David Keefe with EInk

Industrial Talk is onsite at IoT Solutions World Congress and talking to David Keefe, VP of Sales with EInk about “E Paper – Making displays vibrant, dynamic and green”.

Scott MacKenzie, and David Keefe discussed the latest advancements in display technology, including E-paper, E Ink, and electronic shelf labeling. Keefe highlighted the benefits of E-paper, such as its reflective nature and resemblance to paper, while MacKenzie inquired about the potential uses of E Ink technology. Keefe shared insights on the evolution of electronic shelf labeling technology and its applications in indoor signage, advertising, and information displays.

Action Items

  • [ ] Launch the E Paper Alliance in Europe.
  • [ ] Provide examples of applications for E Ink displays outside of e-readers like the Kindle.
  • [ ] Discuss plans to add color capabilities to E Ink displays.
  • [ ] Provide contact information for David Keefe so listeners can learn more.


E paper technology and its applications, including the new E paper Alliance launched at IoT World Congress in Barcelona.

  • David Keefe, E paper Alliance manager, discusses the technology behind E paper screens used in e-readers and other devices.
  • Keefe explains how the company invented E paper and how it's used in various products around the world.
  • E-paper technology uses electrically charged black and white particles to create digital ink on a reflective screen.
  • David discusses the challenges of building an ecosystem for paper-based technology, including partnering with suppliers and assembling a full supply chain.

E Ink technology for low-power displays and its applications in signage, shelf labeling, and indoor advertising.

  • David discusses the advantages of E Ink technology, including low power consumption and good readability, and notes that it's a perfect fit for IoT applications such as outdoor signage.
  • David explains that E Ink technology is more efficient than LCD technology due to its bistable nature, which means that the image stays on the screen even when the power is off, only consuming power when the image has changed.
  • David discusses E Ink's technology, from its origins at MIT to its current focus on full-color displays.
  • E Ink aims to expand beyond e-readers and shelf labels with its new full-color technology, opening up opportunities in indoor signage and advertising.
  • David Keith's innovative technology solutions impresses Scott MacKenzie at IoT World Congress.

Finally, get your exclusive free access to the Industrial Academy and a series on “Why You Need To Podcast” for Greater Success in 2023. All links designed for keeping you current in this rapidly changing Industrial Market. Learn! Grow! Enjoy!


Personal LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidkeefe/

Company LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/e-ink-corporation/

Company Website: https://www.eink.com/





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Welcome to the Industrial Talk Podcast with Scott MacKenzie. Scott is a passionate industry professional dedicated to transferring cutting edge Industry Focus innovations and trends while highlighting the men and women who keep the world moving. So put on your hard hat, grab your work boots, and let's get


on once again, thank you very much for joining Industrial Talk. And thank you for your continued support of a platform that celebrates industry professionals all around the world. You are bold, brave, you dare greatly you innovate, you collaborate, you solve problems each and every day, you're making the world a better place. That's why we celebrate you on Industrial Talk. We are broadcasting on site IoT solutions World Congress, Barcelona, Spain, if you are not here, you need to be here next year, put this on your calendar, you will not be disappointed in a big way. Because it's just a collection of problem solvers that are dedicated to help you succeed. About that. Put that on a bumper sticker. All right, in the hot seat. We have a gentleman by the name of David Keefe with EInk is the company and you're saying to yourself, Scott, what is that all about? Ha ha That's why we are talking on this podcast. Let's get cracking. How you doing?


I'm good. Thanks, Scott. How are you?


Hey, you having a good conference? Yeah, very good. Thank


you. Yes. Why? Well, it actually is there's quite a lot of customers here. There's a lot going on. And we're launching our E paper Alliances in Europe. So yeah, it's pretty good. Lyons.


That's electronic paper, if I correct. Put that together. That's right. Yeah. II paper Alliance. Well, before we get into that conversation, give us a little background on who you are.


Okay, yeah. My name is David Keefe. I manage sales in Europe for EInk. For those that don't know, EEG, we invented what we call E paper. And I guess that's probably most famously known for the screens on the Kindles on e readers. Shut


the front door. Yeah. Right. So they know that.


So that's, that's an E paper screen. And we invented that technology. And we build the displays that are used in AD readers and enotes. Pretty much all of them around the world.


I didn't know that. That's, that's spectacular. What? Tell me about the what why. Why is there's a special way of I'm able to see it. There's, I'm all over the place here. If you got a book, and I'm looking at a book, it's paper, I, you read it. But how do you in essence, take that E or no, it's EAC en que sigue, right effects the constant cycle, and be able to create that sort of digital version of ink.


That's magic. It is, because I'm


looking at I'm going now that's just great stuff.


It's actually it's remarkably easy to describe a hope. But rather more difficult to achieve in practice. Basically, think of a black ball at a white ball held in a in a clear liquid. And the balls are electrically charged. And when you apply a field, you either attract, attract or repel these balls. So if you want to see black, you attract the black particle, if you want to see white, you repel the black and attracts the white. So these black and white balls are held in on a printed into a plastic film. When we applied electric field. Then you see the characters move, you see black, and you see white. And it's as simple as that. So we have a clever bit of electronics, which is very similar to what's found it's easy on the eyes. Yeah, because it's reflective. So there's no like on your phone, you have that you get that bright light that comes through. Ours doesn't work like that ours works like paper. So it's actually easier to read in bright light, because it bounces off and reflects back to your eye. So it's almost like well, you've seen a Kindle, I'm sure Oh, yeah, I have what it looks like paper. And in fact, it is it is almost paper, because it is working the same physical mechanism of bouncing light off the screen. And the light is either absorbed or reflected, depending on if it's a black or white particle that it hits


with this E paper Alliance, explained to us a little bit about that.


So it's it's not particularly new technology. I mean, the technology itself, actually spun out of MIT in Boston. And that was in the late 90s. So we've been working on this for you know, over 20 years. So, as I said, it's kind of one of those things easy to describe, difficult to build. Yeah. Especially a volume in practice. And so sorry, what's the question? The huge


e paper Alliance?


Oh, the Alliance? Sorry, yeah.


Because I get the Kindle, I get the use case for the Kindle, I get it. I, I'm looking at what are the, you know, why the Alliance? What are the applications? Where do you see it going? What's this? What's exploding?


While you look at a show like this today? Yes, you know, hundreds and hundreds of suppliers, all in different parts of the supply chain. So we can't do everything ourselves. We're building, you know, if you're building an e reader, you know, we only do one part of that. It's an important part. But it's one part, you know, you have to have a full supply chain, we have to have people that do electronics, and people doing assembly and people that do you know, etc, etc. So we're, our goal really, is to obviously, you know, enable the adoption of this technology, move it out into other areas. And so we need partners, you know, Silicon partners, assembly partners, to work on that. So this is building an ecosystem, or a bunch of partners that will work together, all with the goal of increasing the adoption of the paper. And that's what we're launching this today at this show is the paper lions in within Europe.


Give me a use case, outside of the big Kindle, I got it outside of the Kindle,


the Kindle, I mean, there's hundreds, I mean, just walking around here. So there's, this is an IoT show. Yeah, there's an awful lot of vendors for LoRaWAN, which is a communication protocol, very low power, very low bandwidth. Numerous sensors are using ink screens, because he has a very low power technology. It's basically called bistable. So when you switch the power off, the image stays there. So it's a perfect fit for IoT applications. were used in outdoor signage. Because it's reflective, it looks better in bright light. It's almost the opposite of LCD. So it's great for outdoor signage applications, no mobile applications, battery powered applications, anything that needs low power, good readability, that kind of stuff. What's, what's the alternative? What's what the alternative really is paper, to be honest with you. So that's kind of a challenge. Sometimes, you know, we're technology or from a sales perspective, we're competing against paper, which, you know, obviously has 1000s of years ahead of us. But, yeah, that's that's kind of what we're going against.


What, like the TV screen right here. That's, that's, that's different. That's different. So you have I see monitors, right, I see that the monitors, computer monitors, all of that stuff. Can that be converted into sort of that


ink? Yes, you can. In theory? Yes. Yeah.


Because it seems easier on the eyes. It just makes sense. Yeah, it


is, it is, it's just that it might not be you know, sometimes it's just a great fit for for every technology LCD, you know, it's ubiquitous, we all use it everywhere. Absolutely, you know, when we're not going to be using E Ink has some limitations. But it has some great advantages. And you know, every product has its niche, E Ink, as we develop technology is expanding its applications and the range of where it can be used. We're not going to, you're not going to have a TV meter, meaning you're not going to have an LCD laptop, you know, with the primarily the screen, it's more, it's slower to refresh. So it's not very good at video speeds. But if you're only showing images, you know, the change every few seconds, or every few minutes, or every few hours, it's absolutely perfect. And a lot of signage, for example, is like that, you know, some of the signage around here will only will change it only on a daily basis. So you don't need a big power hungry display like that. So it is changing posters and paper. And


so it's from a from an energy consumption. But it's it's more efficient.


Massively. Yeah, no way. massively more efficient. Yeah. Yeah. That's why your Kindle, you can last forever can last for two months or something. Yeah, it does. Yeah. I never knew that. That's because of big hits the screen is what we call bistable. So when the power goes off, the image stays there. So we only consume power when the image has changed. So when you say, oh, you know, that's why, you know, you can last a month. It's like, why? And I know that. I mean, one of our biggest markets now is what we call electronic shelf labeling. And that's replacing the paper price labels in grocery stores and DIY stores. It's very popular technology in Europe, it's starting to gain traction in the US, I think Walmart are just starting to use the technology. Seen it? Yeah. And then that that so they have batteries in the last 567 years. And it's because it uses our technology and a very low power communication price. No.


I'm dazzled. That's dazzling.


It's cool stuff. Yeah,


it is cool. So how does when I see Eek, how long has that been in business?


Well, I said we had the technology originally came out of MIT, in Boston. And I think I think it was kind of spun off around the late 90s, like 9798. And, you know, we spent quite a while developing that technology as you do as startups. And we hit the big time, really, with, I think Sony launched the first e-reader in 2004. And then the Kindle was launched in 2007. And that's when we kind of had, you know, this massive trajectory.


I just, there's so many things I take for granted. Yeah, I just didn't, I just didn't know. What do you what do you see it going?


Good question. I mean, we're working on many fronts. Primarily, one of the main drivers is adding color. Because, you know, Kindle is, but it's predominantly just black and white. Yeah. So we have we've, as I say, Now, our, our biggest market is for this shelf labeling in, in stores that uses a three color products, primarily black, white, and red or yellow. But we've now just launched our spectra six product, which is what we call it's full color is not correct, but it's like a 678 color. So it's it has primary colors that you can then mix to create the exact full color. So we're really moving from black and white to any much full color now read, read, read, read, read. And then of course, that that opens up new opportunities in indoor signage advertising, yes. And information displays and things like that. And that's why you need the alliance. And that's why exactly it is


it came full circle. Yeah. I'm a better person because of you. Son of a gun. How do people get a hold of you?


I'm on LinkedIn. So yeah, he's been through that. You're active. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, pretty much.


You were wonderful. I enjoyed this conversation fit your partner's. Got it. That's a that's a high hurdle. You were fantastic.


Thank you. Yeah. It's interesting. It's a great area, essentially. Yeah. All right,


listeners. We're gonna have all the contact information for David out on Industrial Talk, just go out to Industrial Talk.com. Find out more reach out to this Gent. He will not disappoint big time. Very intriguing. Technology. He to company. Fantastic. All right. We are broadcasting once again from Barcelona. It is the IoT solutions World Congress. It is an event that you need to attend. Take it from me you need to attend. We're going to wrap it up on the other side. Stay tuned, we will be right back.


David Keefe, that's KEEFE. That's e i n k. Incredible


solutions. I really enjoyed that conversation. I take it for granted. Now. I go to stores and there are stores out there all over the world over the world. This was in Barcelona, we use in the eating solution for tagging for the pricing of goods and services is pretty cool. It's interesting. All right. We're building the platform Industrial Talk. You have a podcast, you want greater attention. Think about putting it on Industrial Talk. It's there for you. We're all about education. We're all about collaboration. And of course, we're all about innovation, and it's all here. You want to be on the podcast. Go out to Industrial Talk. Everything's right there. Go out to IndustrialTalk.com Find out more reach out to me. Let's have a conversation. We'd love to hear from you. All right. Be bold, be brave, daring greatly. I say it all the time. Hanging out with David changed the world. We're going to have another great conversation coming from IoT Solutions World Congress shortly.

Industrial Talk is onsite at IoT Solutions World Congress and talking to David Keefe, VP of Sales with EInk about "E Paper - Making displays vibrant, dynamic and green". Scott MacKenzie, and David Keefe discussed the latest advancements in display technology, including E-paper, E Ink, and electronic shelf labeling. Keefe highlighted the benefits of E-paper, such as its reflective nature and resemblance to paper, while MacKenzie inquired about the potential uses of E Ink technology. Keefe shared insights on the evolution of electronic shelf labeling technology and its applications in indoor signage, advertising, and information displays.
Scott MacKenzie

About the author, Scott

I am Scott MacKenzie, husband, father, and passionate industry educator. From humble beginnings as a lathing contractor and certified journeyman/lineman to an Undergraduate and Master’s Degree in Business Administration, I have applied every aspect of my education and training to lead and influence. I believe in serving and adding value wherever I am called.

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