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Electronic Paper Display powers computerized grocery price tags

Now this is an innovation that I can really get behind. I used to work in a grocery store, and one of the most time-consuming procedures was affixing price tags to all the products. Times have changed a bit since then, and we live in the bar code age. Stores still have price tags on shelves, however, so customers can know how much they’ll pay for each and every item in stock. Placing and replacing those shelf tags is time-consuming as well.

Sharp has taken even that laborious procedure off the shelf, replacing the tactile tags with e-ink displays, which can be updated wirelessly from the server in the manager’s office. In addition to price, the tags will also include a sell-by date and the city or country of origin of the foods themselves.

This is quite an innovation indeed. You’ll begin to see these tags next month, since the company plans to start selling them in a big way on Jan. 25. If you’re a grocer or someone who’s just plain curious, you should know that a 2-inch display will set you back US$16.61 and that for less than US$3 more, you can get a 3-inch display. We would hope that you can get a discount if you buy in volume.

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