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E Ink Display

Yotaphone 2 with rear e-ink display unveiled

Yotaphone 2

The Yotaphone 2 has been unveiled just prior to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.

Yotaphone 2
Yotaphone 2

This second-generation device seeks to stand out in the sea of Android devices with its unusual dual-display design that comes with an e-ink full-touch rear screen along with the front display panel.

The device is by Russian mobile startup Yota Devices which is also behind the original Yotaphone which has only been in the market for a few months.

Yotaphone 2 specifications

The Yotaphone 2’s front, full color screen is a 5-inch AMOLED Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and a pixel density of 442 ppi.

Meanwhile, its secondary always-on electronic paper display (EPD) capacitive display measures 4.7 inches, has a resolution of 960 x 540, and a pixel density of 235 ppi.

Internally, the device runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 8794 quad-core CPU. It features 2GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage space.

The Yotaphone 2 draws its power from a 2550 mAh battery, which also supports wireless charging.

Its also comes with an 8 MP rear camera with autofocus and LED flash plus a 2 MP front camera.

Supported networks include GSM 850/900/1800/1900; HSDPA 850/900/1899MIMO/1900/2100MIMO, Dual Carrier HSDPA; LTE Cat4 MIMO, 7MIMO, and 20MIMO.

Other features include support for a nano SIM as well as special Yotaphone gestures.

It will likewise have the latest version of Android when it hits the market.

The Yotaphone 2 measures 144 x 69.5 x 8.9 mm, weighs 140g, and comes in black and white color options.

Said specifications, when compared to the original Yotaphone, show some improvements, particularly with the size of the dispay, the battery capacity, and the processor.

One of the most notable improvements, however, has to do with the EPD screen, which now allows users to interact with its content directly by means of its capacitive display. Previously, users could only interact with the same through the a touch-sensitive panel right below the rear-facing display.

The question, of course, is what can you do with the e-ink screen?

According to its makers, the rear display can handle several tasks, thanks to the dozen or so Put2Back apps that it supports. Among the tasks that can be done on such screen are calling, texting, e-mailing, tweeting, and browsing. The advantage, of course, is that such display runs on low power, which means that you can reserve precious battery juice for other tasks on the front screen.

That said, the manufacturer recognizes that there is plenty of room for improvement where the e-ink screen is concerned. For one, many point out that it needs to support more apps. To address this, Yota Devices has announced that it is making the SDK open to allow developers to build apps for the secondary screen.

Yotaphone 2 pricing and availability

As for availability, the Yotaphone 2 is slated to arrive in Europe, Middle East and Africa by the end of the year. The company is also developing versions of the device that will be compatible for the U.S. and China.

Lastly, its price is expected to be similar or even lower than premium phones from brands such as Samsung, Sony and HTC when it finally arrives in the market.

via techcrunch

NFC Wirelessly Powers E Ink Display

Near Field Communication (NFC) is a feature of smartphones that allows it to communicate with other NFC enabled devices simply by touching them together or bringing them close together. Photos can be easily exchanged using this feature as well as mobile payments using a wallet app. While this may not be one of the most used features in a smartphone several research teams are about to change the way we use NFC.

nfc

Teams of researchers and students from Intel Labs, the University of Washington and the University of Massachusetts Amherst have developed away for NFC to provide power to standalone electronic devices. They have paired a low power 2.7 inch E Ink display with an NFC enabled smartphone and were able to wirelessly transmit power as well as a couple of photos which could be viewed on the E Ink display.

This technology involves the use of inductive coupling to provide power to the display. A wireless power harvester chip is attached to the display which stores the energy from NFC transactions into the 1mAh battery. The stored energy is enough to power the E Ink display as well as to cycle between the different photos sent over by the smartphone.

One practical use of this technology is to use it as a secondary screen for a smartphone. It can be used to display information such as contact lists, shopping lists, and even maps without the user looking for the information on the power-hungry smartphone. Right now a total of 20 different images can be stored on the E Ink display using its 0.5 MB FRAM.

Alanson Sample, Principal Investigator for the NFC E-ink display at Intel, said that “There have been no special modifications to the E-ink display, so the image will last indefinitely. Transaction time can be traded for larger display size. The longer the user holds the phone to the NFC tag the larger the screen size can be. For practical reasons I would say that E-ink displays larger [than] 10 inches are not feasible. However, the real question becomes how long are users willing to wait to update the E-ink display?”

via nfcbrief