One is lightning fast and can display anything, the other is slow and can only show one of two things. Why wouldn’t you pick the screen every time?
A bit of background first, smart Ink is an ink that can change colour in response to something (that’s how we define it at least). The activation types I’m aware of are; temperature, UV light, electricity and water. (I wouldn’t include E-ink/Kindle as it uses film not paper, and is made up of independent micro capsules, not ink)
I studied Product Design at Uni and smart ink was in all the textbooks, everyone agreed it was pretty cool. However, in the real world it’s sparingly used, mostly as a novelty in beer packaging or that kind of thing. It’s been around for at least 15 years but has never really been commercialised in an exciting way.
Back to the comparison, a screen (pixels) can display pretty much anything you want. It does it quickly and can talk to a computer really efficiently. Smart ink is slower, is only beginning to be interfaced with computers, and can only be an ‘off’ or an ‘on’ version of it’s design.
…but there’s still a case to be made. The average person doesn’t want three sets of screens in their living room, but probably likes the idea of one screen and a couple of posters/pieces of art.
If you’ve got a specific question that you need an answer to every day, smart ink could be a good wayof displaying it, whilst also keeping a home environment you enjoy.
It will be interesting to see if smart ink starts to be used more ambitiously as companies and people want more and more touch points to the connected world.