Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Retail display revolution saving supermarkets millions

22.03.2006


Paper labels in supermarkets could become a thing of the past, thanks to a revolutionary digital display system that could also give mobile phones a much longer life.

The new type of electronic display could save retailers millions by allowing product information on the supermarket shelves to be changed globally, at the touch of a button. Labour costs linked to price changes in stores could plummet and supermarkets will be doing their bit for the environment by scrapping the paper system. Shoppers will also benefit from clearer and more accurate signs on the shelves.

ZBD Displays Ltd is behind a revolutionary device being developed with help from Sheffield Hallam University scientists. The concept has attracted £1/2million funding from the Department of Trade and Industry for a joint project with Sheffield Hallam University.



The system is based on a liquid crystal cell which, once written to, needs no power source. Scientists Professor Chris Care and Dr Tim Spencer from the University’s Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) are helping develop detailed computer models of liquid crystal in the display. The models will be used to improve the technology further, by lowering the voltage the system takes to operate. It paves the way for use in smart cards and mobiles, where the technology could boost a phone’s battery life by minimising the power needed to operate its display.

The concept has already been picked up by two of the UK’s top retailers. John Lewis store Peter Jones is using it in its audiovisual and TV department and Tesco has chosen its South Wigston store in Leicester to trial the labels on the delicatessen counter.

Dr Cliff Jones, Chief Technology Officer at ZBD, said: “The feedback from our customers such as Tesco and John Lewis has been very positive. The work we are doing with Professor Care’s group at MERI will help us improve device performance and extend the use of ZBD for new applications.”

Dr Tim Spencer of MERI said: “Paper labels are used by all retailers, but they’re actually an outdated, labour-intensive and inefficient way of reflecting the ever-changing product information customers need. When you consider that with this system a supermarket chain could drop the price of a tin of beans in 1,000 stores worldwide simultaneously, the benefits are immense.”

Professor Chris Care added: “But price changes are just the start. The technology has enormous potential to embed displays into a wide range of objects, for example smart cards, since a power supply is only needed when the information in the display needs to be changed.”

Kelly Hill | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shu.ac.uk/news

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Making Waves
29.06.2017 | Institute of Science and Technology Austria

nachricht Seeing the forest through the trees with a new LiDAR system
28.06.2017 | The Optical Society

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making Waves

Computer scientists use wave packet theory to develop realistic, detailed water wave simulations in real time. Their results will be presented at this year’s SIGGRAPH conference.

Think about the last time you were at a lake, river, or the ocean. Remember the ripples of the water, the waves crashing against the rocks, the wake following...

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nanostructures taste the rainbow

29.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technique unveils 'matrix' inside tissues and tumors

29.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Cystic fibrosis alters the structure of mucus in airways

29.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>