Inkplate 6COLOR – A 5.8-inch e-paper color wireless display (Crowdfunding)

Inkplate 6COLOR is a 5.8-inch color e-paper display equipped with ESP32 WiSoC to provide WiFi and Bluetooth LE connectivity, and programmable with the Arduino IDE or MicroPython.

We’ve covered Inkplate ESP32-based e-paper displays since Inkplate 6 was launched in 2019, and since then the company introduced a larger model and an upgraded variant with a touchscreen display and higher resolution. But so far, all were grayscale models, and Inkplate 6COLOR is the first to come with color, or more exactly 7 colors.

Inkplate 6COLOR

Inkplate 6COLOR specifications:

  • Wireless module with dual-core ESP32 processor, Wi-Fi 4 & Bluetooth 4.0 (BLE) connectivity
  • External storage – MicroSD card socket
  • Display  – 5.8-inch, 600 x 448 e-paper display with 7 colors (Black, White, Red, Yellow, Blue, Green, Orange)
    • 128 DPI
    • 25 seconds refresh time (manufacturer); tested by Inkplate: 10 to 11 seconds
  • USB – 1x USB Type-C port for programming and power
  • Expansion – Headers for GPIO pins, I²C, SPI, and easyC/Qwiic connectivity
  • Misc – RTC and backup battery, 3x capacitive touch pads, power and user/wake push-buttons
  • Power Supply
    • JST input and MCP73831 charger for Lithium battery power
    • Power consumption – 18 µA sleep state that can work for months on a single charge
  • Dimensions – 145 x 116 x 6 mm
  • Weight – 95 grams

Inkplate 6COLOR board specificationsThe features are quite similar to the grayscale displays, but there are drawbacks to getting a color display, as for instance, the resolution of the display is quite lower and the refresh rate much slower than for Inkplate 6PLUS (1024 x 758 resolution, around 1.5 seconds refresh rate). Partial updates are not possible either on the color display.

Inkplate color vs grayscale

On the software side of things, Inkplate offers Arduino libraries with dithering algorithms that are 100% compatible with Adafruit GFX graphics library, a MicroPython module that facilitates the rendering of text, images, and line art, and is working on an ESP-IDF driver for more advanced users. The same tools are still used to prepare content or design a user interface for the display: Online Image Converter and a GUI Designer.

Inkplate 6COLOR is currently offered on Crowd Supply with a $9,900 funding target that has already been surpassed. Two rewards are available with the display only for $99, and the display with a 3D printed enclosure for $119. Prices include shipping to the US, but the rest of the world has to add $8 for shipping. Backers should expect to get their perks shipped sometime in mid-September 2022.

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1 Comment
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PhilS
PhilS
7 months ago

e-paper certainly seems to have a future but right now it feels too much like 2010.

It needs to mature before it has a hope of mass appeal.

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