The applications for E Ink, the electronic ink technology used in the Amazon Kindle eBook reader, are multiplying. Sriram Peruvemba, the chief marketing officer at E Ink, showed off the world’s thinnest watch this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Made by Central Standard Timing, the watch has an E Ink display that simply displays the time in a black-and-white, flexible digital display.
The watch has a stainless steel band that wraps around your wrist and is only 0.8 millimeters thick, which is thinner than a credit card. It weighs 12 grams, or less than five pennies.
You can change the time on the watch using an external dock, which can charge the Thinnergy microenergy cell battery in just 10 minutes, and it will last a whole month, Peruvemba said. The battery has a lifetime of 15 years, and it says you can recharge it more than 10,000 times.
E Ink saves space with the display. It takes two pigments, black-and-white, and puts them in a microcapsule the size of a human hair. It applies a voltage to the capsule, and it appears as black-or-white when viewed from above. Each display has millions of such capsules.
Central Standard Timing assembled the watch by laminating thin and flexible components into a 0.5 millimeter pocket etched into a single piece of steel. You can order the watch and back the project through a crowdfunding effort. So far, Central Standard Timing has raised $281,593 — more than its $200,000 goal — and it still has 42 days to go on Kickstarter. The watch will go into production in the second half of the year.
E Ink is coming in a number of other products coming, including a plastic e-book reader from Wexler. On top of that, some phones are using E Ink in the backs of smartphones. These smartphones can display something like an airline ticket code. The image of the ticket stays on, even if the phone is turned off. So you can scan your airline ticket at a ticket counter, even if your phone has run out of battery.
Here’s our video interview with Peruvemba about the thin watch.