Bluetooth Technology Is Standardizing Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL)

Electronic Shelf Labels (ESL) – small, battery-powered electronic paper displays that present product and pricing information at the edge of the shelf – are rapidly replacing paper labels. ESLs use wireless technology to communicate with a central hub to form a dynamic pricing automation network.

Until now, ESL systems have relied on proprietary wireless communication protocols, posing a potential barrier to global adoption. The inevitable vendor lock-in that comes with proprietary ecosystems has prevented the ESL market from reaching its full potential.

To meet this challenge, ESL industry leaders collaborated with the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) to create a scalable, highly secure, ultra-secure ESL wireless standard based on bluetooth® technology. “Interoperability and standardization are in the DNA of Bluetooth technology,” said Mark Powell, CEO of Bluetooth SIG. “Our members have a long, rich history of developing standards that enable market expansion and mass adoption of new product categories.”

Standardization of the ESL market

Establishing a true, global ESL standard gives retailers the freedom and confidence to purchase ESL components from multiple suppliers, knowing that they will work with each other. Backed by a proven product qualification program, Bluetooth® ESL is the standardized solution the market needs to minimize barriers to adoption and build a hassle-free, interoperable ESL ecosystem.

“Retailers are increasingly looking to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to help them deliver operational efficiencies, increase conversion and encourage customers to return to stores,” said Andrew Zignani, research director at ABI Research. “However, some retailers are hesitant to adopt ESL technologies due to concerns about vendor lock-in, interoperability, scalability and the ability to extend to other smart retail initiatives. The introduction of the Bluetooth ESL standard will help reduce potential barriers for retailers looking to invest in IoT technologies and accelerate adoption and innovation.”

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