*notcot in tech , 18:27

Dissecting Esquire’s E-Ink Cover- 09.21.08

eink1.jpgI’m sure by now you’ve heard about Esquire’s 75th Anniversary Cover ~ limited edition of 100,000 ~ with real E-Ink embedded in the cover. Over at Esquire, they’ve even opened up the discussion about whether you can hack it… and even show you where it all came from… So as a random Sunday amusement, couldn’t help picking it up from the newsstand, and as much as i resisted, i lasted a few minutes before i HAD to rip it apart and poke at the digital guts. So on the next page you can see video of it before and after, pictures of how it works, and scans as well!












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9 Notes

Hello, I like your post and pictures. In case you wanted some source code to hack on the screen, I wrote up a little article last night about hacking into the screen with an Arduino. Hope it works for you :)


----- Matt 05.10.08 07:56

So, yeah…um you can’t actually make it say anything besides combinations of the words “THE 21ST CENTURY” “BEGINS” and “NOW”. That, and you can turn on and off some squares and rectangles. Let me clarify—there are no pixels. There are sectioned off portions of the Epaper that be turned on as a whole or off as a whole. Thus, you can’t create anything other than what you can make using the segmented shapes given to you. Sad, huh?

----- Scott 25.09.08 13:17

Can’t reprogram this guy, it’s always going to say what it says now. It is possible that someone could crack open the screen, drain the e-ink, and have some fun with that. Obviously that option is unsafe for many reasons.

I agree with the first comment, cool looking, but horrible for the environment (even if you DO recycle it).

----- Joel 24.09.08 07:54

awesome….now I want to see you reprogram it to say NOTCOT RULES!

----- Chad 23.09.08 12:32

I took it a little more apart than this.
I seperated the layers in the e-ink paper itself. There are 4 layers. A protective top clear layer and a protective silver bottom layer.
The e-ink itseld is 2 layers, a clear conductor with the e-ink applied to it, and a second segmented conductor layer bonded to the e-ink.
Unless you use some chemical to dissolve the glue safely you cannot remove the segmented layer without destroying the e-ink affixed to the top clear conductor.
BTW, its just 15v accross the contacts to change the image. Change the polarity to invert the segment. the two bigger chips are CMOS drivers running at 15v and the 8pin pic runs at 3v direct from one cell, then it uses a transistor to trigger a 15v input to the CMOS serial to parallel drivers. 16 outputs total, 14 segments and 2 common (clear panel conductors, one for each screen) segments.

----- Pyrofer 23.09.08 08:45

Amazing! How thick is the cover? Is it very heavy, or does it resemble and ordinary paper cover in weight and feel? I’m assuming it is somewhat lumpy or whatnot, considering the batteries.

----- Jessica Jenkinson 22.09.08 13:21

I guess they did think about it ~ Esquire advises you how to recycle it here:

----- jean/NOTCOT 22.09.08 10:37

It looks really scifi.. but 6 cell batteries and some electronic trash going into the paper bin makes me think if anybody thought of the environment.

----- Niels Wolf 22.09.08 10:24

OMG! I want one!

----- Kristi 22.09.08 09:32

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