E-Paper Wall Paper

109 points4
sho_hn7 hours ago

Here's a build log of a recent e-ink project of mine, using ChatGPT and Rust:

unshavedyak6 hours ago

How much did that run you? That looks awesome and i'd buy one right now if someone made this or made it easy for me to make it

sho_hn6 hours ago

About $550 total. $400+shipping for the panel, $100+shipping for the Halbe frame with low reflection glass and a passepartout cut to size, $50 for the other bits.

There's a 10.3" panel for half the price. With an IKEA frame etc. you can probably do a slightly smaller $250 build.

hultner6 hours ago

That’s terrific, quite inspiring!

A couple of questions, if that is okay; How much did all of it run you down in the end? How do you recharge the battery? Did you consider adding a USB-C charge port somewhere? How much does it cost you to use the ChatGPT-API?

sho_hn6 hours ago

(1) See my reply to your sibling re build cost rundown :-)

(2) If you take a close look at the build, the module at the bottom is a little BMS board with a USB-C connector for charging!

That said, I made the battery detachable with glue-on velcro pads and also have a Riden bench PSU with a very convenient battery charging mode. Often I don't bother with a USB receptacle and charging circuit for DIY projects and just go that route.

(3) I currently use the gpt-3.5-turbo model on the OpenAI, which at present costs $0.002 for 1000 tokens. 1000 tokens are about 750 words. I make between 8 and 16 API calls to the OpenAI API for an update, with an in/out total of about 6000-8000 tokens on average (mainly because I am submitting the original article texts). I update the newspaper once a day in the morning. The total monthly cost is very low.

userbinator15 hours ago

The colour is surprising --- the images displayed on them don't look like they're grayscale.

It only has 64kb of flash onboard, so [Aaron] devised a clever compression technique that enabled him to store complex images on the displays.

Note that an EPD itself is a "write only" memory with no minimum clock rate, so images can be streamed directly over the network to it.

jtbarrett14 hours ago

The displays can show black, white and red. He picked a good image for that palette. Still, the dithering was surprisingly effective.

TylerE9 hours ago

Sounds like the early two color process in Hollywood… they got red (for skin tones) and a sort of teal blue green that could sorta do plants and sorta do sky, but wasn’t real convincing at either.

throwthrowuknow8 hours ago
stavros8 hours ago

Dithering is amazing. I built a display to show my calendar:

When testing it out, I tried to show a grayscale image, because the display supports four tones, but it came out horrible. Then I displayed a dithered two-tone image (black and white) and it was much, much better:

I wonder if there are any arbitrary-palette dithering algorithms that I could try, it would be great to be able to use the other two tones and still dither.

1MachineElf3 hours ago

Awesome project, however, expensive.

Conceptually e-paper may have been a misnomer. Considering the cost and scarcity, it really has nothing in common with ubiquitous and cheap paper.

basement4211 hours ago

These remind me of that company called nanoleaf, they sold these stackable canvas led squares that really was beautiful but expensive if I remember correctly. But these seem to be a cheaper alternative, cool!

voytec10 hours ago

I have two sets of Nanoleaf Canvas (they have more shapes now). The "main node" from the first set of 9 squares stopped working after about 2 years. I bought another set of 9 squares to use the main node from the new one with 8 squares left from the first set and 8 squares from the new one.

Sadly, they didn't fixed issues in years and are selling buggy product which can reset itself few times within 2 minutes (only in certain color modes but reboots take more time than working mode) and leaves (heh) me with just a few options to choose from if I don't want the product to constantly reboot itself and show pale-white color for 30 seconds.

I was considering buying their newer products but decided not to as I don't appreciate company which sells stuff they well know is faulty.

For reference, both older and newer Nanoleaf Canvas are the model NL29-0002SW-9PK and were bought off their official Amazon store.

foobarbecue6 hours ago

Interesting how closely your experience mirrors mine. Bought 2 sets of Canvas back when they came out. Panels all still work and one of the "main nodes," but the other node just up and died. I haven't done the autopsy yet.

gambiting9 hours ago

They still exist. I'd argue Govee has a superior version of that product for less money, but you can still buy the original Nanoleaf.

lordfrito3 hours ago

It's cool but not really "wall paper".

xd19365 hours ago

I'm a simple man. I upvote any eInk/ePaper project I see on HN. Love this.

xvector15 hours ago

It sucks that eink is still so ridiculously expensive. I recently had to pay around 2k for a 32" eink device. Bonkers pricing.

muyuu4 hours ago

yep, even 13~14in bare e-ink screens are the price of mid-range tablets

I guess the market isn't quite there

andai14 hours ago

Woah, that's TV size, I didn't know they made those. What are you using it for, what's it like?

Animats13 hours ago

Here are some of the larger e-ink displays.[1] No prices given. They're being pitched to cities as bus stop displays, because they can be run from a small solar panel. It might make sense for that, because having power run to a bus stop sign probably costs more than an expensive E-ink panel.

I notice that some Alibaba sellers of similar displays copied some of their images from that site.


harvey913 hours ago

You still need the bus data sign illuminated at night, and bus stops have plenty of room on top of the shelter for a larger solar panel.

Wingman4l713 hours ago

Boston's got some of the solar-powered ones, I've seen them late 2022:

Looks like they were also using them for transit at one point, but I haven't seen these myself:

Wingman4l714 hours ago

Yep, there are some Chinese manufacturers making them; I occasionally see information popping up on them on e-reader devices news websites. As you can see though, still not cheap.

ra42314 hours ago

Can you share the images of the device?

Sk0122 hours ago

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taf27 hours ago

I wonder if E-Paper could be a suitable camouflage in Ukraine to hide from drones? Most of the drone clips I've seen are with visible light but maybe are the drones using other light sources? If not a massive epaper display or even many smaller ones... could be feasible camouflage?

kayodelycaon6 hours ago

Camouflage works better on things that aren’t moving. And it wouldn’t stop infrared, laser designators, or radar.

The best camouflage from the ground is to fly low and have a color scheme that is difficult to read against the sky. Gray works well.

realworldperson8 hours ago