Microsoft’s New ePaper Display is Powered by Office Lights and Never Needs Charging

vauxhall-standaloneOver the past few years we’ve seen ereader and other epaper displays which were powered wirelessly by NFC. Now Microsoft has come up with a design for an epaper post-it note which is powered by ambient lighting.

The prototype “energy-neutral” display has solar panels on the back and can run on office lighting . “What we imagine is that our technology could be used just like a Post-It note,” says team member Tobias Grosse-Puppendahl. “But it could be reused, synchronized with notes in other locations, and could be programmed to show up-to-date information, like the weather or the latest bus timetable when you’re due to leave the office.”

You can see more about it in this video:

This is not the first solar-powered E-ink display; E-ink built a prototype years back, and over the past few years several solar-powered ereaders have been tested or launched in Finland, Japan, and China.


But this is perhaps the first solar powered sign for offices, and it’s a pity that it has such a low resolution.

Yes it is designed to be seen from a distance, but the resolution is so low that one of these screens can only display a limited amount of info.

In any case, the new display was developed by Microsoft Research, so it’s unclear whether it will be developed commercially or simply left as a research paper. The most likely possibility is that, like the battery-less Kindle patent, this idea will be shelved as the researchers move on to new projects.

But who knows, 3M (makers of Post-It notes) could pick up the idea and run with it as their new digital Post-It note.

Would you use one?

New Scientist

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


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