"One of the investors in the company is currently manufacturing LCD-based e-Schoolbooks for China, but they want low-power video. Right now, they are buying LCDs and ePaper displays from E Ink, but they've pre-paid for three million of our display units to be shipped late 2018. If you have animations in school books, that helps, but they want to watch videos, they want children to have access to the best content" explained Peruvemba, noting that his company is currently trial manufacturing pilot units at a LCD factory in China.
"Following this, we will transition to production that might start mid next year and complete later in the year. This could also be on a line that is much bigger than the one on which we are building the trial samples now".
When asked if by refreshing the display so often, video rates would defeat the low-power benefits of bi-stable ePaper, Peruvemba claims that the voltage requirements of CLEARink's ePaper are significantly less than that for E Ink's ePaper, resulting in a video rate that draws less power than animated ePaper (in the 10 to 20 frames per second). Then again, if you compare this to backlit LCDs, the power savings are in the 80 to 90% range.
"Our consumption power is probably the same as that of the LCD driver electronics, without the backlight" says Peruvemba. However, curiously the primary need of these eSchoolbook manufacturers is not low-power, but sunlight readability, he says.
"There is a lot of debate in Asia about what causes the high incidence of myopia there among young people (reportedly, 90% of Chinese teenagers and young adults are short-sighted compared to 10 to 20% sixty years ago). This is not unique to China and the current belief is that kids spend too much time indoors. One possible prevention that is being experimented in various programs is to get the kids outdoors with their laptops, so they get more exposed to sunlight, or maybe so their eyes can also accommodate to distant objects. But they need a display that can be read even under bright sunlight".