ePaper application scenarios
The Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) uses ePaper to replace paper shelf labels in supermarkets, convenience stores, grocery stores and drug stores where commodity pricing information needs to change every day and on the national scale.
The smart retail system consists of ESLs, indoor wireless server and gateway devices, and cloud management platform. With internet access, administrators can update supermarket pricing information in real time by signing in the cloud management platform for pricing change which will pass to the supermarket local station and gateway devices and then on to the commodity ESLs.
The ESL has the following advantages:
● Take a 2.13" ESL for example, it's operated with two button cells, the ESL can work for 5 to 7 years if pricing information is changed three to five times daily.
● It reduces financial losses caused by mistakes from manual work and improves overall operation efficiency.
● Instant offline promotions can be realized with ESLs, a new type of online to offline(O2O）promotion strategy can be achieved.
At present, ESL has been widely used in supermarket chains and fresh chains, including RT Mart, Rainbow, Miniso, Bailian, JKL, Yonghui, WuMart, Watsons, Fresh Hema, JD 7Fresh, Super Species, Bianlifeng, and Aunt Qian.
Today, paper is still widely used in medical records, which makes it difficult to timely update patient-related information and often spark mistakes. A lot of disputes between hospitals and patients happen as a result.
ePaper presents a good solution to the problems. Currently, there are nearly 100 Chinese hospitals having adopted ePaper-based information systems, with black-white-red ePaper colors and varied ePaper specifications of 2.13, 2.9, 4.2, 7.5 and 12.84 inches. They are often used in ward bedside cards, ward door signs, infusion cards, nursing cards, surgery operation cards, medicine shelf labels, and hospital consumable labels.
The hospital ePaper-based information system is similar to that in the smart retail industry, which consists of ePaper display tags, wireless communication base stations and gateways, and cloud information management platform connected to hospital's HIS systems.
ePaper based ward card has the following advantages over paper cards.
● Its electricity is supplied by button cells which can work up to three years with one update every 30 seconds.
● It is easily installed with no wiring needs, no harm to the wall and no interruption to hospital operations.
● It does not glow, patients would not be exposed to light pollution.
● It is environmentally friendly, reducing the number of one-time-use paper being wasted.
● Its information is updated timely, avoiding mistakes and subsequent medical accidents.
The Chinese government introduced a policy in 2021 aiming to reduce the workloads of teachers and students. ePaper can play an important role in achieving this goal.
By June 2021, approximately 700 classes of 100 Chinese primary and middle schools have completed the pilot work of using internet-connected ePaper notebooks as their homework systems.
The 10.3-inch ePaper notebook can be connected to the school homework information platform, paving the way for the digitalization of teachers assigning and correcting homework, and students doing and submitting their homework.
The ePaper homework notebook has the following unique characteristics:
● Easy-on-the-eyes. It is paper-like with no harm to the eyesight.
● Environment friendly. It can replace various paper used at school such as test paper and exercise books.
● Energy saving. It can operate for several weeks with one charge.
● Workload reduction. About one hour per day can be saved for teachers to mark the students’ homework. Students can be relieved from carrying a large number of exercise books, efficient learning is enhanced.
● Improved teaching quality. It allows students to record voices when encountering difficulties in doing their homework. Teachers in return can record voices and screens to explain to students.
● AI personalized homework assignment. Big data allows teachers to assign varied homework to different students based on their knowledge graphs.
There are quite a few ePaper products for smart office, such as conference name plates, door plates, conference notebooks, visitor badges and monitors.
The ePaper conference name plates' apparent advantages include:
● Large quality of paper saving and battery life time lasts for five years.
● Conference attendee information can be changed in batches at once over-the-air.
● Double sides of display with one side displaying attendee name and the other side displaying conference agenda.
Transportation represented by green travel has become an important part of the smart city development. ePaper-based bus station information displays have been widely deployed in Shanghai, enabling timely bus arrival information updates.
The ePaper-based bus information display system, available in 31.2 and 13.3 inches ePaper displays, installed with an Android smart system, and connected to the city big data platform via 4G LTE Cat1 for real-time bus arrival information.
The ePaper-based bus station information display system has the following advantages vs. LCD screens.
● Low construction cost. It uses solar panels and batteries only, there is no need to lay power cables, short construction period and low overall construction cost.
● Energy saving. In outdoors, four to five-fold backlight power is usually needed to make the content on LCD screens visible. ePaper, however, does not emit light itself. It uses natural light to reflect and display images with no energy consumption in the static state.
● Long life cycle. The ePaper product life is much longer than that of LCD which usually has to be replaced every two to three years.
● Low operational cost. Take the 6,000 ePaper-based bus stop information displays in Shanghai for example, more than 3 million USD of electric charges can be saved in three years compared to LCDs.
Hand grip advertisement in Metro is another innovative product of ePaper. It uses two 5.65 inches of ePaper color modules with adverts changed automatically at a designated interval by connecting to the cloud advertising platform via WiFi or 4G LTE Cat1. The hand grip is equipped with two 8,000mAh of lithium batteries which can work for about one year if the adverts are changed every 10 minutes.
The ePaper-based hand grip application has the following advantages compared to traditional paper-based advertisement.
● Adverts can be changed automatically without manual work.
● Advertisements can be shown at different times, so more revenues can be generated.
ePaper is deployed as reusable Electronic Baggage Tag (EBT) in the civil aviation industry. It has the same function with paper-based baggage tags where baggage numbers, passenger names, and flight information can be displayed. The EBT can be battery-free and images are changed with the weak electric current generated from the NFC/UHF radio frequency of iPhones or Android phones. In the EBT use case, passengers can have their baggage checked on their mobile phones and then dropped at the self-service baggage kiosks upon arrival of the airport, to save queue time and enjoy a contact-less travel with least infection risk under COVID.
The electronic baggage tag is a green and reusable product introduced by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), aimed at reducing the waste of the disposable paper-based baggage tags widely used in the international aviation industry.
ePaper can be used to replace paper in factories and improve the production efficiency by combining with industry-level UWB indoor positioning technology. The specifications of ePaper cards for factory use can vary from 1.54 and 3.7 inches of staff badges, to 4.2, 7.5 and 11.6 inches of tray labels, and further to 10.3 inch work order notebook devices. These ePaper products are able to send the real-time positions of various terminal devices to the factory's efficiency optimization platform every second, thus providing tools for decision makers for analysis and identify the areas where improvements are required.
Logistics is another prospective area for the application of ePaper can be used as e-Waybill in reusable packaging. With eCommerce booming in China, 100 billion disposable paper-based boxes are being wasted annually. ePaper waybill combined with sensors, GPS and 4G technologies, can help reduce goods losses and identify who should be held accountable for goods damages. This is another rising market for ePaper to contribute in green economy, help to reduce the carbon footprint and achieve sustainable development globally.