E Ink has hit new ground by offering Point of Purchase advertising. They’ve dubbed this new product Ink in Motion. By removing refresh time and using color displays, they can attract a buyer’s attention with sharp, eye catching advertisements that flash. In addition, the displays use no backlight or frontlight and can be easily viewed from any angle and under virtually any lighting condition.
This new product can revolutionize the displays you see at local retail stores. And since it uses E Ink technology, a single postcard like display can last up to six months on two AA batteries. Pretty impressive feat, if you ask me. The biggest company to sign on to use this technology is Microsoft, using it to advertise their latest XBOX 360 video game, Jade Empire.
Watching an animation of what the Jade Empire display looks like shows how revolutionary Ink in Motion can be. The image of the main character slowly lights up the advertisement, drawing your eye directly towards it. It’s hard for even the most jaded of buyers to be unimpressed by this.
The Future of POP Advertising
Advertisers have been interested in getting animation based displays for quite a long time. One of the biggest barriers was price, the next is size and construction. Fitting an LCD monitor into a display kiosk that wouldn’t be too cumbersome or too annoying to buyers was no easy task. With the paper-thin, low energy Ink in Motion displays they can now achieve the animations they’ve been wanting for so long, at a much smaller price and scale.
Of course, the technology used in the Ink in Motion displays is only going to get better and cheaper as time goes on. Animations and refresh rates are becoming more and more elegant in e-paper displays. In the near future we might see advertisements in stores containing small, short video games to try and attract buyers. I can even see this on cereal boxes. You buy the latest Count Chocula for your kids, and then while they eat breakfast they can play a Count Chocula themed video game, right on the cereal box.
This is all the more interesting when you factor in Amazon recently buying the online game company Reflexive Entertainment. Could they have been thinking towards a future where video games can be played on their flagship ebook product, the Kindle? One can only hope!
Point of Purchase Power
But let’s return back to the Point of Purchase displays for a moment. In the past few years, we’ve known that Epson has been working on combining an RFID chip and e-paper displays to create a digital price tag. The e-paper in the Epson device is activated when swiped across an RFID reader, no batteries required. It can then display a small message of choice.
Since the E Ink is only activated when you purchase the product, a lot of people assume that this will be used for point-of-sales advertisements. These can be custom made in store or created in the warehouse and shipped with a message from the manufacturer. This can be a very handy service, allowing advertisers to do directly targeted advertising.
If someone is buying a steak, for example, it could suggest a wine to go with it. Or, if someone is buying a book it could list another book by the same author. The advertisement is directly pushed at the target audience. It’s the perfect tool to tap into the impulsive buying of most shoppers around the holidays.
So far, Epson’s technology hasn’t dropped in price within the four years since it was introduced during the 2004 Tokyo AutoID expo. So we probably won’t be seeing this in the near future. Well, not unless the price drops significantly. But we can still look forward to the awesome Ink In Motion displays that should be hitting a mall near you very shortly. Probably just in time for the holiday shopping season.
eink, point of purchase, pop