Hacking Electronic Price Tags

Something new is coming to a store near you: electronic price tags. [deadbird] decided to get one and see what makes it tick. First off it just looks like an LCD with some coin batteries and a simple board, but removing the batteries it was found that the text still appeared on the screen meaning its an E-Ink display.

Close examination of the chips on board shows that this model has an ATMEL ATMEGA16L, and a ATMEL952 25128AN (a 128k eprom with SPI interface), which makes this thing possible to bend to ones will. Also, dumping the eprom with an Arduino gets everyone a bit closer to decoding the instructions this thing needs to display its graphics, similar to the HP VFD hack we posted about not too long ago.

We have not seen these yet in our local shops, but give it time and it is bound to start popping up in our favorite surplus locations soon enough.

66 thoughts on “Hacking Electronic Price Tags

  1. Don’t know what the hostility against thinking was all about. I’m sure he has no problem with anyone trying to find out how something works, but you don’t have to steal a tag from a store to do it.

    The tags receive information, they don’t transmit it. You can make it say whatever you want, it isn’t going to affect the stores database which is still going to have the correct price.

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  3. The electronic tags only reflect what the store database price is. When you get to three register with a hacked discount, you’ll still get rung up at the intended price.
    But they would make nice Arduino displays if that were do-able!

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