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Publication Date: 2014-Sep-03
Document File: 9 page(s) / 328K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


Electrophoretic and similar electro-optic displays can include a capability for non-electronic pen input. Such input can then be scanned and stored electronically. Applications include : (a) whiteboards; (b) government, health care and similar forms; (c) educational tests and school work; (d) office memoranda or signs; (e) CAD applications; (f) meeting notes; (g) input of mathematical information; (h) text editing; (i) architectural plans; and (j) Gantt charts. An improved keyboard for a portable device splits a conventional keyboard into two halves and places the two halves on the rear surface of the reader. The spacebar can be provided along one or both side edges of the front surface of the reader.

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This invention relates to improvements in electro-optic displays. This invention is especially, but not exclusively, intended for use with particle-based electrophoretic displays in which one or more types of electrically charged particles are suspended in a liquid and are moved through the liquid under the influence of an electric field to change the appearance of the display.

The background nomenclature and state of the art regarding electro-optic displays is discussed at length in U.S. Patent No. 7,012,600 to which the reader is referred for further information. Accordingly, this nomenclature and state of the art will be briefly summarized below.

The term "electro-optic", as applied to a material or a display, is used herein in its conventional meaning in the imaging art to refer to a material having first and second display states differing in at least one optical property, the material being changed from its first to its second display state by application of an electric field to the material. Although the optical property is typically color perceptible to the human eye, it may be another optical property, such as optical transmission, reflectance, luminescence or, in the case of displays intended for machine reading, pseudo-color in the sense of a change in reflectance of electromagnetic wavelengths outside the visible range.

The term "gray state" is used herein in its conventional meaning in the imaging art to refer to a state intermediate two extreme optical states of a pixel, and does not necessarily imply a black-white transition between these two extreme states. For example, several of the patents and published applications referred to below describe electrophoretic displays in which the extreme states are white and deep blue, so that an intermediate "gray state" would actually be pale blue. Indeed, as already mentioned the transition between the two extreme states may not be a color change at all. The term "gray level" is used herein to denote the possible optical states of a pixel, including the two extreme optical states.

The terms "bistable" and "bistability" are used herein in their conventional meaning in the art to refer to displays comprising display elements having first and second display states differing in at least one optical property, and such that after any given element has been driven, by means of an addressing pulse of finite duration, to assume either its first or second display state, after the addressing pulse has terminated, that state will persist for at least several times, for example at least four times, the minimum duration of the addressing pulse required to change the state of the display element. It is shown in U.S. Patent No. 7,170,670 that some particle-based electrophoretic displays capable of gray scale are stable not only in their extreme black and white states but also in their intermediate gray states, and the same is true of some other types o...