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Solomon Systech’s E-Paper Technology Enables Electronic Shelf Labels in HKSTP’s Unmanned Retail Outlet

The Energy-efficient Display Technology Ready for Enhancing Multiple Smart City Applications


23 Aug 2019


Solomon Systech Limited’s bistable display (E-Paper) driver Integrated Circuit has been adopted for use in Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) currently in operation at the T-Shop & Lab located at Hong Kong Science Park.

Solomon Systech Limited’s bistable display (E-Paper) driver Integrated Circuit has been adopted for use in Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) currently in operation at the T-Shop & Lab located at Hong Kong Science Park.

T-Shop & Lab is the first retail shop set up at Hong Kong Science Park to provide an unmanned shopping experience to the public and a platform for showcasing related unmanned technologies.

T-Shop & Lab is the first retail shop set up at Hong Kong Science Park to provide an unmanned shopping experience to the public and a platform for showcasing related unmanned technologies.

(Hong Kong – 23 August, 2019) Solomon Systech Limited (“Solomon Systech”/”SSL”), a Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation (HKSTP) partner company, is pleased to announce that its bistable display (E-Paper) driver Integrated Circuit (“IC”) has been adopted for use in Electronic Shelf Labels (ESLs) currently in operation at the T-Shop & Lab, an unmanned retail shop located at Hong Kong Science Park. Apart from facilitating retail digitisation and automation, this technology with its pioneering energy-efficient feature can also be integrated into a myriad of applications for Smart City solutions.  

Launched in January 2019 as part of HKSTP’s “Journey to a Smart City – An Innovation Showcase”, the T-Shop & Lab is the first retail shop set up at Hong Kong Science Park to provide an unmanned shopping experience to the public and a platform for showcasing related unmanned technologies. 

E-Paper technology is a catalyst for retail digitisation and automation, which is fast becoming a new global trend. ESLs offer many advantages for retailers, such as enabling flexible inventory control, reducing overheads costs, allowing for dynamic and highly accurate online and offline pricing strategies, improving brand image, while enhancing the shopping experience with a clearer view of product prices. (Please refer to the attached fact sheet on ESLs for more details).      

Raymond Wang, CEO, Solomon Systech Limited, said, “Our E-Paper display driver IC for ESLs has already been adopted for use in a number of renowned supermarkets, unmanned stores and convenient stores in China, Singapore, Japan, Korea, Europe and US. We are most delighted to be one of the members to support HKSTP’s T-Shop & Lab, and we believe that ESLs will very soon gain wide acceptance in Hong Kong.   

Solomon Systech has been a forerunner of E-Paper technology. Our E-Paper display driver IC powers the world’s first E-Paper mobile phone. Currently we are the market leader and we see strong growth potential for this technology. Apart from ESL, E-Paper technology is being widely adopted in applications including smart home appliances, wearable devices, IoT and smart healthcare solutions. It is also the perfect fit for the “Paperless Hospital Services” advocated by the government. With a more connected world on the horizon, E-Paper is the technology-of-choice fostering the growth of smart cities in the IoT era,” Mr. Wang added.

Peter Yeung, Head of Electronics & ICT Clusters, Smart City Platform, HKSTP, said, “We are proud to see Solomon Systech’s technology being tested and applied in such a practical solution for an unmanned retail experience, adding many new functionalities and benefits in running a physical outlet.

Science Park will continue to provide a living laboratory for our park companies to test and fine-tune their solutions for deployment in a real-world environment. The Smart City experiences that we are testing and showcasing at the Park provide a live demonstration for potential commercial partners and investors and exemplify how we can all benefit from innovations in our daily lives.”

 

An Introduction to Electronic Shelf Label (ESL)

Electronic Shelf Label (ESL) is a key application of Electrophoretic Display (EPD) (e-paper) technology. Active Matrix Electrophoretic Display (AMEDP) is the most advanced form of EPD technology.      

 

Driven by E-Paper technology, ESLs enjoy competitive features including:

  • Extremely low power consumption as E-Paper does not consume power until it has to change images. It allows over 5-year battery lifetime
  • Wide viewing angles allowing ESL tags on the very top and bottom shelves to be easily readable by customers
  • Superior optical performance even under strong store lighting conditions

 

ESLs offer retailers many advantages:  

  • Reduce overheads - retailers may wirelessly update content on shelving signage quickly and efficiently, without the need to print paper tags and deploy store representatives to change them manually.
  • Dynamic pricing and high accuracy  ESLs allow frequent price update (dynamic pricing), while at the same time reducing pricing errors to customers, thereby enhancing consumer experience.   
  • Flexible pricing strategies online and offline - retailers can offer in-store promotional pricing that matches their on-line channels, respond to their customer traffic patterns in real-time, and reduce wastage through seamless promotional pricing changes for perishable goods. 
  • Effective promotional platform and brand image building  apart from pricing, ESL may also be used to display promotions, competitor pricing, social reviews, product ingredients, source of origin, automated currency conversion, inventory levels, enhance brand image and much more.

 

A Global Trend 

The electronic shelf label market was valued at USD 478.6 million in 2018, and is expected to reach a value of USD 1.50 billion by 2023, witnessing a CAGR of 21.42% over the forecast period of 2019–2024. 

(Source: Electronic Shelf Label Market - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2019 - 2024)

 

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