Could this be the death of paper at last? It certainly could mean the end for Post-It notes as this E-Ink display can always be updated while never requiring recharging.
The small E-Ink display was developed by scientists at Microsoft Research as a way of offering a screen that doesn't require charging but can be updated via Bluetooth.
The screen uses ambient light to power its E-Ink display and low power Bluetooth chip. That doesn't just mean solar power from the sun since any light will charge this device, even indoor lighting.
Team leader on the project, Tobias Grosse-Puppendahl says: “It could be reused, synchronised with notes in other locations, and could be programmed to show up-to-date information, like the weather or the latest bus timetable when you're due to leave the office.”
Since an E-Ink display only uses power when changing image, powering the device does not require a lot of energy. Low power Bluetooth also helps this. The result is a small solar panel on the rear of the display that can collect all the energy it needs from any ambient light.
While this Post-It note is a cool idea this will likely appear in smarthome devices as a means of adding a display without needing to charge or wire in the device. It should hopefully also feature as a second screen device for on the desk at work. Or it could be used as a useful display in the kitchen while cooking at home, for example. How much any of this will cost or when we'll see it remain a mystery.