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Esquire eInk Cover

The latest edition of Esquire Magazine hit the newstands today. What makes this one noteworthy is that it has an eInk display embedded in the cover.

There was some press awhile back about this and I’ve read that some eInk proponents are not thrilled with Esquire’s implementation. I, for one, welcome our eInk cover overlords and thinks it’s pretty cool. I would have liked to see a full screen eInk display, but we’ll have to leave that to other devices for now.

I bought a couple and wanted to see what makes it tick. Below are some images.

Esquire's cover with an eInk display

Esquire's cover with an eInk display

It’s a simple device - circuit board, batteries and two displays (the other display is used for an advertisement on the inside cover).

Once gutted, these are the components.

Once gutted, these are the components.

What I find really interesting is how they included a color overlay on top of the grayscale displays. By using the eInk white and black, they were able to “light up” the transparencies to make the color images appear to be a little more dynamic. This is a great example of taking limited technology, applying low tech solutions and coming out with an even better product. I only see two colors on this display (black and white) and the ghosting is pretty obvious. But, they were able to squeeze a lot of punch out of this effort. At $5.99, they clearly took a loss (or maybe the car ad on the inside cover paid for it). But it made me a happy geek for an afternoon.

Phillip Torrone over at Make has more information. I can’t wait to hack this.


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