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Saule Technologies launches world’s first electronic shelf labels based on perovskite PV cells

The perovskite electronic shelf label (PESL) is the second product from Saule Technologies (Warsaw, Poland) using perovskite photovoltaic cells, the first being large-size cells designed for building façades. The new pioneering solution represents the IoT category – it is an intelligent system for operating electronic labels. Importantly, unlike traditional ESLs, it is powered not by a battery but by a perovskite photovoltaic cell.

Electronic labels with their own practically inexhaustible power source, not requiring the costly and time-consuming battery replacement, are not only cheaper and more convenient to use than the traditional ESLs, but also offer energy efficiency and enable resigning from batteries that are very harmful to the environment. And this is an important step in the implementation of the sustainable development strategy.

Using perovskite photovoltaic cells, PESLs are a breakthrough solution also in view of their unique capabilities to communicate with customers of retail stores. They significantly reduce product labeling time and ‒ most importantly ‒ allow real-time price verification.

Perovskite photovoltaic cells from Saule Technologies, while being far more efficient than, for instance, the amorphous silicon photovoltaic cells used in calculators, display high efficiency also in artificial light. As they continue to work efficiently even when the rays of light fall at a big angle ‒ as is the case with pendant lamps ‒ they can supply power to products arranged on lower shelves. In addition, unlike silicon solar cells, they are very thin, light-weight, and flexible. Given these unique properties, perovskite photovoltaic cells do not occupy much space on PESLs, yet they are so efficient that they can power the electronic devices that operate them, including the display and the wireless communication module. This enables remotely changing the messages displayed on the label even several times a day, which facilitates, for instance, the sales of products with approaching expiration dates.

“With PESLs, retail chains will be able to quickly reduce the prices of food products that are nearing their ‘best before dates. This will prevent huge amounts of food from being wasted, which is a world where so many people still go hungry appears unaffordable. The new trading tools provided by PESLs will let us save millions of tonnes of food each year,” said Olga Malinkiewicz, CTO of Saule Technologies.

The new technology will open the way for various hitherto unavailable marketing and advertising tools. For instance, stores will be able to launch casual short-term (e.g. hour-long) price discounts on selected products to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty.

With just one click

Together with the labels, Saule Technologies also provides comprehensive integrated IT and hardware systems using PESL-enabled data transmitters, as well as cloud-based computational and analytical capabilities. Initial PESL technology tests will be carried out in cooperation with Google Cloud Platform.

As the operation process is simple, price changes can be introduced centrally and synchronously across all retail stores within the chain.

“It is stunning what this solution can do with just one click. It makes it possible to change prices of products arranged on millions of shelves, in thousands of shops”, noted Artur Kupczunas, CEO of Saule Technologies.

The first IoT-category product from Saule Technologies

The PESL developed and produced by Saule Technologies, a global perovskite technology leader based in Poland, is equipped with an e-ink (bi- or tri-color) display, a wireless communication module, and a perovskite photovoltaic cell as the power source. Saule Technologies offers PESLs in a diversified range of shapes, colors, and sizes (from 1.54” to 12.5”). Along with the price, they can display text and graphics, thus serving as an effective platform for conveying additional messages: advertisements, special discount announcements, loyalty campaigns, and many more. With an option of remotely (wirelessly) modifying the display content up to 15 times a day, the PESL life span is approximately 10 years.

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