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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

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