Guest Post: Luka Birsa, Visionect
Electronic paper is now making it possible to put digital signage in places and situations that were long thought too difficult and costly.
The technology that first made its mark in the e-book sector is now being used outside as digital signs on roadways and at transit shops – conquering sunlight’s glare and heat, and requiring little of the cost and complications of trying to use LED or LCD display technologies for these jobs.
Why electronic paper?
Electronic paper will consume power only when the content on the screen changes, making the technology extremely energy-efficient — capable of running for months or even years on a single battery charge. In fact, an electronic paper screen will use 99% less energy than digital signs normally do. This can be as low as 1-2 watts for a 32” panel with a front light, and nearly 0 watts for a static and unlit display.
Electronic paper’s power efficiency enables completely new use cases and supports larger deployments – these include signage installations that are independent from the power grid, in locations where digital signs were not previously feasible, using solar.
Doing e-paper signage right
Electronic paper is breakthrough technology, but there are many factors that have to be considered and respected if deployments are going to be successful:
- Work with a company that has experience with e-paper enclosures. Building a display stack from scratch can eat up significant amounts of time and effort;
- Find a reliable supplier for hardware and firmware. Preferably, this is a supplier with a lot of experience in deploying e-paper in the field;
- Try to work with experienced partners. E-paper digital signage know-how is an acquired skill-set, and you should leverage that know-how when working on a project;
- Understand that management software is a requirement. This may not be evident from the start, but good management software is a must for your signage project to be successful;
- Prepare to invest time into customer coaching and support. The technology is new and your customers will require time to get to the level where they will be confident in deploying 1,000s of your digital signage solutions.
For a detailed breakdown of electronic paper signage, read our company’s analysis on how to overcome the challenges of deploying electronic paper in the field – also downloadable as PDF.