In the future, every smartphone will have an 'always-on' display

In the future, every smartphone will have an 'always-on' display
Is our mobile future e-Ink?

The Yotaphone may be the only smartphone on the market boasting an always-on e-Ink screen, but its creators believe it won't be lonely for long.

Speaking exclusively to TechRadar, Yota Devices' CEO Vlad Martynov gave his vision of the future, where all mobile devices could have the same always-on display technology.

"We strongly believe in the future all devices, all gadgets, will have an always-on display," Martynov explain.

"We've made the first step with the Yotaphone, and we believe this is an evolutionary platform and a completely new way for people to interact."

Witness the fitness

Martynov see two core growth areas which can really use the second, always-on screen of the Yotaphone, the first of which is wearable devices.

"What's most interesting are the wearable devices which have health and fitness sensors," he said.

The problem with wearable devices such as the Nike FuelBand SE, Fitbit Force and Jawbone Up is their lack of a proper screen.

Some do give you basic readouts on a tiny display, but if you want to view any real data you have to fire up the app on your smartphone.


Is this the future of all smartphones?

Yota is "working with several third party wearable manufacturers" to integrate various devices with the always-on e-Ink display of the Yotaphone.

This will give consumers all the data from their band in real time, without having to use the power hungry main screen.

Making fab phablets

"The second most interesting area for Yota Devices is the phablet market," Martynov told TechRadar.

"In some countries reading is one of the main use cases among smartphone owners, and those people would probably prefer to have a 5-inch, even 6-inch displays."

For this reason, and the fact that supersized smartphones are big business in Asia, Yota Devices is looking at increasing the size of its full colour and e-Ink displays.

Phablets don't just offer the advantage of a large display however: "Phablets also have bigger batteries, so they'll probably last for 3 or 4 days when utilising the e-Ink display technology."

"We can leverage our concept, our platform and we can bring more value to wearable health devices and phablets."

Yota Devices announced its second generation Yotaphone at MWC 2014, which features a fully touchscreen e-Ink display on the rear, larger displays and a bigger battery - but there's currently no time frame on the phablet device.

John McCann
Global Managing Editor

John joined TechRadar over a decade ago as Staff Writer for Phones, and over the years has built up a vast knowledge of the tech industry. He's interviewed CEOs from some of the world's biggest tech firms, visited their HQs and has appeared on live TV and radio, including Sky News, BBC News, BBC World News, Al Jazeera, LBC and BBC Radio 4. Originally specializing in phones, tablets and wearables, John is now TechRadar's resident automotive expert, reviewing the latest and greatest EVs and PHEVs on the market. John also looks after the day-to-day running of the site.