Why E-Ink - What It Is and How It Works

Electronic Ink

E-Ink technology was first discovered in the 70ies but only became an alternative to paper due to development of technology and research made in the 90ies. First and foremost this development was made possible thanks to the effort of the E-Ink-Corporation which streamlined mass production to make the technology affordable.

But what makes E-Ink unique? The keyword here is “bistable”. Bistable means that each image-building particle has two states to remain stable in. Either on the background of its capsule, which makes it invisible, or in the foreground, rendering the particle visible. As a result of being stable in its visible state a E-Ink display can preserve its image without the necessity of power. Even if you unplug an electronic shelf label or remove its battery it will still show the last programmed image/price/text. And since an E-Ink display uses power only while changing the content of the screen or when communicating with the network, e-shelf-labels have extremely low energy consumption. Therefore e-shelf-labels are equipped with batteries lasting up to five years. Additionally E-Ink has supreme visibility in sunlight and viewing angles up to 180°. The combination of energy-efficiency and readability makes e-paper the only viable substitute for paper based on todays technology.

Electronic shelf labels with E-Ink

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