A variety of metal foil etched displays. These are super thin displays designed to be used in things like smart cards and credit cards, or laminated onto some other small, light weight device. Curious how the 8-segment displays feel a bit ancient, like old calculators.


What’s the possible range of interaction and communication that can happen solely with numbers, or even with no display whatsoever. Remember the early Motorola phone displays that only showed digits? Entirely operable, and more than sufficient, considering that telephones once had absolutely no display. Will new crazy, resource intensive features continue to get cobbled onto over-engineered, over-designed devices? Suppose things had to be subtracted from feature lists? What would go first?

5 thoughts on “Display”

  1. These look lovely, and super useful in combatting the invisibility of smart card interaction.

    We’ve been thinking a lot about e-ink or other lightweight displays on contactless cards. It would be great to have the amount of cash inside an Oyster card for instance, displayed on the card itself, refreshed each time the card was used (powered up).

  2. Yup, and I’ve been seeing more and more “samples” of this from various vendors. I get the sense that it may be one of those things where the idea is out there, it sounds right from a number of perspectives. And someone (those guys who wear starched blue shirts and yellow ties as a friend recently put it) ran the numbers and it doesn’t _quite_ make sense. I heard that Citibank had geared up to do a wide deployment of debit cards of some sort with the current balance on them, but it was scuttled somehow, or shelved for the time being..

  3. Hmm, this visibility could be quite attractive: better knowledge of finances, greater trust in the system, particularly in ticketing systems where the monetary values are not huge, but the numbers are meaningful…

    Who makes these displays btw?

  4. I would love it on, say my Starbucks card. Really don’t care if the guy behind me sees I have $2.30 remaining.

    But I doubt folks would feel too comfortable with others seeing you had $-100.00 balance on a debit card or have racked up even more on a CC.

    Perhaps it was the lawyers that killed it. 🙁

  5. I’m not sure these are the specific manufacture of the displays you see here, but I have seen the flexible displays by Citala, which are quite interesting. They’re segment addressable and bistable, so no dot-matrix or scan mode stuff. They’re simple and flexible and super thin, which is the most interesting aspects, as well as their ability to perform like a shutter and go pretty much opaque..

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