Modos announces pre-launch of 60 Hz 13.3-inch e-ink Modos paper display and development kit, featuring open hardware and open source hackability


The 13.3” Modos Paper Monitor features a fast 60 Hz refresh rate, allowing this e-ink display to play videos smoothly. (Image source: Modos)
The 13.3-inch Modos paper display features a fast 60 Hz refresh rate, allowing this e-ink display to play videos smoothly.

Modos announced the pre-launch of the 13.3-inch e-ink Modos paper display with a refresh rate of 60 Hz. Hackability kits will also be available.

Modos has announced the pre-launch of the 13.3-inch Modos paper display, with monochrome and color e-ink panel options and a 60 Hz refresh rate. Paper Monitor solves the major issues hindering wider adoption of e-ink displays by using low-latency pixels that provide smooth video playback and responsive page scrolling. For DIY and hacking projects, there is also a separate Modos development kit with open hardware and open source software that can be integrated into personal and enterprise projects.

E-ink displays use a novel method to display images and text – charged colored particles move within the panel to display different colors in response to display signals. When no electrical signals are present, the particles stabilize at their current position, so the resulting image remains visible for many years. This results in longer runtimes and lower power consumption, making e-ink displays ideal for e-book readers (like this one on Amazon ). However, most e-ink displays have a low screen refresh rate of around 10 Hz, which is a far cry from the 60 Hz standard for TVs or the 120+ Hz standard of top-end HDR mini-LED gaming monitors (like Amazon).

Modos developed a custom display driver with fast display memory and a custom refresh algorithm to increase the refresh rate high enough to support smooth video playback. To speed up pixel changes, Modos controllers update multiple pixel regions simultaneously, rather than serially, and can cancel pixel color changes before a complete state change occurs. To speed up page scrolling, the controller automatically switches to faster black-and-white mode during scrolling, then switches back to slower grayscale mode when scrolling stops.

Modos Paper Monitor can play video without the flickering, stuttering, or blurring of traditional e-ink displays. The 13.3-inch display has a resolution of 1600 x 1200 pixels, has HDMI and USB interfaces, and is compatible with Linux, Mac and Windows computers.

The development kit will be available in 6-inch or 13.3-inch color and monochrome e-ink models. Preliminary hardware information is detailed on GitHub and is licensed under the CERN Open Hardware License Version 2 – Strong Reciprocity (CERN-OHL-S).

The standalone Modos development kit comes with an unconnected monitor and controller for integration into DIY projects.  (Image source: Modos)
The standalone Modos development kit comes with an unconnected monitor and controller for integration into DIY projects. (Image source: Modos)

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