Damn it. I was *this close* to mentioning supermarket labels as a potential application for e-paper to displace this year in my New Years prediction post. I thought about its application, and wondered if we’d see a major chain like Walmart take it up, but in the end, I decided that the low cost of plastic labels wouldn’t make it worthwhile as a test-run.
Alas, one of my predictions, although a little off, has come true. It even exceeds my expectations! From the article:
The tags will include price info, along with extra data like place of origin and a sell-by date. Supermarkets will be able to update tags wirelessly from a central computer, and thanks to the battery sipping technology of e-ink, the batteries should last up to five years on each tag
Note, each e-tag has a wholesale cost of $16-19, so I wasn’t that far off when I concluded there was too large of a price gap to justify the switch. Of course, I forgot to factor in savings in wages, which will be huge over the life time of a single battery. Imagine this: prices could reflect a sale instantly across the entire store without a single employee having to lift a finger. Wireless updating… clever.
The future is bright for e-paper. Keep an eye on it.