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New DIY Wifi-Enabled ePaper Display

Joan is a smart meeting room sign whose E-ink display can be updated remotely over Wifi as the schedule changes. It is available commercially, and soon there will be a DIY kit which can do the same.

Texas Instruments and Pervasive Displays are now showing off a kit based on a SimpleLink Wifi CC3200 wireless MCU. It combines a low-power CPU with a Wifi chip and a controller for a small E-ink screen.

It works with one of the five E-ink screen sizes Pervasive Displays makes for the DIY market (from 1.44″ to 2.7″).


Here’s more from the description:

This design demonstrates the single-chip implementation of a wireless Electronic Paper Display (EPD) using Wi-Fi® technology. Technologies that use EPD displays require low-power operation and a method for a user to update the display information. This design provides user control via remote maintenance, an important service in the growing Industrial Internet of things (IoT) market.

It’s a nifty idea, but it’s a little late to the market.

You could accomplish the same trick by combining a Raspberry Pi (or a Pi clone) with one of the several E-ink screens kits which have been made just for the Pi.

Sure, it might be a little more expensive, but it would also be much more capable. You could, for example, have the Pi act as both a sign and a Tor relay node (although that would require a network cable rather than just Wifi).

But whatever you do, be sure that your device has adequate security. After all, you don’t want it to be part of the next great IoT hacking incident. Remember last week when half the web was unavailable? That was caused by an attack by hacked webcams, most of which were running on hardware which was less sophisticated than a Raspberry Pi.

Next time around, your fridge, light bulb, thermostat, or even a smart meeting room sign, could be part of the attack.

Isn’t the modern era wonderful?


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Jean-Philippe Encausse October 26, 2016 um 3:57 am

Yes indeed using a Pi is a better answer. Hacking a Kindle is a good option too 🙂 Unfortunatly screens are too small. I hope larger / low-cost B&W E-Ink screen will be available soon 🙁

On the other side, E-Ink tags are still very interesting for small screen but I didn’t find low/cost OTA kit 🙁 It would be great for smart home or smart fridge !

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