A guide to e-paper technology and its growing
range of applications

As a bistable display technology, e-paper can be extremely low power, allowing it to be used in devices without the power budget of a traditional LCD display. Once the text and images of an EPD have been rendered no power is needed to maintain the display. In fact, e-paper is so low power that harvested energy can be used to make updates, enabling the use of RFID or NFC devices with battery-less EPDs. E-paper’s ability to add thin, light, highly-readable displays to low power or no power devices opens up a wide range of applications across the IoT space, from logistics to discrete manufacturing to retail. Battery-less, human-readable RFID tags for logistics and manufacturing, electronic shelf labels that can be monitored and updated remotely, smart badges with integrated displays.

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Designing e-paper displays for IoT applications

With its ultra-low power consumption and bistable display characteristics, both of which are well-suited to wireless updates, e-paper is an ideal display technology for many devices in the loT. E-paper can have rugged characteristics to suit industrial applications. E-paper modules are available in wide temperature ranges and are thin and light, making them easy to integrate into devices. They can also come with error-detection technologies to ensure robust operation. Moreover, e-paper’s superior viewing angles and reflective nature make it easily readable in many conditions, including bright light.

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Designing e-paper displays for IoT applications using the PaPiRus Zero 1

Available with either a 1.44-inch or a 2-inch e-paper display manufactured by Pervasive Displays, the PaPiRus Zero has been designed to mate with the Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless, the 1-GHz single-core compact version of the popular Raspberry Pi single-board computer. Together the compact Raspberry Pi Zero Wireless and PaPiRus Zero’s combined dimensions make them ideal for IoT, wearable and ultra-low power embedded applications.

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