image via video screengrab
Neoluxiim is showing off a small, thin e-ink display panel that has an embedded solar cell that it uses as a power source. This kind of low-energy display might just be the next thing for point-of-sale advertising. But there is one really big problem. The hip thing to do in offices everywhere seems to be setting up a flat panel TV or digital photo frame that quietly, but still rather obnoxiously, advertises things to you while you wait around for your appointment. For a TreeHugger sitting in a dentist's waiting room, this can be especially annoying because we know what the energy consumption and pollution output for this kind of advertising is, compared to well-designed paper posters for example. However, they're dynamic and give people something moving to stare at, so they're appearing in offices and stores more often.
The solar panel needs only indoor lighting to operate, which is great. But it only lasts 18 months, which is a cringe-inducing short life span. Here's what it looks like:
Both e-ink technology and solar cell efficiency are getting better, but with a brief 18-month life span, we have to question if this is the best use for either. Unless Neoluxiim and others come up with a device that lasts far longer than that, we're going to stick with hoping advertisers rely on coming up with creative ideas that catch eyes, rather than relying on generating piles of e-waste. After all, we've seen e-ink advertising gimmicks go terribly wrong already.