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What lies at the intersection of AI and e-paper?

June 12, 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already started to leave its mark on many product companies and we, at Ynvisible, are excited to embrace the broad range of opportunities it will bring to the e-paper display industry.

AI’s rapidly growing capabilities around Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Reinforced Learning and Computer Vision will not only transform how we Design, Develop, and Produce e-paper products, but will also create a broad range of new applications (new business opportunities) for e-paper.  We see AI critically influencing two business pillars: 1) our work processes, and 2) the applications and use of e-paper displays.  

In this article, we will explore these directions and their potential outcomes.  

Using AI to improve e-paper product development and production processes

As a Printed Electronics company, we print electronic circuits composed of a number of functional, interactive inks/materials (6 to 10 layers) with electronic properties, to produce our e-paper displays. Printing electronic circuits and devices, such as the electrooptical devices – e-paper displays – that we develop and commercialize, requires much higher printing precision, tighter process control parameters and stricter quality standards than conventional printing.

AI’s capacity to rapidly analyse data in real time has the potential to help us identify better and broader solutions for both developing new and improved features for our technology, and improving high volume manufacturing processes more effectively. We, therefore, see AI playing an increasingly important role across all stages in e-paper technology development and manufacturing.  

For example, we see AI helping our technical teams reducing the development cycle across all functions (Research, Design, Development, Production, and Testing) to bring higher quality products to the market faster. Moreover, we believe AI can assist in predicting product performance in customer specific applications (for example, with variables such as power consumption or durability) leading to useful insights around potential advantages and/or failure modes, which can, in turn, serve as important data to inform the product development cycle.  

Wider-spread usage & new applications for e-paper displays

While still in its early days, real time data access is already leaving its mark in many industries and, soon, it will become more widespread and personalised.  AI has started and will continue to be combined with the Internet of Things (IoT) infrastructure, resulting in a new set of technologies that can globally be named Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT). AIoT will enable more efficient human-machine interactions and “will enhance data management and analytics.

We are starting to understand and really see the impact of data at both a large scale (in the business world, economy, education), and at a more individual level (through smart devices or tools we use on a daily basis). Access to real time data and fast data interpretation is, therefore, becoming more important than ever for us, as we try to understand how we can turn vast amounts of available data into useful, “filtered” information that we can use to improve our performance, wellbeing, habits or productivity. We need faster, personalized and customizable information, delivered to us in a user-friendly and seamless way, and that’s where we believe e-paper-based devices enter the stage.

E-paper displays have the potential to become a critical enabling technology for facilitating visual communication from AI-empowered devices. As a low-cost, energy-efficient, thin and flexible solution for displaying visual information, e-paper displays can be easily integrated into IoT devices and smart objects and help deliver important information to us.  

Naturally, as the use of AIoT technology increases, a broader application of e-paper technology will follow, which will result in new use cases and a wider adoption, closing the circle. E-paper displays already have a wide range of applications, being ideal, for example, for digital signage solutions, smart labels for supply chain and logistics, electronic shelve labels that allow dynamic price updates, or smart indicators for medical/diagnostic tests and devices.  

In this context of exploring AI’s impact on the need for more and more data visualisation, new opportunities for e-paper will emerge. We especially see high potential in four distinct areas: Smart Homes, Industrial and Supply Chain, Health and Wellness, and Office, School and Public Spaces.  

  • Smart Homes

Smart devices have become an integral part of our homes. We have AI-based assistants that set timers and add to our shopping lists, intelligent appliances that can be programmed to perform tasks automatically, environmental control devices that measure the quality of air or maintain comfortable ambient temperatures, and many more.  All of these devices, in one way or another, need to “communicate” information to us, letting us know, for example, how much time is left of a task or their functioning status. E-paper displays are an excellent solution for cost and energy efficient mass production of such smart home tools.  

  • Industrial and Supply Chain

Optimisation and tracking of goods in supply chains can account for important cost fluctuations. Constant, digitalised monitoring can boost a business performance, while also ensuring a more sustainable approach to waste management or damage control. AI and e-paper can be combined into smart labels to indicate the status of a product or shipping conditions, in maintenance indicators for industrial equipment or in progress labels to track work in factories, to give just a few examples.  

  • Health and Wellness

Developing AIoT devices that use e-paper displays for medical products and services comes with important benefits both for practitioners, and for patients/users. Combining thin, flexible, low-power e-paper displays with sensors and artificial intelligence has the potential to create new, safer, easier to use products, such as at home pregnancy tests, smart bandages that indicate the status of a chronic wound, health trackers such as wearables, or hospital digital signage that updates in real time. To learn more about e-paper in medical products, please read this article.  

  • Office, School and Public Spaces

E-paper displays offer several advantages in public transportation, office and educational settings due to their energy efficiency, readability, and versatility. Mixed with AI in new types of devices or digital signage, they can facilitate access to real time information about traffic, best routes, or air quality. Within institutions, AI-powered e-paper displays can be used, for example, in smart access cards or badges, directional signs, or emergency alerts.


Big data is entering our lives, and, with it, a series of technologies to enable the gathering, analysis and communication of that data. Artificial Intelligence is increasingly becoming part of our work and life and will lead to the development and adoption of new types of devices and objects that are smart, connected, intuitive and respond to our current set of needs.  

E-paper has the potential to become the go-to display solution for visualizing useful, informative data on smart AIoT devices for a number of strong reasons. Cost, design and form factor, and energy efficiency and sustainability, heavily influence the choice for a suitable display technology; e-paper stands out as being more environmentally friendly, budget efficient and easy to integrate than other more traditional display technologies, thanks to its flexibility, thinness and low-energy consumption (no need for batteries in some cases). In addition, as a printed technology, printed e-paper displays are also much more cost effective than most other display solutions.

In summary, real time data acquisition, analysis and outputs will need to be presented on highly performant, flexible, thin, user and environmentally-friendly displays, that will also be designed, produced, and tested using AI tools. We believe our printed e-paper displays are the perfect technology to answer this need.  

The new applications that will result from the combination of AIoT and smart, low power, thin and flexible hardware solutions, including sensors, powering and display technologies, will lead to an expansion of business opportunities and to an increased adoption, advancing the whole industry of Printed Electronics and printed e-paper displays in particular. This will, in turn, widen the use cases enabled by these hybrid systems, across a plenitude of existing and emerging markets.  

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