A Fresh E-Ink Newspaper Delivered Every Morning

[Greg Raiz] recently set out to make it easy to read multiple newspapers in the morning over breakfast. Inspired by a similar project, he built an e-ink newspaper that hangs on his wall, delivering fresh news every ten minutes.

The project started with a 32″ Visionect e-ink display configured as a thin client. With a battery life measured in months thanks to the low power electronics, most of the work here was focused on the backend. A docker container running on a local NAS server collects newspapers via freedomforum.org, formats them to fit the aspect ratio of the display, and serves them up. [Greg] is really trying to preserve the design and thought that goes into the front page of each of these publications as traditional newspaper layouts are often designed by hand.

We love the simplicity and the “it-just-works” feel of this project as there are no buttons, wires, or anything that you need to fiddle with. [Greg] points out that it could also be used for other purposes, and we’d love to see a large calendar such as this e-ink calendar or perhaps even a 32″ version of this e-ink laptop. The code for this is on his GitHub with a video after the break.

28 thoughts on “A Fresh E-Ink Newspaper Delivered Every Morning

    1. FWIW, it looks like he used the Place and play version, which is a (very mildly) more palatable cost of $2576.

      As always pops up on this topic, E-Ink displays probably aren’t coming. The issue is 2-fold:

      1) There isn’t enough demand for this kind of display to take advantage of scaled production benefits
      2) E-ink technologies have been heavily patent-encumbered, and the patent holders have been unwilling to license to anyone except large companies (eg Amazon)

      That said, a low/no power color version of this would find space on my wall. I imagine being able to change a piece of art every day. How cool would that be? Or fulfilling the promise of all those digital picture frames from 15 years ago

      1. Very. Also imagine trolling someone by having a picture on the display changing by tiny increments once a day (at 3 a.m.) and see how long it takes for them to catch on.

      2. >heavily patent-encumbered

        So in a nutshell the same as with 3D printers.
        You could have build one in the 90s, they weren’t exactly new tech then either, but thanks to patent anuses we had to wait till the end of the noughties to have them broadly and cheaply available.
        In other words and without looking exact dates up, 2040 will be the year of the eInk Display. ^^’

    1. But that’s only the display module, you still need a driver board, wifi, batteries and charger, and a case to complete the system like the place&play.
      Probably it will end costing the same

  1. I’m still waiting for a dual display folio eink reader, that opens like a book, and can then read my book collection on the go somewhat naturally.

    Eink screens are either made tiny, or in case of this, very big- what we need is 17″ laptop screen sizes and then the tech will take off. Color Eink would be nice too. That exists, but crazy expensive and still nearly non-existent

  2. There should be an article warning, something like an NSFW, due to the language you’ll speak when you see the prices for e-ink displays this size. Still a cool project.

  3. $6,000 USD or even $2 or $3k USD isn’t the real problem.

    The best part of a newspaper is folding it.

    Carrying that thing on the bus attached to my portable generator, battery pack, and UPS, would be tricky if I can’t fold it so the old lady sitting next to me doesn’t have a hissy fit.

    I’m waiting for the folding version even if it costs $10,000 USD. You aren’t aware of how vicious old ladies on the bus are.

    1. I thought the real problem is that you have to stand staring at the tiny text on the wall while trying to have breakfast. It’s not a bad idea as long as you’re not pretending to actually read the news on it. Then it’s clearly a waste of money. If it’s just because this guy likes to hang crap on his wall (clearly), then it’s fine.

  4. Prices of big e-ink display will be forever great, because otherwise they cut off traditional paper business, Because Amazon own paper business AND e-ink patents, they don’t like this tecnology.
    However, as happened in ’80 with DAT obstacled by phonograph industry, a new tecnology (CD, at time) should change things…

  5. I like how the title of the video is “I built …” no you didn’t. You purchased a commercial display and pushed some content on it.
    I don’t really see how that’s hack, these are made for this purpose.
    Anyway cool display, but expensive!

    1. Exactly what I thought. It’s like buying a dell and connecting it to your local network and saying you built a network able computer. What expensive thing can I buy and claim to build?

      1. I think the “hack” is the application he built that sends the content to the display. I dont really see it as a hack to your point, but what he did was non-trivial… more complex than that just plugging it in, less complex than building your own e-ink display. Its inspiring, I had a dozen ideas pop in my head watching the video for things Id like to build after watching this. There is plenty of that on hackaday, not everything is a meat and potatoes hack, theres plenty of “i took a, b, and c and build D”.

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