what is bi-stableBi-stable displays are unique in that they only require power when their on-screen image is changing. Once power is removed, the device's image will remain on-screen. In contrast, a traditional LCD requires a constant source of power for the backlight as well as to refresh the on-screen image, which can need refreshing around 30 times per second, even when it is not changing.

As reflective displays, bi-stable technology requires no backlighting and instead reflects ambient light from the environment off its surface towards the viewer. The appearance of these displays is such that they are more often called e-paper or e-ink displays.

Bi-stable LCDs can display a variety of colours, which can be combined together in single layers or double layers.  However, the displays do need a protective UV cover.

Applications of bi-stable displays include digital signage, retail labelling and e-readers, however new innovative uses are being found for this technology all the time.

How do Bi-Stable Displays Work?

Bi-stable displays use microscopic charged pigment suspended within tiny spheres of liquid. Differently pigmented particles are drawn to the surface depending on the electrical field applied to the microcapsules. These produce the image on-screen and remain in place until a power is applied to the microcapsules once more.

The Benefits of Bi-Stable Technology 

Energy Saving

The power efficiency offered by bi-stable displays is their primary draw. For example, research conducted by Motorola found that a battery in a PDA can last over 600 times longer on a device that utilises bi-stable technology.

Reduced Eye Fatigue

As bi-stable technology mimics ink on paper, it is said to reduce eye strain associated with using LCDs for long periods of time.

Bi-Stable Technology for ESL

Electronic shelf labels (ESL) using bi-stable technology allow retailers to change product pricing remotely and in real-time. This allows the retailer to be reactive with pricing and promotions, and stay ahead of their competitors. At GTK, our colour bi-stable displays offer the additional benefit of making signage more visually appealing and eye-catching.

Other Benefits

In addition to the above benefits, bi-stable displays offer wider viewing angles than most transmissive displays, high contrast ratio and excellent sunlight readability.

Find out more information about our bi-stable displays here. Or simply get in touch and one of our displays experts will be more than happy to assist with any queries and customisation that you require.