Hans Feil, CEO of Etulipa, a small company based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Etulipa specializes in a unique technology known as reflective display technology, which offers vibrant reflective colors, high video speed, and incredibly low power consumption. This technology is particularly ideal for outdoor displays, thanks to its wide temperature range of -30 to +65 degrees Celsius.
During the interview, Hans showcased an impressive example of a tile with 10 millimeter pixels, perfect for outdoor displays and creating impactful text near bus stations and other locations. He also shared the success story of their black and white display in a New York bus stop, which has been running for three years in various weather conditions.
What sets Etulipa’s technology apart is its use of subtractive colors—cyan, magenta, and yellow—combined with a white reflector. By individually controlling these pixels, they can create all the colors of the rainbow. Hans emphasized that experiencing the bright reflective colors in person, preferably outdoors in the sunlight, is truly awe-inspiring.
One fascinating aspect of Etulipa’s displays is their energy efficiency. Hans revealed that they have a display in Eindhoven consisting of eight panels running for a year solely on solar power. These displays are designed to automatically switch on a backlight in darker conditions and utilize the sun’s natural brightness during the day, resulting in a remarkable balance of power consumption.
As we delved further into the company’s background, Hans explained that Etulipa originated as a spin-off from Philips Electronics, where previous attempts at electric wetting technology had been made. After pivoting to outdoor displays, Etulipa found the perfect application for their technology, leveraging its power efficiency and vibrant colors.
Reflecting on the company name, Hans shared that “Etulipa” combines the Dutch association with tulips and the concept of electronic paper. Just like tulips are known for their vibrant colors, Etulipa aims to bring energy-efficient displays to the world without compromising visual appeal.
During our discussion, we touched upon the display’s surface characteristics. While the showcased display had a glossy finish, Hans mentioned the possibility of adding an anti-reflective or matte layer, depending on personal preferences.
Looking ahead, Etulipa’s focus is on scaling up production and optimizing their manufacturing process to accommodate larger volumes. They plan to utilize four times larger pieces of glass and TFTs (thin-film transistors) backplanes to achieve pixel sizes as small as 2.5 millimeters, thereby enhancing the resolution and overall performance of their displays.
Additionally, we briefly explored the potential for flexible displays. Although Etulipa currently operates on glass substrates, they are actively researching alternative architectures that would allow for flexible displays using foils and films. The ultimate goal is to eliminate any physical limitations and offer truly flexible display solutions.
As a demonstration of their commitment to the outdoors, Hans invited viewers to visit their booth at the I-Zone, where every day at 12:30, they take the display panel outside for a captivating showcase. This interactive experience highlights the essence of e-paper technology—blending with nature and encouraging people to step outside their indoor environment.
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