InkCase + provides owners of Android phones with an E Ink display

Interesting Engineering
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Los Angeles based Oaxishave have developed a Kickstarter project called the InkCase+ which acts as a second display for Android OS devices. The technology provides the phone with an extra electronic ink for the display, which helps to extend battery life.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

The InkCase+ will arrive in October if all goes to plan and the display of 3.5 inches fits inside a case that has Bluetooth capability. It will come with dedicated apps and runs on a battery of 500mAh, which the company says will provide 19 hours of reading time on just a single charge.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

With phones becoming slimmer and having larger displays, they are constantly eating up the battery of the handset as owners check for email and texts. This means that a huge chunk of the battery is depleted by doing the simple things such as texting, emailing and chatting via the likes of Facebook or WhatsApp.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

One solution is to combine an E Ink display with the display of the phone and Oaxis have done this by way of a custom phone case. The E Ink is what e-readers use, such as the Nook or Kindle, and there are many benefits to this type of technology. Along with saving battery by not using the full blown coloured display of the phone, E Ink is much easier on the eyes to read. The display only uses power from the battery when it refreshes and this means that the battery lasts a lot longer than the one that came with the phone.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

Along with the E Ink display acting as a case for the phone, it also comes with a number of custom designed apps specifically. This means that the phone can be used as an E-Reader and the E Ink display can also be used for just checking notifications, viewing fitness apps, reading maps or controlling music playback from music stored on the handset. You can do any of these things easily without the need for the full colour display of the phone and save battery power.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

At the moment the start-up campaign is releasing a kit so that developers can create apps for it. Whether or not it would get official support from Google Play Books or Amazon is not known, however the company said that E-Books could be side-loaded.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

The InkCase+ measures 5mm in thickness and has a weight of around 45g. The company said that it would have support for phones running on Android 4.3 or over. The display of 3.5 inches will have a 360 x 600 resolution, which offers 200ppi.

The battery should last the equivalent of reading 2,000 pages of a book or around 19 hours. It should last 7 days when left in stand-by mode and it recharges via a microUSB cable.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

The InkCase + was on Kickstarter with a pledge of US$79 but this was limited and they were snatched up very quickly with a lot of interest in the case. If you want to get your hands on one now it will cost you a pledge of $89. The case is going to be available in black or white. There are two versions available, the pouch or plastic FitCase, which is said to fit the InkCase and the Samsung Galaxy S5. Compatibility with more makes of phones will be considered if there is enough interest in the case.


[Image Source: OAXIS]

Mass production is set to start in September 2014 and the first of the cases should be delivered in October 2014. The original goal of $100,000 has been passed and 27 days remain on the clock. If the campaign goes beyond the desired success the company have plans to design another version which would have a larger display.


[Image Source: OAXIS]


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