So what’s the logical next step towards sustainability for a country soaked in sunshine? Solar powered signage utilising cutting edge technology: e-ink on e-paper of course!! The Australian Roads and Maritime Servies (RMS) have joined forces with Slovenian groundbreakers Visionect to furnish the city with smart signage, working in harmony with ever changing traffic demands, the environment and drivers themselves. Crikey mate, what a ripper of an idea!!
I may be a little biased, as I’m a born and bred Sydneysider – however this is proving to be a smart strategy on all counts. How does it work? Highly optimised for power consumption and utilising e-paper technology, these wireless signs built by Visionect have been integrated with displays from US manufacturer E Ink®. The signs communicate over the cellular network and remain unaffected by the soaring heat of the Sydney sun or any power outages that may occur.
Rok Zalar, Visionect’s head of product development, explains how the power optimisation works: “The hardware components are managed by server software programmed to 'wake up' the sign for certain pre-scheduled windows of time when the content on the sign will be changed using 3G technology. Outside of the ‘waking’ time, the traffic signs use no power.”
In brief, here are the advantages:
- Flexibility: the roadways are becoming so cluttered it’s bordering on dangerous. These signs provide a flexibility not yet witnessed in this industry.
- Economically sound: making savings on temporary road sign placement – click here to see how much temporary signage costs the city of Los Angeles each year.
- Tamper proof: the signs have been safeguarded with a system to report tampering attempts and even have their own location co-ordinates.
- Visibility: reducing the amount of signage clears the road sides for better visibility for drivers, and, the signs have a light-activated illuminated panel for darker days and nights.
So, have the Aussies hit this one for six, or have they got a few kangaroos loose in the top paddock?
Read more in detail here and let’s hear your views…