Compact ePaper Business Card

Is your business card flashy? Is it useful in a pinch? Do they cost $32 each and come with an ePaper display? No? Well, then feast your eyes on this over-the-top business card with an ePaper display by [Paul Schow]. Looking to keep busy and challenge himself with a low-power circuit in a small package, he set about making a business card that can be updated every couple of months instead of buying a new stack whenever he updated his information.

Having worked with ePaper before, it seemed to be the go-to option for [Schow] in fulfilling the ultra-low power criteria of his project — eventually deciding on a 2″ display. Also looking to execute this project at speed, he designed the board in KiCad over a few hours after cutting it down to simply the power control, the 40-pin connector and a handful of resistors and capacitors. In this case, haste made waste in the shape of the incorrect orientation of the 40-pin connector and a few other mistakes besides. Version 2.0, however, came together as a perfect proof-of-concept, while 3.0 looks sleek and professional.

Final 3.0 Card With Wrencher

[Schow] advises the assistance of a magnifying glass or microscope in soldering to such a small board — lucky for him there was one available at the nearby¬†TinkerMill – The Longmont Makerspace. He also ran into trouble with the display dimming due to lack of power, but solved it by adding a TLV61225DCKR boost converter. A light on the back flashes when the image is being changed for added effect. While this is a singular and ‘usefulness optional’ business card, don’t hand too many of these out if you care for your wallet.

For other cool electronic business cards, check out this mass-storage business card — or maybe this emergency toolkit card!

36 thoughts on “Compact ePaper Business Card

  1. BTW, it’s fairly common in publicly listed companies, than an officer or associate of the company cannot accept a gift worth more than $10 from someone they do business with. So spending too much on your business cards could make for some awkward moments.

    1. Most places I’ve worked at consider that “without approval”. Approval being difficult to get if someone gives you alcohol, but is almost automatic for basic stuff like this that has no practical street value.

    2. No not really. A lot of executives at tech companies have business cards that cost more than $10.00 each. The one aerospace metals company we deal with has laser cut and rainbow anodized titanium cards.

      Advertising materials are not gifts and are never consider gifts. Your business card is advertising meterials.

      1. Well yah, if it’s not useful for anything other than a business card, start handing out full dinner services with your insignia on instead of coffee mugs and there’s a beef.

    1. Even though he has his own domain too.

      I like the project. It probably won’t be thrown away but I wonder if people will know what to do with it that can’t be done on LinkedIn or exchanging .ics files. Give it to the right people and it might mean some business but you might have to be careful to make it pay back.

      1. Of the ones you listed, the only one that’s remotely acceptable is Gmail. I always look at people like they just stepped out of the 90s if they’re using a yahoo, outlook, or Hotmail address. Provider emails have a similar connotation of not really being technically with it.

        1. So basically your saying your a Gen-Z. Too old for hotmail or yahoo but prime for icloud mail and gmail.
          Suprised that a snapchat vanity url wasn’t suggested…They are all acceptable unless you have purchased a domain and display it. So in this case the email and domain should match, just a simple forward would do.

        1. He could also hire a or set up service to redirect all e-mail to that to his gmail address.

          But actually I think gmail comes across better, if you already have a dinky business card you don’t want to scare people with a personal domain e-mail. Makes it seem you are too far out from the mainstream.

    2. Google host domains anyway, so I can be whoever@whatever.com and all of my email and other apps is still on Google’s servers. Running your own in-house server is, in many cases, stupid because you can’t do a better job than Google can for anywhere near the same cost. Only classified government or commercial data needs local hosting, (Are you reading this Hillary?), because even if you have a custom email client and all your outgoing data is encrypted you cannot be sure the incoming email is as secure therefore it needs to go direct to servers you control and can audit to be sure they are secure.

  2. I like this concept. Someday in the far-far future, the likes of ePaper will be prolific when it comes to simple things like business cards. But we’ll have to wait (and wait) until all the frivolous Patents, Patent Trolls, and Greedy Lawyers that support them – die off.

  3. I worry about a business that needs its details updated regularly. ;-)
    I have to admit to been an email snob – seeing a business with a generic emails address means they have no significant online presence – or worse – they don’t care about their online presence.

    It only takes buying a domain name and using a mail redirector.

    Rightly or wrongly if a business doesn’t have a useful on line presence I am unlikely to deal with them.

    That aside nice project

    Maybe a business card with Q code on it. Scan it with my phone and details are automatically brought up ready to import into my address book.

    1. And a lot of the larger companies OR ALL will only let you use there e-mail that they gave you. So tough luck.
      This is so they can keep tabs on you and you are not farting around. Me My self if a company ever wanted me they would have to go with my terms or no go. I like And will keep my e-mails for me and only me. I sent them or they are addressed to me, SO THEY ARE MINE AND ONLY MINE!!!!!!
      So take it or leave it.

      1. Have you ever had a job?

        I work for a small company (25 people including the owner) and we have a corporate domain with email. It’s far more professional for everyone involved. I certainly would not want my customers to get emails from my staff coming from “Joe2883@aol.com” or “CindySue@gmail.com” when we have a perfectly good corporate domain. Meanwhile, there’s nothing stopping me from using my personal email for personal stuff while I’m at work — nobody’s “keeping tabs” on me, and as long as I do my job they don’t mind a little “farting around”. If you are offered a job and you refuse it because they have corporate email, you’re an idiot and I wouldn’t want you as an employee.

  4. I like the concept, but how ti looks seems too unfinished to impress. Needs tweaking, the parts need to look less like a shelf at an electronics part shop, particularly the battery holder and the edges of the E-ink display look too grunge.

    Also it looks too bulky and thick in an uneven manner to carry, both by the issuer and the receiver.
    .

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