Marcin Ratajczak
June 10, 2022

The plan behind Inuru


Most of you know Inuru from luminous labels for marketing. Soon we will release new solutions that will protect human lives and reduce waste. This is part of our general mission to transition the planet from single-use & throw-away economy to a waste-less circular economy. The reason why we do this is to stop the pointless exploitation of the planet and preserve nature.

The ultimate 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 liquid packaging for instance could change its 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 whose visual appeal is of similar quality like current products and whose use and that is easy (effortless) to implement into current supply chains. In the past Inuru has passed the critical marketer eyes of world most valuable brand (Coca Cola, Disney, Cattier), 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.

Does the planet need illuminated labels for marketing?

It does not. Still all the above are necessary steps in our overall plan. To arrive at the vision the technologgy and its application needs to mature in a variety of fields. These field are: lifetime, reliability and costs. At the beginning nearly all new technologies comes at a high unit cost.

If you do not have multiple billions for initial investment at hand, OLED display technology is incredibly hard to master. Beeing made of organic compounds, applied with nanometers precision, it typically decays rapidly. This mean the light shines only for seconds to minutes at best. This is even more the case if you try to print the technology in atmospheric conditions instead of state-of-the-art evaporation in vacuum. The shift from state-of-the-art processes is necesarry though, because this only allows to reduce costs so dramatically to make this technology widely applicable. Light and displays for cents.

We had no billions, not even millions nor thousands. So the applications for us were limited in the beginning. We started with limited life-times and light-up functionality only. The marketing application allowed us to learn to master the technology. Also through building products one learns how to optimize the production process and open new applications through the 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 120.000 deaths and $700 billion cost cost associated with poor medication adherence in USA alone -  or to indicate expiry dates on food packaging tackling a $3 trillion food waste problem which accounts for twice as many climate gase emissions in USA than the entire aviation industry.

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 future. 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, sustainable and healthy economy.

Finally let me address some common arguments about the use of electronics in things:

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 for our single use products. 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. Recycling is not enough though.

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.  The 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 to be shipped again and burnt or end up in landfill. Only 15% of products are recycled. For the remaining 85% of the products we repeat this cycle over and over again. Exploiting planet earth, killing nature and blasting climate gases into atmosphere.

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 kilometers 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. It needs to be shared.

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 require to sent the product back to the origin. Sorting all this products is a logistical nightmare. Throw away is cheaper today.

Replacing the printed surface with a display, one can change the content on demand. In this way we can sent the container to the and any 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 made of OLED (Thats why we invested 10 years in light).

This display will indicate the content of the packaging. Same product can be used in multiple regions. Also it will enable a superior packaging experience with video and smart information on packaging. But, why the effort? Why not simple glue a plastic label on top of it?

Well, whereas washing the bottle uses the same amount of water like the production of a label, production of labels 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 systems.

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

If this energy would comes from re-usables sources we would have a truly circular and zero-waste 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 today
  • to create cheaper and better products with impact on society
  • to create more affordable products addressing a wider population
  • to create a circular hardware-as a service society.