We look back at the year that catapulted electronic paper into the mainstream. From truckside displays to digital museum labels and smart urban furniture, e-paper was the technology on everyone’s lips in 2016.
“Get ready for the world to be covered in electronic ink,” wrote WIRED in their 2016 article. “The technology is about to be much bigger than e-books,” they prophesied. “These durable, easy-to-read screens are taking over the world, from billboards to price tags to the walls of your house.”
The Society for Information Display agrees. E-paper is set to soon “take off in a major way for a broad range of applications,” they contemplate in their article on the future of display technology. And as the ambitious e-ink projects from last year show, that day is not very far off.
Feeling nostalgic? Check out our recap of electronic paper in 2014 and 2015!
Simple is always best. Soofa, a spinoff of MIT, joined forces with Visionect to activate public spaces in Boston. The result is the Soofa Sign, a solar-powered bulletin board with an electronic paper screen to share information with the local community, contributing to the city’s sustainability goals. All it takes to install this smart urban display are four bolts fixing the sign in place.
“Maybe I wouldn’t hate ads if they were all displayed on e-paper,” wrote Ashley Carman of The Verge when reporting on the moving truckside billboards from Visionect and RoadAds. The jumbo displays can be used to display actionable real-time ads and can also provide drivers with GPS-triggered notifications on traffic conditions, road safety and more.
It was an exciting year for JOAN, the electronic paper room scheduling solution. Winner of the 2016 Red Dot Award for outstanding design and the CES 2016 Innovation Award for eco design, the display has become a staple in offices worldwide.The winning streak continues in the new year: catch JOAN at Integrated Systems Europe 2017 and see the room booking wonder for yourself.
Museums have begun to change and evolve with the times, using technological advancements to create a personalized experience for visitors through real-time museum displays. 2016 saw the launch of the e-paper AMLABEL Digital Gallery Display, an editable in-gallery card, as well as other instances of using electronic ink in a museum setting.
Moo if you like e-paper! This wooden hut is actually an e-paper information board at an archeological site in Sweden. The Visionect-powered screen provides data about the site, while the two stabilizing wires are popular among the free-roaming cows who love to scratch their backs against them, says Oscar Engberg of Riksutställningar, the government agency which realized the project.
The future of electronic paper may lie in signage, but this throwback to the tech’s beginnings shows there will always be room for booklike gadgets also. Meet reMarkable, the 2016 tablet that can replace your notebooks, sketchbooks and printouts by offering paper-like reading, writing, and sketching with digital powers. Definitely something to write home about.