E-Ink (electronic inc) technology produces a low-power, paper-like display that most people are familiar with from e-readers. However, E-Ink displays can also be used in automation solutions and especially in smart office applications. In this blog post, we’ll discuss use cases and benefits of using E-Ink Display Beacons.
How Does E-Ink Technology Work?
E-Ink technology involves tiny microcapsules suspended in a liquid that is encased within a film layer. The microcapsules contain positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles.
A negative electric field causes the white particles to rise to the surface. Conversely, a positive electric field causes the black particles to move to the top. By applying different fields to different parts of the screen, E-Ink creates a monochromatic text display.
What Are the Advantages of This Technology?
E-ink displays are particularly popular because they resemble printed paper. They are more comfortable on the eyes than other display types, offer very good readability, have a long battery life, are easy to use, and save labor costs and the production of paper signs/notices.
infsoft E-Ink Display Beacons: Application Scenarios and Benefits
E-Ink displays can be labeled wirelessly via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE). At infsoft, we offer E-Ink Display Beacons with integrated BLE sensor technology in various sizes that can be used for digital signage and labeling of rooms, lockers, containers in industry, routing slips, and much more. Depending on the application, it is also possible to locate the displays. We distinguish between E-Ink displays that are permanently installed (infrastructure hardware) and mobile E-Ink displays that are attached to assets to be tracked (tag hardware). Using our E-Ink hardware helps companies automate processes and increase visibility.
The benefits at a glance:
E-Ink displays can be used as digital door signs for functional and service rooms as well as conference rooms. In addition, lockers can be labeled and floor plans can be displayed. You can label beds or medical equipment in healthcare, and containers, shelves, or goods in industrial applications.
The integrated Bluetooth Low Energy technology allows display content to be updated wirelessly and automatically. In the case of meeting rooms, both booking times and (when using appropriate sensor technology) the actual room occupancy can be displayed. Interfaces allow for an exchange of information with the room booking system. Additional information such as the room’s equipment and capacity can also be displayed.
E-Inks on lockers show the name of the person who booked the locker and, if applicable, information about their presence. Floor plans can dynamically display live information on points of interest and current room occupancy information.
In industrial environments, relevant data on the goods and/or the assigned order (e.g., the next target work step) can be automatically updated at any time. Mobile medical equipment or beds can be digitally labeled in healthcare applications.
Automatic updating of content is configured via infsoft Automation by defining individually definable conditions.
Predefined display updates can also be manually triggered by pressing a button on the E-Ink. An example would be manually changing the status of a hospital bed (e.g. from “not cleaned” to “cleaned”).
infsoft E-Ink Displays Beacons feature a multi-color LED indicator. When labeling lockers or rooms, the LED indicator provides information on whether the locker/room is currently available or occupied. In logistics, the LED lamp belonging to the desired item can be controlled by a remote command in a smartphone app. Goods can thus be identified more easily and securely, resulting in a high picking speed with a low error rate.
Different actions can be triggered via interaction with a QR code on the e-ink display. For example, when using E-Inks for signage of functional spaces, issues can be reported. Within a Workplace Experience app, the user submits a ticket. The integration of corresponding third-party software, such as ServiceNow, is used for this; the QR code automatically assigns the relevant room number to the ticket.
In the case of meeting rooms, interaction with a QR code can be used to book a room via a Workplace Experience app, for example. For E-Inks on lockers, the QR code enables requests such as switching one’s locker location.
In addition to wireless labeling of the E-Inks, the integrated Bluetooth Low Energy technology also allows the hardware to be located. Positioning is carried out in a server-based approach via a Bluetooth Low Energy gateway (infsoft Locator Node).
Tracking of the E-Ink Display Beacons is particularly useful in logistics and industrial environments. Here, the automated, digital labeling of moving goods or containers can accelerate and improve processes. Along the process chain, E-Ink Display Beacons can replace paper routing slips, for example. Via an interface to the ERP system, containers and transported goods are assigned to each other. In addition to industrial assets, the tracking solution is also suitable for labeling medical equipment and hospital beds.
Contact us now to learn more about the use of infsoft E-Ink Display Beacons and to discuss your own project with us.