IDTechEx Interviews Co-founder of Nemoptic About E-paper Display Technology
"Big supermarket chains across the world can range from 100 to a few thousand stores. This would mean that we are looking at 1-10 million units of labels that need to be supplied per customer, and in these volumes, the cost of ownership of Rich Content ESLs (labels made with our displays - Rich Content ESL(TM) is a Trademark of Nemoptic SA) can compete successfully with lower-priced TN tags. The cost-competitiveness is due to improved labor productivity, more efficient pricing, promotional sales management, and improved customer loyalty and satisfaction".
Why can e-paper become pervasive?
Competitive stores that at times are revising their prices almost daily would gain an advantage with the use of e-paper as automation is not easy when using paper tags. Price tag changing at regular intervals is a labour intensive task and daily price update is not possible with paper. "Automation of this process also leads to better use of human resources across chain stores as wails as price agreement." says Jacques. "Price mismatch, a direct loss for retailers, can be up to 0.5% or more for large stores and if it can be avoided, that's a big saving".
These kinds of implementations can make shopping a more efficient experience for shoppers too, with e-paper being able to provide concise, up-to-date graphical information on the products on offer.
Along with the development of an A4 size e-paper display, Nemoptic is also researching the development of multi-color and flexible products. "Color displays are already available; the challenge is to achieve multi-color displays with higher brightness so that market acceptance can become easier."
Trials are already underway for the production of multi-color vivid tags, with deployment a bit further into the future, as issues are ironed out during trials. According to Nemoptic, flexible displays are not a high priority at the moment as flexibility of tags is not seen as an important feature for the market that the company is currently addressing. "Interest could arise out of the possibility of R2R processing and the use of additive processes" says Jacques "so we might be looking into further developing flexible tags in the future, when expanding to other markets."