24 Apr 2007
Award winning ultrathin Seiko watch uses electronic ink in its breakthrough display technology.
Seiko's latest must-have ladies' fashion accessory is a bracelet watch with an ultrahigh contrast display. Based on electronic ink, developed by the E Ink Corporation, the display is said to have the same contrast as black and white ink on a printed page and twice the contrast of an LCD panel.
In addition to the high contrast, Seiko claims that using electronic ink means the display is flexible and can be made much thinner than conventional watch technology. The ability to read the display in low-light conditions means that no backlighting is required. The display also has low power consumption as no power is required to retain and sustain the image.
Electronic ink contains millions of microcapsules, each about the diameter of a human hair. Each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles suspended in a clear fluid. When a negative electric field is applied, the white particles move to the top of the microcapsule making the surface appear white. By applying a positive electric field, the black particles move to the top making the surface appear black.
The display, which is made from a dual curved sapphire crystal encased in high-intensity titanium, weighs just 80 g, measures 22 mm in width and is 6.9 mm thick.
Another unique feature of the versatile watch is that the wearer can set the display to reflect their mood. While at work, the wearer can select 'efficiency' mode for an informative and easy to read display. Alternatively 'mystery' mode can be selected for a more imaginative, evocative style of display. Due to its breakthrough technology, Seiko's electronic watch was awarded the 2006 grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève prize for electronic watches.