New Digital Poster Runs, Updates Off Solar

January 29, 2013 by Dave Haynes


The marketplace potential for monochromatic signs probably has a relatively low ceiling, but nonetheless there are theoretically lots of basic paper signs that could be replaced with this newest generation of electronic ink displays if the ROI made sense.

Plastic Logic and SERELC have developed and are now marketing a low-power outdoor digital signage solution that puts a pair of what are called ZED (Zero Energy Display) units into a stacked 15.4-inch poster unit that  weighs only 115 grams, is less than 0.5 inches thick and can run on solar power.

The units have integrated 3G for remote updating and are rated IP54, which means it can handle splashed water and is sealed against dust and dirt. The units have a temperature regulator that allows it run in a broad and fairly extreme temperature range ( -15°C to +50°C) and the displays are reflective, so you can read them even in bright sunlight.

The companies see opportunity in things like mass transport (updated bus and rail schedules at stops and stations) and advertising (think it needs color for that, something the manufacturers say is “in the pipeline” aka “we’re still figuring that out”).

No pricing provided, but they are being shown at the big ISE show in Amsterdam this week, so if somebody reads this and walks by the booth, stop and ask.

The big moment comes, I think, when this technology gets to a full poster size and supports accurate color reproduction (ie Coca Cola’s exact red). Video, I don’t think, is all that important. And capital cost and operating costs, of course, have to be persuasive. Using 3G off solar power is cool, but there’s still an operating cost for that machine to machine 3G connection.

Leave a comment