Toppan Printing Co Ltd has developed an electronic paper display (EPD) powered by energy harvesting technology. This EPD can be used to provide a display on batteryless Internet of Things (IoT) devices compliant with the EnOcean wireless communication standard. Toppan Printing will launch sample shipments in September 2018 and target collaboration with manufacturers of IoT devices. For more information see the IDTechEx report on battery elimination in electronics and electrical engineering.
As an example of an IoT device using the EPD, Toppan Printing has demonstrated a prototype of a batteryless switch.
With Industry 4.0 and the IoT receiving significant attention, the use of information and communications technology (ICT) to leverage and visualize information in the manufacturing and logistics industries is becoming increasingly important. EnOcean is a standard for batteryless wireless communication based on energy harvesting technology, whereby minute amounts of energy from external sources, such as sunlight, heat, and vibration, are captured and converted into electrical energy. The use of energy harvesting for sensors and switches is increasing rapidly, as it eliminates the need to provide a power source or change batteries. EPDs, meanwhile, have various advantages over other types of displays. They are thin and lightweight and offer visibility close to that of paper while consuming very little power.
Recognizing the potential offered by the characteristics of EnOcean and EPDs, Toppan Printing has applied its EPD manufacturing and development expertise, accumulated over the past two decades, to successfully create an EPD that can be powered by energy harvesting technology. This can help to enhance the user-friendliness of batteryless IoT devices by enabling them to now have a display that can show information at all times.
The new technology is compliant with the widely-adopted EnOcean wireless communication standard. Devices that adopt this technology can therefore be introduced easily in combination with systems that use existing data communication infrastructure. Due to the ultralow power consumption of the EPD, information displayed can be changed using the minute amount of power provided by energy harvesting. A segmented EPD has been selected to take advantage of its ability to display numbers, letters, icons, and other pre-defined patterns smoothly with the lowest power consumption among the various EPD technologies. Information is constantly displayed until it is next changed.
Source and top image: Toppan Printing Co Ltd
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