E-ink / e-paper display with touch screen


#1

Hey, y’all.

So, I’ve got a hobby project I’d like to build using Mesh, and I’m looking for a decent-sized e-ink/e-paper display with touch screen input to act as the control surface.

I’ve been googling around and I can find cheap panels on Alibaba, but I need something a little more finished and noob friendly.

I’m wondering if any of y’all know of any ~6" e-ink panels with touch interfaces that will work with an Argon/Xenon. Something that has a driver board already that I can talk to over UART or SPI or something. Ideally it’d be 3 color (black, white and red) and have an integrated backlight option, but those features are optional.

Thoughts? I know there are a few e-ink threads, but none of them seemed to fit what I was trying to do.

Thanks!

TL;DR
I’ve got a pretty old motor home and I want to modernize the living quarters. I want to monitor the levels in 3 water tanks (black, grey, fresh), propane levels, battery draw, etc. I’d also like to make the interior lights “smart” i.e. controllable from the control panel and my phone (using Bluetooth).

I like to go “boondocking” or off the grid camping, so power consumption is super important. I want a display/control surface that can always be displaying data, but that draws very little juice. The Xenons doing the monitoring will also be sleeping most of the time.

The idea is that I create icons for each of the things I’m monitoring (water level, etc) that will get updated once an hour, once a day, etc. But I’d also like to be able to use the screen to control interior lighting and A/V equipment (hence the touch panel).

I’m also just looking for a fun project to hack on and I’ve wanted to do e-ink for a while. “Purpose fit” is important, but not the most important thing, as this is just a fun, hobby project. I thought about using a Raspberry Pi and one of the LCD touch panels, but they’re power hungry and I feel like I want more of a challenge than that.


#2

The e-ink displays I have come across with a touch function have a dedicated controller and cost over $200.
The only thing that comes close to your idea and is easily connected (via SPI) to a Particle device is the Waveshare 2.7" with 4 buttons. Makes for a creativity challenge for button combinations.


#3

It’s higher than I’d like for sure, but $200 isn’t beyond what I’d consider for the right setup. I’m pretty sure that if some company made what I was trying to make they’d charge way more than that. Here’s an example that isn’t remotely “smart”, but it’s over $200.

If it’s convenient, and you remember where you saw them, I’d still love a recommendation. If not, no worries.

I’ve seen references to the Waveshare modules. I suppose I could use multiples if I needed to. I’ll check them out.

Thanks, @Pescatore!


#4

Put that over the display maybe?


#5

well if you feel up to a diy challenge you might could make something work by using one of these kits,
http://www.buy-lcd.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=57650
with this [or one like it] chip


not sure if you need bi-directional
you’d be a hero if you got it to work.


#6

Yes, camper accessories can be pricey. That’s a cool project and I can see why you want low power.
I googled “e paper touch screen”. This morning it turned up expensive stuff. Now I found this. Anywhere from $9 to $200.
It seems you need a controller and it might use the overlay that @RWB suggested.
This one also came up and is the same site that @dkryder posted.

I suspect this kind of product is next in the evolution. I looked into it a year ago and found nothing.
So, I concur, you’d be a hero.


#7

turns out there is a good recent thread on the arduino forum on the topic of Good Display e-paper displays.
https://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=436411.0


#8

Y’all are awesome. Thanks for the tips!

I think I’m going to try this setup:

The touch overlay is a little smaller than the display, but that’s ok. I can build a bezel. Sad to lose the real estate of the display, but I’ll live with it.

I’ve found a cool icon set that looks good in monochrome. I’ve never done display driver stuff before, so it’ll be a fun learning experience.

I’m curious to see how often I’ll have to calibrate the display to the touch panel to get good accuracy when interacting with the controls. I guess we’ll see if temperature is a factor.

Anyway, thanks again, y’all!!


#9

Cool. Looking forward to seeing how this works out.