The one thing that was clearly evident at SID Display Week this year was the gravitation towards e-paper price tags, billboards, and advertising. E Ink Holdings is putting a priority on expanding outside of its bread and butter e-reader market and focusing on new applications.
Spectra is a new E Ink technology that is quite different from the full color Triton technology. It gives you the very crisp black and white shades, but also a new color: RED. Many companies, such as Target, KMart, Macy’s, and a slew of others, have their main logo in red. This technology is geared towards digital price tags and ranges from a few inches to six and greater. The intention behind Spectra is to offer commercial operations to implement digital price tags, with the sale logo or numbers to really pop out and grab peoples attention. It can be dynamically updated via WIFI or a dedicated internet connection. For example, E Ink hyped the fact that if it is raining outside, the companies could put an instant discount on umbrellas and prices would be automatically updated.
AURORA technology focuses on sub-zero temperatures, which is ideal for the freezer, milk and yogurt isles in super markets. It will function indefinitely at -25 C and is appealing towards labs, medical, and logistics markets. These new tags can be custom tailored from 2, 2.7, 4.41 and 7.4 inch screens. It can also be updated via WIFI, so you can update the prices on the fly, without having to worry about people updating them manually.
The spirit behind these new e-Paper technologies is to do away with the costly expensive of paper every month for retail stores and supermarkets. Most of the big stores spend close to $50,000 a month on tags, paper and other aspects of making pricing available on produce, microwave dinners and everything else. The new e Ink signage aims to streamline the process, and allows the IT department to update prices on the fly, and even dynamically offer deals. If its a really hot day, they could discount or increase the cost of water, if something is in season, they could reduce the prices, the applications are endless.
Michael Kozlowski has written about audiobooks and e-readers for the past twelve years. Newspapers and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times have picked up his articles. He Lives in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.