Low power display technologies have made rapid strides in the electronics sector in recent years. As a result, nowadays, there are choices to make for people considering low-power display technologies, each having its own pros and cons. The choice of display is highly dependent on the intended application, whether the application is for portable electronics, consumer electronics, or industrial purposes. In this article, we will discuss the most prevalent low-power display technologies, consider the pros and cons of each.
A low-power display is a display that draws the lowest power possible. It is specifically designed to consume low levels of energy and they are often so-called bistable displays (read more about bistable displays). These displays rely on technologies that allow the device to operate using minimal power inputs and typically only consume energy when the image is changing and no power for static usage. Most, if not all, low power displays are so-called reflective displays. A reflective display is based on the principle of reflection, where light is bounced off the display's surface rather than transmitted through it. As a result, reflective displays can create an image using only the light available in their environment rather than requiring an external light source, which makes them highly energy-efficient. Read more about reflective displays.
In recent times, there is a growing demand for low-power displays in order to lessen the stress on the environment. Another reason is customers needing wireless products without big power cables or the need for frequent charging. A low-power display is perfect when you try to improve the product's hours of battery life by drawing the least amount of power possible. A device that uses less power to function is also cheaper to run.
Different applications use different types of displays. The most popular low power display technologies available on the market are as follows:
LCDs were the only choice for low power until the arrival of two exciting options into the display market - E-ink display and Electrochromic e-paper display. This article will discuss these three low-power display technologies in brief and compare different features like power consumption, display quality, and more.
Reflective LCDs are prevalent in consumer electronics because of their low power consumption, ease of production, and cost-effectiveness. Low power seven segment display is widely used in calculators, digital clocks, radios, microwave ovens, and washing machines. It works by reflecting ambient light - such as natural light - from a reflective layer back to the viewer.
Electrophoretic display technology (which is used in E-ink displays) has a paper-like ultra contrast appearance that replicates the appearance of ordinary ink on paper. This display technology is popular because of its contrast, readability, thickness, low power consumption, and flexibility. It is widely used in e-readers like Amazon's Kindle, real-time bus arrival information, electronic shelf label (ESL) segment, menu boards, etc. When the display is electrically charged, charged ink particles rise to the top of the display to create images.
An electrochromic e-paper display is the best low-power display technology in the market today. These ultra-low-power displays are lightweight, thin, energy-efficient, and cost-effective to produce and operate. They can also be bendable, meaning that they are easily customizable to individual business needs. As a result, these displays are widely used in logistics monitoring, consumer electronics, medical devices, smart cards, and more. Like the LCD, it works by reflecting ambient light. Using electrochromism, when a voltage is applied, the display will change color.
To explore in further detail, see here where we compare the power consumption of reflective display vs. E-paper vs. electrochromic display.
At Ynvisible, we offer a full end-to-end solution for prototyping and producing low-power display solutions for a wide range of unique applications. To explore how low-power electrochromic display could work for your design ideas, why not get started with our e-paper display kit to see how it all works.
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