WHY THIS MATTERS IN BRIEF
- E-Ink is one of those technologies that won’t set the world alight, but it’s going through a renaissance and it still has a place in the market
Backlit touch screens have, arguably, helped propel smart phone and tablet sales into the stratosphere ever since they were first bought to the market back in the early 2000’s. After all, if you couldn’t see what was on your screen then it’s unlikely that you’d have ever bought them in the first place. That said though back lights are rubbish if you want to use your iPad, or other tablet device, outside for reading and that’s where E-Ink first found it’s niche – on Amazon’s Kindle range of e-book readers.
For the past few years E-Ink technology has been relegated to the boring seats, behind the pillar, up in the heavens – an interesting technology that serves its niche well, but nothing more. But now, a new product from Canadian company QuirkLogic, called Quilla hopes to rejuvenate the E-Ink market and to do so they’ve bought out the world’s first touchscreen powered “Connected E-Writer.” Basically it’s a giant Kindle for the wall in your office – it boasts a ludicrous 42 inch ePaper display – and it’s trying to be an intelligent whiteboard, and, it has to be said it kinda works. Not only can you draw on it freehand with the appropriate stylus, you can also upload and display complex images like schematics, or anything else it would be handy to annotate, then, once you’re finished with them you can E-Mail them out to people for review.
Whiteboards are so 80’s… and with a Quilla there’s no messing around trying to figure out if the pen you just picked up is a permanent marker. Oh yes, the guys in facilities love it when some idiot’s drawn on the whiteboard using a permanent marker.
The Quilla is shouldering its way into an apparently booming market, and they’re not alone, Microsoft too are trying to replace the humble whiteboard with their new $7,000 Microsoft Hub, which in its case is more like a massive Surface than a massive Kindle. So, it’s 2017 and if you’re really bored, or you have some of last years budget left to spend then why not upgrade your whiteboards?