IOP Institute of Physics

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Displaydata (formerly ZBD)

For developing and commercialising a novel e-paper display for use in shelf-edge labelling in supermarkets and other retail settings.

In the modern marketplace retailers are facing ever-increasing competition and a more price-conscious customer base. As a result, brands must be able to respond quickly to competitor promotions and fluctuations in demand.

For online stores and mobile apps this can be done instantly and accurately but for high street retailers, rolling out promotions across many stores can be a slow process. Displaydata has created an end-to-end solution featuring electronic shelf-edge labels that are connected via a two-way radio frequency infrastructure and updated by centrally managed software. The e-paper display for the labels uses a sub-micron grating on the inside of an otherwise conventional liquid-crystal display. The grating imparts bistability, meaning the image on the display can be retained without power.

The technology allows users to instantly update product information, pricing, promotions and more on individual labels or across the entire network. It helps stores reduce operational costs, improve efficiency and react quickly to new merchandising opportunities, enabling high street retailers to compete with their online rivals.

The company
ZBD Displays Ltd was the first venture capital backed spin-out from the civil service. The work was the product of world-leading research at the liquid-crystal research centre at DERA. Their display solution was developed by physicists at their technology centre in Malvern. In 2013 the company re-branded as Displaydata and moved its corporate headquarters to Bracknell in Berkshire.

Visit the Displaydata website

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