E Ink and Sharp collaborate to bring ePaper digital “posters” to market


E Ink Holdings Inc. (Billerica, Massachusetts), the originator, pioneer and global commercial leader in ePaper technology, and Sharp Corporation (Osaka, Japan), a leading company in the digital signage market, announced their collaboration to bring ePaper posters using E Ink's technology to market.

Digital signage is becoming increasingly popular, not only with advertisers, but as a communication tool in public spaces and facilities for transmitting information in a timely manner. However, it is still common to see paper posters used in areas where it is difficult to install digital signage, whether it is due to an electrical supply not being available, or the surface on which the signage would be installed does not have the necessary load-bearing capacity.

E Ink has revolutionised a variety of markets—such as e-books, digital notepads and electronic shelf labels—with their proprietary digital paper technology that features the visibility and portability of paper in a digital display format that requires no power to display an image. Since entering the digital signage business in 2005, Sharp has become a market leader with their "Changing city scenery, changing office scenery" theme. They have done this not only through the development of displays, but also through offering a one-stop solution for digital displays—from planning, production, consulting, and system construction to installation and maintenance—that can fit any given installation location.

Three years ago, the companies began collaborating with the goal of combining their strengths to contribute to the carbon-neutral era by popularising digital posters. The potential of these digital posters has been confirmed through marketing activities, such as exhibiting prototype displays at exhibitions both within Japan and around the globe. As the first step in this collaboration, Sharp will release their 42-inch monochrome “ePoster” digital paper display in the Japanese market in early April 2023. In addition to having a power consumption of 0W during display, it also uses light reflected from outside sources to display its image, providing optimal visibility even in bright environments. The display is also thin and lightweight. Using their expertise in installing and operating digital signage, along with their extensive service network across Japan, Sharp will offer digital poster options to replace paper posters in locations where digital signage has been previously difficult to install.

"We are excited to work with Sharp on the expansion of their ePaper ePoster," stated Naoki Sumita, President, Sales & Marketing, Japan, of E Ink. "As cities and communities look to reduce their carbon footprint, E Ink offers a grid-free solution to enable their sustainability efforts."

Tetsuji Kawamura, Sharp executive officer and BU President of Smart Business Solutions BU, affirmed: "We are honoured to be able to contribute to the development of the digital poster market with E Ink, the leader in digital paper technology. When it comes to digital signage, the achievement of digital posters with a power consumption of 0 W during use is a ground-breaking step in working towards creating a new market suitable for the carbon-neutral era."

In addition to working towards future advancements, such as larger or colour displays, both companies plan to strengthen their collaboration. The two companies plan to expand their efforts worldwide and develop a market for ePaper posters to serve as a new tool to disseminate information in the carbon-neutral era.

Caption: Digital ePaper displays achieve a power consumption of 0W during use to revolutionise the dissemination of information in the carbon-neutral era (photo: E Ink)

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