31 MAY - 2 JUNE 2021

DUBAI WORLD TRADE CENTRE

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Middle East Design & Hospitality Week Logo

Electronic paper: why it could prove to be beneficial for a sustainable market

11 Oct. 2020

Dubai-based technology solutions provider, Aiotron has introduced an economically chic method of displaying meeting room schedules, nameplates, and board room occupancies; the first of its kind in the Middle East.

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The method goes by many names but is quite popularly known outside the Middle East as electronic paper technology. A technology that mimics the appearance of ordinary ink on paper, just as the glare-free screens on kindles and other electronic readers. But its applications extend far beyond the desires of the voracious reader.

WHY USE ELECTRONIC PAPER?

The biggest and by far the most useful benefit of electronic paper technology is its ability to remain static with no power assistance required. Your message stays alive even after the lights have gone out and electrical lines are shut.

The idea and the concept prove to be far more practical and sustainable in comparison to paper and LCD display alternatives. Millions of dollars are saved in costs, implementation, maintenance, and little to no less material required in installing these electronic paper solutions as part of a display tactic.

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Currently, it takes an employee a whole day to about a week for labeling shelves in any kind of commercial property, largely depending on the size of property and scale of work. Imagine the cost savings if all such labels could be updated within seconds. Such electronic paper displays are already in use across Europe and Americas. Workplaces, educational facilities, traffic signs, retail shelf labels, interactive museum signs, public transport – these are just a couple of areas where e-paper or electronic paper technology could be introduced. It all depends on how creative you can be.

WHAT IS ELECTRONIC PAPER AND HOW DOES IT WORK?

Electronic paper displays consist of a thin film that holds millions of miniscule capsules filled with clear liquid, each containing microscopic particles containing different colors and electrical charges. The film holding the capsules is sandwiched between electrodes, above and below the film. When a negative or positive electric field is applied to an electrode, the capsules with the corresponding charge are manipulated into moving towards it, displaying the intended image or color on the screen.

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While there are many reasons to use electronic paper, there are still a few technological limitations. Some of the drawbacks include:

• Displaying videos: this is an area that is under development and not commercially viable now.
• Since there is no backlight for these displays, use cases can be adopted only for viewing during daylight or well-lit rooms.
• Incapable of displaying a wide range of colors: most electronic paper displays can be seen only in shades of gray or basic colors like combinations of red/white/black or yellow/white/black. Another area of development to add more static colors and a full range of color.
• Low refresh rate: displays running rapid moving applications/images will not be conducive for this technology yet.

There are a couple of suppliers that provide electronic paper solutions for various verticals. Apart from the electronic readers which have been around for some years, here are a few use case scenarios noticed quite popularly:

• Meeting rooms and desk booking systems: signage that does not require cabling and battery operated.
• Cable free signage for retail, restaurants, healthcare facilities and transportation.

If you are interested in learning more about electronic paper tech, visit Aiotron, www.aiotron.com – they specialize in electronic paper technology and solutions and are flexible to work according to your project requirements.

Aiotron will be exhibiting at WORKSPACE from 31st May – 2nd June 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, showcasing products and solutions ideal for offices and commercial interiors.

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