E Ink Corporation, Seiko Epson Corporation, and Seiko Watch Corporation are showing the first watch to utilize an electronic paper display. This 'Future Now' design incorporates an easy-to-read, ultra-thin, low-power display integrated into a curved band.
The electronic paper display module in this Seiko watch is the result of a joint development effort, bringing together E Ink's 'electronic ink' technology and Seiko Epson's advanced display manufacturing and electronic circuitry techniques.
This electronic paper technology enables a new generation of personal devices with ultra high contrast, since the display is made up of pure black and pure white particles, allowing the same contrast as found on a printed page. This is twice the contrast, in fact, of an LCD panel.
The display is much thinner than is possible with any conventional display technology, analog or digital. The prototype has a very low power consumption, since the display is readable under very low light conditions and no backlighting is required. The display also has an inherently stable 'memory effect' that requires no power to maintain an image. For these reasons, battery life can be extended.
Seiko expects to commercialize this 'Future Now' watch in Japan by the spring of 2006. Plans for the international launch are under consideration, along with other design interpretations.