How to deploy an E-Ink display with a controller?

Hello!

I am trying to figure out what to buy for development and display purpose. In particular my aim is to have a display (and perhaps some sort of controller?), which just displays some static label. Once it receives an update somehow, it should refresh.

Ideally I want a display (and a controller), which would process Bluetooth or Wifi signals (from e.g. a nearby smartphone) and update the displayed contents.

My question: in order to achieve this, what do I need for the display to work and receive signals via Bluetooth or Wifi? And what do I need in addition to this for development?

Does the display need an Arduino or Raspberry Pi to run?

I am pretty savvy in regards to software, but I have no idea about the required hardware...

How big is the display (physical size)? How many pixels? Monochrome or color? What sort of speed (FPS)? Slower lower resolution displays could be controlled by an Uno and Bluetooth or WiFi module. Larger and higher resolution may need a Pi or better.

Really can't give an intelligent answer till we know more specifics.

The display should draw as little electricity as possible, so definitely E-Ink. Refresh rate and size doesn't matter, but most likely about 2,7inch (under 400x300 Pixels I assume). Probably monochrome.

By the way - I might want to attach several of these displays. Do they stay attached to an Arduino or a Pi at all times? Would each need to have an Arduino or Pi? Once I place them somewhere, do they stay attached?

Would each need to have an Arduino or Pi? Once I place them somewhere, do they stay attached?

Yes to both, at least the displays that I know of. But Uno clones and their smaller brothers the Nano are pretty cheap.

Thank you for clearing up things!

So my development set up (e.g. Arduino Uno or Nano or Pi Zero) would also be the computer running the displays later on at the place where I need it?

So e.g. an Arduino with some BT/WiFi controller and the display?

Is it possible to have one such (or bigger) computer control several displays? I am sure I'll need a few displays later on, not just one.

I remember coming across something in this regard during my search, but I am not entirely sure I understood.

@divstar,

take a look at:

e.g. Waveshare e-Paper

264x176, 2.7inch E-Ink raw display

2.7inch Passive NFC-Powered E-Paper Module, No Battery

or: Good Display 2-Color EPD

E-paper displays don't need to be attached permanently to a processor, nor power supply, as their display is persistent.

You can connect multiple display panels to the same processor, if it has enough IO pins and RAM, e.g. ESP32.

These SPI e-paper displays need a connection module or a board with electronic parts for the booster circuit for panel driving voltages generation, e.g. DESPI-C02

You might also look at this topic: Waveshare e-paper displays with SPI

Jean-Marc

Hello ZinggJM,

first: thank you so much for the details! I have read a bunch of your post and already have seen your library for accessing E-Ink displays (GxEPD). I am honored to read your reply :).

The 2.7inch passive NFC-powered E-Paper module looks exactly like what I need. Did I correctly understand what the Waveshare-webpage states about the display:

  • I can have the display stay e.g. as a price-tag in one place while without it having to be attached to electricity or an Arduino / Pi board?
  • There is an App or hopefully a library to have a smartphone "transmit" the text and image via NFC to the display while being next to it?

Is it really as simple as it sounds in terms of hardware?

The questions I have in this context:

  • Given I have such a display: can anyone with the app / library access the display or does it have some sort of crypted ID or something?
  • If I have 5 or more such displays next to each other, can I change the text / image of just one display without changing the others?

Again: thank you so much for your help. I greatly appreciate it!

Best regards, Igor.

Hello Igor,

I can have the display stay e.g. as a price-tag in one place while without it having to be attached to electricity or an Arduino / Pi board?

Yes.

There is an App or hopefully a library to have a smartphone "transmit" the text and image via NFC to the display while being next to it?

Yes, but I don't know the details.

The other 2 questions I don't know. I don't have one of these. But Waveshare has quite informative wiki pages:

2.7inch_NFC-Powered_e-Paper_Module

Jean-Marc

There is currently no text in this page. You can search for this page title in other pages, or search the related logs, but you do not have permission to create this page.

Sorry, I should have opened it first. :)

And there are these: Good Display Electronic Tag

Thank you! I will dive into those I think.

Apparently one can use a NFC-library (Android SDK for NFC-Powered e-Paper - Waveshare Wiki). Not sure about how it’ll work in regards to not allowing everyone with a NFC-enabled device to manipulate the display… but I guess I’ll have to find it out.

I will report back upon success or further questions. Great advises for a start though - thanks to you and groundFungus.