The plan behind Inuru. (why working 10 years on flexible light)

Updated: Jul 21

Most of you know Inuru from luminous packaging for marketing. Soon we will release new solutions that will protect human life and reduce waste. This is part of our general mission to transition the planet from single-use & throw-away economy to a circular economy. In my opinion the latter is the only option to preserve the planet that has given us life in the near future.

The vision behind Inuru is to bring displays on every surface. In this way content is not longer static but can be changed. One could display any message, warn or guide, but also change the appearance of a surface and even the whole product. A packaging for instance could change it's printed surface and thus be refilled with another product instead of being thrown away.

The only way to achieve this is, to create a product which surface and appeal has a similar quality like current products. In the past Inuru has passed the critical marketer eyes of world most valuable brand (see our CC campaign here), while adding value through light & so enabling one of the most successful campaign in our clients history. On top we have proven that Inuru technology is easy to use, since it is no different than a standard label.

But does the planet really needs illuminated labels? And how is this even helping the planet?

The answers are no and not yet. Still all of the above are necessary steps in our overall plan. Nearly all new technology comes at a high unit cost in the beginning and has typically drawback in quality. If you do not have some billions for initial investment at hand, OLED display technology is incredibly hard to master. Beeing made of organic compounds it typically decays rapidly. This mean the light shines only for seconds to minutes.

So the applicatiosn for us were limited in the beginning. The marketing application allowed us to learn to master the technology. Also through building products one learns how to optimize the production and open new applications through improvements of lifetime. With new applications we can increase volume reaching critical mass which again reduces costs. This again results in more affordable product with every generation.

Our next application for instance will help patients to use medicine correctly - avoiding up 30.000 deaths and $600 billion cost cost associated with medication misuse in the US alone- or to indicate expiry dates on food packaging tackling a $3 trillion food waste problem. With every product generation we will solve another problem and open our technology to a wider part of society. Also we learn how to turn the single pixels today into arrays and then displays to show more complex content like animation and videos in the past. The latter is needed to follow our vision of re-useable packaging containers.

So for short our current focus on high value applications today allows us to realize high margins. Every single penny is re-invested in the development of our vision. Each marketing customer finances the next step towards a circular, sutainable and healthy economy.

Finally let me address some common arguments about electronics in products:

Made for Recycling

Adding Inuru is an additive process. You can use existing production steps even decreasing today integration cost by up to 90%. Using Inuru you save energy and costs. Materialwise, whenever something light ups at Inuru it is not toxic. There are no cables or toxic components. We use organic light and single use batteries. Made with materials similar to those used in packaging already today. You could actually eat it (I strongly do not recommend it). We are even certified as "Made for Recycling". We are not better than current packaging but also not worse.

Towards a true circular economy.

Nearly every successful innovation in the past at its core has increased convenience. Consumer packaged goods are the best example. Instead of waiting in-line to explain the store-clerk what we want, we just grab a product in well prepared portions and leave. Packaging provides information and enables easy consumption. Everybody knows how to unscrew a bottle and drink it. After consumption we dispose it into trash with the safe mind that it goes into recycling.

In reality the life cycle of single use products is pure madness. We mine materials, ship them thousands of miles to production, use huge amounts of energy to produce, ship them again to another production (filling), just to ship them again to stores and finally consumers. All just for this one use, before they end up in trash. Finally only 15% of products are recycled. The remaining 85% are burnt. For 85% of the product we repeat this cycle over and over again.

The production of single use products requires materials, energy and water. It is sucking the life out of our planet, including oxygen through deforestation (yes - paper is a big problem). Earth overshoot day is currently in Mid July.

You might be surprised to read that multi-use deposit packaging is economically and ecologically better than single use products (See here). But this only is true if the supply chain is below 600 kilometer of distance. To achieve this the empty packaging needs to be shipped back not to their origins but to the nearest neighbors after use. There it they can be washed and re-filled with a new product.

A use case for such a product could be a beverage carton. Its shape is always the same. Only the printed surface indicates which product is inside. And potentially it can washed out and re-used. But it is the printed surface that hinders of re-use. It would requires to sent the product back to the origin. Sorting all this products is a logistical nightmare. Throw away is cheaper.

Replacing the printed surface with a display, one can change the content on demand. In this way we can sent the container to the nearest neighbor where it will be refilled. This enables to tackle that 600km hurdle and make a circular economy viable. This is possible by display technology (Thats why we invested 10 years). This display will indicate the content of the packaging. Same product can be used in multiple regions. Why the effort? Why not simple glue a plastic label on top of it?

Well, whereas washing uses the same amount of water like the production of a label, production still still require to mine materials. More important the production of a self adhesive label requires more energy to produce than to charge the battery of our display system.

The production and application of plastic labels of 10x20cm requires roughly 0.237kw/h of energy (See for CLA calculation). To charge an Inuru display (including the increased transport weight) requires only 0.065kw/h. Inurudecrease the amount of energy by 72%.

If this energy would comes from re-usables sources we would have a truly circular and non wasteful economy. It is needless to say that an Inuru product can be re-used multiple times also acting as an advertising space on any product.

To summarize

  • we create products that help our customers

  • to create cheaper and better products with higher purpose and wider range

  • To create more products solving additional issues

  • To create a circular hardware-as a service economy

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