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I picked up the Esquire E-ink’ed cover today and took a bunch of high res photos, you can find them here… a couple of the the low res ones are above.

For the makers out there:

  • It has a programming header, 5-pin ISP.
  • It has a Microchip PIC 12f629 which is flash programmable, 8 pin.
  • It has 6 lithium coin cell CR2016s, 3 volts each.
  • There are 2 e-ink screens with flex connections (these are pricey connections). It looks like it was made to be reprogrammed and different screens.
  • The top screen 11 segments, the bottom has 3.
  • It was design 06/04/2008.
  • The PCB was made by Forewin (Chinese firm?).
  • Half thickness, 2 layer board (FR4).

Special thanks to Limor Fried for e-ink tinkering.

I think someone out there will likely reflash the PIC and make the segments go on / off at different time and perhaps put other displays on it, there’s a little bit of hacking to be had but not that much really.

And here’s my opinion, I know a lot media folks & tech sites are pooping on this cover – but someone needed to start somewhere, I’m glad there’s an E-Ink cover in existence, it’s clear it’s going to be decades until it’s something that very common, or if the Kindle will just end up being a uni-magazine.


My quick video…

And last up, here’s a video of what the cover looks like in action…

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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