Electronic paper signs that run on sunlight consume up to 99 percent less energy than their LCD counterparts, so it was only a matter of time before cities began using the technology to power road signs. The first to do so is Sydney, Australia, whose Road and Maritime Services recently installed Visionect’s e-paper signage across the city.
The new eco-friendy wireless signs are connected to the Internet of Things and display changing road information, keeping drivers informed with relevant updates. They are solar powered and therefore 100 percent self-sustainable and not susceptible to problems such as power cuts. They use little power because they only connect to 3G at pre-scheduled ‘wake up’ times, when they receive new information via Visionect’s software. The signs are visible in bright sunlight — the electronic ink used is the same as that used in e-book readers and smart watches. A front panel light triggered by diminishing light levels makes them just as readable at night.
What else could e-paper be used for?