Hackaday Prize Entry: An E-Ink Calendar

E-ink displays are becoming almost common in DIY electronics circles, and now we have very capable, low-power microcontrollers, some of which feature some sort of wireless connectivity. Combine these two, and you have the potential for a basic information screen — a low-power device that always displays some sort of relevant information, whether it’s the date or the weather.

For their Hackaday Prize entry, [Wenting] and [Dong] are building an e-ink calendar. It’s a calendar, it displays bitmaps, it can display the time, and with a little more hacking it can display the weather, current traffic, or train schedule. If this were the 90s, we would have called this an information appliance, and it would have blown everyone’s minds.

The current design of this e-ink calendar uses an 800 x 600 pixel display working in 16-level grayscale mode. The processor is an STM32F4, and in a cost-reducing revision, an external SRAM was thrown out and the frame buffer was moved to the internal RAM. The e-ink display is actually pretty quick, allowing for greater than 10 FPS in 1-bit mode.

As with any e-ink project, driving the display is a minor nightmare, but [Wenting] is able to push a few frames per second to the display. That’s good enough for a device that shouldn’t actually change all that much — this is a calendar, after all.

12 thoughts on “Hackaday Prize Entry: An E-Ink Calendar

  1. Love the idea. I actually had a similar idea a while back. biggest possible e-ink display mounted on the wall, with WiFi, displaying my Google calendar, updating it automatically. showing the monthly overview, and depending on the size maybe even the tasks for the day. did a little research into e-ink but quickly lost interest after I saw the price for a display at the size i had in mind. should at least be 20 inch I guess to replace the family paper calendar and be practical for everyday use.

    1. Yep, still very expensive. For 16 inch (four e-ink andriod tablets of 8 inch) it would cost at least 600 pounds. At least there are ways to (google for:) combine multiple android displays.

  2. On ebay there are e-ink modules:
    6 inches = 20 pounds
    9.7 inches 40 pounds
    This is waiting for a kickstarter project to make a board
    that combines four or more displays.
    A nice large A4 size 13 inch e-ink reader costs 500 to 800 pounds
    whereas four 6 inch e-ink modules would be close to A4
    and cost 20 pounds each.

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