The benefits of switching to e-paper for outdoor digital signage
With the digital signage market expected to be worth over 32.4 billion dollars by 2023, we wanted to take a closer look at some of the key driving factors for this market.
Commonly used for wayfinding, retail signage and indoor and outdoor advertising, digital signage requires certain characteristics to ensure optimal functionality. When looking at outdoor signage in particular, some of these include being robust, easily legible in different weather conditions as well as consuming minimal power.
Despite glass being a common choice for digital signage due to its low price point, glass displays are susceptible to damage in poor weather conditions, third-party damage and vandalism. As such, it’s perhaps no surprise that plastic displays are becoming an increasingly fitting alternative.
Here are just some of the interesting examples of e-paper being used for outdoor digital signage.
Trialed by TFL (Transport for London) in 2015, four London bus stops embraced e-paper technology to create digital timetables displaying travel information for passengers. The timetables were created using an e-paper display, which can easily be updated to show real-time departures and travel updates. Thanks to the plastic displays’ low power consumption, they can easily switch displays while remaining ‘on’ over a long period of time – a vast improvement on traditional paper or glass displays.
Another travel example comes from Dresden Elektronik, built on a similar idea by using our technology to create ‘deZign’. The e-paper timetable for bus stops was implemented across urban stations and remote countryside roads, throughout Dresden and its outskirts. Coupled with solar power tech, the displays can remain on for an even longer period of time and this makes them particularly attractive for advertisers looking to engage local communities around the clock.
However, e-paper displays don’t just lend themselves to applications in travel. More and more companies are looking for durable materials that require minimal maintenance, such as those used for billboards and retail advertising. Replacing traditional glass displays in certain environments will not only increase the saftey of the design, but can also protect the application against third-party damage and therefore ensure that any maintenance is simple and low-cost.
If these examples are to set the precedent, we could soon start seeing e-paper adapted for everything from city information boards to parking meters, where they could be used to show updated area maps, parking spaces available in real time and information about the surrounding area. The opportunites don’t stop there though – with smart cities expected to reach a market value of $1.5 trillion, it might not be long before we’re surrounded by e-paper displays.