How technology is changing the world

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Inventions and developments that are not only in demand in the visual advertising industry, but also capable of making a person’s life more comfortable, and the results of the activities of commercial enterprises more attractive to the target audience.


Bus stop pavilions gain intelligence

The city of Aizuwakamatsu was the first in Japan to have an intelligent bus stop pavilion. Developed by E Ink and Papercast, the e-paper manufacturing technology allows the pavilion’s displays to display dynamically changing content.

Many of us have to face the fact that daily commuting by public transport cannot be relied upon. Closed metro stations, delayed trains and overcrowded buses regularly make undesirable adjustments to the way to work, college or school. That’s the way things are in big cities. In small settlements, the situation can be even worse: buses run more than once every ten minutes, but at best once every half an hour. Therefore, it is not necessary to trust the schedule at the bus stop.

In small cities where buses run infrequently, electronic displays at stops are almost non-existent, and bus fleet owners spend a lot of effort to ensure that bus stops have up-to-date information about changes in schedules and changes in public transport routes. An excellent solution in this case was the combination of electronic ink, electronic paper with information display technology developed by Papercast and powered by solar energy. In the spring of this year, the project participants launched the first intelligent bus stop pavilion in Aizuwakamatsu.

The pavilion, equipped with innovative technology, is practically no different from a conventional pavilion, where paper posters are placed on a bulletin board under glass. The only difference is that the posters are made not from ordinary paper, but from ePaper. This allows the local bus company to change and update the information on the poster remotely.

Outwardly, such a solution may seem similar to a conventional electronic display that displays, for example, the time of arrival of buses at stops or electric trains at railway stations. However, an important advantage of ePaper posters is that they consume electricity only when the information displayed on them is updated.

No power source is required as long as the information is current. In addition, reading information on electronic paper is as comfortable for the eyes as reading books or newspapers, and in bright sunlight it is perceived even better than data displayed on electronic displays.


“Using E Ink’s e-paper, we have developed a platform that is cost-effective, very low power consumption and user-friendly,” said Rado Skender, director of business development at Papercast Ltd. “We anticipate widespread adoption of this technology in Japan and around the world as it makes public transportation more comfortable and popular with residents and visitors alike.”

The smart bus pavilion technology can be considered a breakthrough for public transport also because most bus stops around the world are still not connected to the power grid. “As cities go digital, E Ink will continue to play an important role in the development of smart signage and information systems for transportation.

retail and architecture,” said Phi Gang, executive vice president of E Ink Holdings. — Electronic ink technology allows integrators to switch to alternative light sources, including solar energy, providing municipalities with significant cost savings that no longer need to spend either on permanent electricity bills or on laying new power lines, which often causes discomfort and discontent among local residents . Our collaboration with Papercast is a great example of how we are bringing more user-friendly and cost-effective innovations to life that benefit city life and the urban environment.”


Paper becomes interactive?

Is it possible to combine all the advantages of an ordinary piece of paper with the functionality of the modern digital world?. They have succeeded in developing a plain paper that behaves like a touch screen and at the same time has an affordable price.

At the beginning of the computer age in the 1970s, some experts predicted a decline in the paper industry and the formation of a “paperless future”. Contrary to these forecasts, paper consumption around the world only increased in subsequent years.These are newspapers, and calendars, and food packaging, and documents for passing exams, and advertising posters.

and much more. Paper is easy to handle, is cheap, provides high image and text contrast, and is relatively durable. However, in the past few years, consumers have increasingly identified such a drawback of this material as the lack of interactivity. For example, there is no way to quickly rate and comment on a newspaper article or share it with friends on social networks. As a result, users spend less time on print media and information and more on digital media.

To address this shortcoming, Yang Zhang and Chris Harrison, researchers at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in Pennsylvania, set out to expand the functionality of conventional paper while maintaining the low cost of producing an innovative material. The goal of the researchers was for the paper to be able to track human touches as well as input from writing utensils. At the same time, they wanted to keep the advantages of plain paper in the new material: ease of use and low cost.

The technological approach of scientists to solving this problem was based on obtaining data using electric field tomography (EFT). This allows data to be entered into the digital system in response to how a grounded object (such as a user’s finger) when touched by an electric field takes a small fraction of the current and directs it to the ground.