E-paper displays are finding their way into specialty applications that benefit, in particular, from the technology’s long operating life on batteries.
Done well, notably what the Slovenian company Visionect does, it can look great.
Done poorly, it looks like this …
This is a 30-inch Eink display from Kobo – a longtime e-reader competitor to Amazon’s Kindles – being used at a Taiwanese pro baseball stadium.
Kobo is well known for having a portfolio of excellent e-readers and a deep ebook ecosystem. The company has been in business since 2010 and this has been their primary focus. They are now getting involved in developing digital signage. The first product is a large 30 inch display that is basically a giant Forma.
The digital signage is available at the Taoyuan Baseball Stadium in Taiwan. Fans of the Rakuten Monkeys will now get to experience these large displays in the park. Right now it is displaying player rosters for the home and away team and standings.
The giant e-readers are also part of a marketing campaign to get people to buy Kobo e-readers. There is information beside the displays that give you the key selling features and there is also a QR code that you can scan to find out more information.
I SUPPOSE a bit of the thinking here is that a giant e-reader will stimulate interest in more lap-friendly versions, but this thing just … looks … terrible.
There was MAYBE a way to pull this off, but this ain’t it.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.