E-Paper Price Tags Used to Create Large Wireless Grid Display
The use of e-paper price tags has been on the rise lately, and for good reason too. They have great readability, consume extremely less power, can operate efficiently in a wide temperature range (larger stores have cooling areas for storing meat, fish, raw vegetables, etc.) and allow centralized operations that reduce manual labor. etc So far so good, but ingenious thinking seems to have come up with a new way to use these e-paper price tags, that of using several of them as grid displays.
As Hackaday reported, DIY enthusiast Aaron Christophel came up with the idea of creating grid displays using no less than 300 e-paper displays arranged in a 20 x 15 layout. E-paper displays are actually perfect for such projects given their lightness as well as their ability to last a long time on a single charge. Moreover, their ability to update wirelessly is another positive aspect of e-paper screens. Aaron, meanwhile, resorted to gluing Velcro to a plywood board to hold the individual e-paper screens.
For the firmware, Aaron reverse-engineered an earlier work by Dmitry Grinberg in which he used a 3D-printed pogo pin programming jig to flash dozens of beacons. Aaron isn’t stopping there either and said he’s been working on another project where he intends to use the displays without their casing and attached to a 3D printed grid frame. There could still be several challenges to the above process – each of the displays will lose its battery and antenna – although Aaron intends to work around this by connecting the displays to a single power source as well as connecting displays to an ESP32 via ISP or UART.
In the meantime, here is a video illustrating Aaron’s current work.
With a keen interest in technology, I make it a point to keep up to date with the latest developments in the world of technology and gadgets. This includes smartphones or tablets, but even extends to AI and self-driving automobiles, the latter being my latest fad. In addition to writing, I like watching videos, reading, listening to music or experimenting with different recipes. Cinema is another aspect that interests me a lot and maybe I will make a film in the future.