Using E-Ink Displays for Unique Digital Signage
Electrophoretic ink, more widely known as electronic ink, is used to create Electronic Paper Displays like those on Kindles, e-ink tablets, and e-ink digital signage. Both greyscale and color options are available that utilize varying pigmentation systems to achieve the desired finish.
The Technology Behind E-Ink
E-ink technology was co-founded by MIT grads in 1997, but since then it has been widely commercialized by the company E-Ink Corporation. E-ink is made up of thousands of microcapsules. These capsules are laminated onto an electronic ink plastic film creating electronic paper. It electronically charges the particles to activate the color, or shade of the details.
The most recent technology to come from e-Ink is Advanced Color ePaper (ACeP™) which is similar to the CYMK color model. Instead of black, white particles are used. This approach, using the cyan, yellow, and magenta capsules allow users to access a full-color spectrum and create more detailed digital displays.
Applications for Use
The sky’s the limit when it comes to e-ink applications. It can be used in pretty much any industry that harnesses the power of digital solutions. From meeting room e-displays to logistics/shipping tracking numbers and everyday eReaders like Kindles. E-Ink can also be used on wearable tech like smartwatches and mobile phones.
In the digital signage space, e-ink can be used both indoors and outdoors in just about any situation you’d use an LED screen in. From retail to room signage and even in museums or theaters. More recently, digital shelf labeling has become popular, (more so in Europe than the US) which allows retailers to update their pricing on shelves instantaneously and avoid waste from errors or errors in pricing.
Benefits of Using e-Ink for Digital Signage
One of the major challenges with digital signage is that it can be difficult to see if it’s a bright sunny day outside. However, e-Ink combats this. The electronic paper component allows passers-by to see the content as clearly they would see ink written down on paper or in a book.
The electronic paper displays use reflective technology rather than emitting its own lighting, which also makes it far easier on the eyes for those who might be using the technology on laptops or tablets for work.
E-ink also allows for a more subtle approach to digital signage and can almost look as if the sign has been hand-drawn on paper, as demonstrated in the below image:
This could be appealing to brands who want to approach things a little less “in your face” with a more demure and artistic look without the traditional glare that can sometimes happen with large LED signs.
Additionally, e-ink also allows brands to be creative with it. As highlighted in the example above, menus can be handwritten using e-writer technology which is perfect to create a more traditional and rustic look. Such effects are nearly impossible on traditional LED displays.
The technology is also a low-power solution, which is perfect for businesses who want to be more conscious of their energy output and create more sustainable solutions. Power is only consumed when the image is changed, meaning if a business often uses the same static promotions, it’s a far better alternative to using LED. LED signage is better for video content.
E-ink technology provides the perfect mix of traditional design with modern technology to create digital signage that goes against the grain and allows full creative freedom for businesses.