreds to tens of thousands of these nanoscale spheres.

It's a similar mistake that people who are only used to discrete displays (e.g. LCDs) make when first working with CRTs: a CRT phosphor triad is not a pixel; a pixel will likely cover several triads. It certainly took me a bit before this finally clicked.

Typical useless Timothy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703771)

Confusing feet with inches? Just fire him please.

Units (2, Insightful)

Kotoku (1531373) | about a year ago | (#42703791)

It's funny when the editors don't catch unit typos in the summary. Feet instead of inches make me think a 9.5 foot display would be just fine. Only when you see they meant the Kindle display is the typo clear.

Re:Units (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704657)

Sixty feet would be a very cool display size.

How sure are you these are plasma and not LED? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703863)

If this was a couple of years ago, sure. However, all of the public displays (NEC 46 and 55" LED) and perform at 1080P and wide screen. There would not be much advantage at this size for E-INK considering the size and use. Plasma went out a couple of years ago when LED hit the market.

E-Ink Illumination (2)

Hovsep (883939) | about a year ago | (#42703865)

I love my e-ink reader and I love the idea of a large (color?) e-ink display, but it would require more than just the energy to update the e-ink. For example, in a darkened call center, you'd still need to shine a front light onto it which might not offer much savings over the LED back lighting of an LED LCD.

-Hovsep

Re:E-Ink Illumination (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704477)

I've worked in several call centers and none of them have ever been 'darkened'. They were all really obnoxiously brightly lit, despite that we'd really have preferred less overhead light.

If it was dim, someone would trip over their own feet, claim it was from poor lighting, and sue.

I really WANT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703871)

A nine and a half foot Amazon Kindle.

How much and when are hey releasing them?

3D print one (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703901)

It's the future, right?

Someone is making these. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42703979)

Someone is making these. http://www.engadget.com/2009/02/06/giant-e-paper-display-spotted-ogled-at-taiwanese-book-show/ This is from three years ago, so you can bet the technology has improved.

Re:Someone is making these. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42704057)

How about this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KSOKUqz2bww [youtube.com]

9.5' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42704169)

Whew. 9.5 feet. Surely that's large enough!?

Re:9.5' (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704353)

The summary referred to a 9.5-foot Kindle. That's one hell of a giant e-book reader.

Re:9.5' (4, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704709)

That's one hell of a giant e-book reader.

Well, that's based on the amount of psychokinetic energy in the New York area this morning.

I've dreamed of this for years (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42704185)

I have a 4'x6' whiteboard in my office and I love using it. For brainstorming and working out problems it's great to have such a large canvas. It's also a very kinesthetic way to problem solve - - I seem to think more clearly standing up and moving around.

I would love to press a button or swipe to save that screen and move to the next. Maybe pull up notes from a meeting weeks prior. I'd love to toggle to a massive annual calendar that can be always on and viewed at a moments notice.

Full color would be great. Even a few colors would help. But I'd be happy with black and white.

airport displays (2)

Jafafa Hots (580169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704281)

perfect use for these.
With e-ink you would probably be able to read them clearly from across the terminal.

Flipdots (2)

mikeselectricstuff (556110) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704369)

Flipdots [flipdots.com] Are pretty close to large-scale e-ink

You really want a display that large? (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704505)

I want a >30' E-Ink picture frame with USB or WiFi

30 foot is almost Jumbotron size. Does your office really have room for something that large (to say nothing of the budget)?

Re:You really want a display that large? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704581)

I think he means 30 centimeters

What, is your office running on a generator? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704599)

What's the problem with a few TV's? Are you seriously hurting for power there?

Forget e-ink, introducing IGZO! (4, Interesting)

Tagged_84 (1144281) | about a year and a half ago | (#42704601)

If Sharp really do deliver on their promises, IGZO panels are going to dominate in the next few years. Like e-ink they don't require power for a static image and can be transparent, but unlike e-ink IGZO has fast response/refresh rates and supports high resolutions! There's a 32" 4K coming next month rumoured to be $5,500 US launch price. It's the same panels that caused Apple to release Plan B for the iPad 3.

TLDR; Check out this (cheesy) video where IGZO introduces "himself" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnUUXoFsjoY [youtube.com]

e-ink displays can't handle the temperature range (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704603)

Car dashboards need to be able to handle extreme heat and cold, but the average e-ink display's operating range is only 0 to 50c. The display would need to be able to handle -50c on the low end and +70c on the high end.

Then again, it could be because they tested it and it would be expensive/terrible. But hey.. this is slashdot, where everyone thinks they are an expert and assumes the real experts never tried their "innovative" new idea.

Here's an option (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704837)

E-ink has a prototype whiteboard which uses their screen tech. I'm not sure if it is in production yet, but I did just ask about it.
http://ebookne.ws/sgtv82

I've seen it myself and the resolution is not all that great. Thanks to the way this screen was made the pixels are about 1mm across, but I don't think that will be an issue for you. This thing is intended to be seen from across the room so resolution isn't that important.

But it would probably be more than adequate as a replacement for the plasma TVs. Leave a comment on the blog and I will connect you with E-ink.

There are quite a few devices mostly signage (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42704881)

http://www.eink.com/display_products_iim.html has some samples of what have been done in the retail signage area.. I have no idea the cost, or the practicality of this setup however.. your mileage may vary

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...