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How to add a display to your battery-powered, LPWAN-connected IoT device

Monday, July 02, 2018
By HD Lee, CTO, Pervasive Displays The IoT has revolutionized numerous industries, unleashing large networks of remote sensors that send data back to central control centres. From there, it can be analyzed and distributed to operators or machines, so they can take appropriate action. In addition, the spread of mobile technology means all this intelligence can, in theory, be accessed on the go by people in the field. However, there are plenty of situations where it isn’t safe, convenient or even possible to get sensor data or instructions to a human in this way. What if they’re right next to a sensor and urgently need to know its latest reading, but have no mobile connectivity? Or what if the sensor in question is located somewhere they can’t safely use their phone to access its data? In cases such as these, a display attached to the sensor device would be enormously valuable, enabling a human operator to take appropriate action much m ..

Exciting opportunities using e-paper displays for conference delegate badges

Thursday, May 31, 2018
By Scott Soong, CEO, Pervasive Displays ( It’s a familiar ritual when you arrive at a conference: go to the registration desk, tell them who you are and pick up a lanyard with your name badge on it. This card then displays a few key pieces of static information for the duration of the event – usually your name, job title, who you work for, and the event sponsors. It’s an approach that has worked for decades, and while it’s effective, new technology means we can now take these name badges to another level. Digital name tags Rather than having a printed piece of card, imagine a digital name tag, capable of displaying richer, more varied or even context-sensitive information. Or one that was able to provide valuable insights for the event organisers. At the heart of a digital name badge there will necessarily be some kind of display. The badge will also need to be battery-powered. An ..

E-paper: the power to revolutionise vehicle production lines

Friday, March 09, 2018
E-paper: the power to revolutionise vehicle production lines Pairing an e-paper display with location sensors and low-power wireless technology enables the creation of in-vehicle displays for use on production lines By HD Lee, CTO, Pervasive Displays ( Production lines revolutionised manufacturing, enabling factories to turn out high volumes of identical products quickly and economically. But as consumers’ desire for customisation has grown, so has the complexity around production lines. Those working in or overseeing manufacturing facilities now need to cater for numerous subtle differences between items as they come through. And while much of the work is automated, humans still play an important role, including in car manufacturing. For quality assurance purposes, it’s crucial that production line workers have easily accessible instructions available for each vehicle as it passes through their  ..

Why e-paper displays are perfect for use in parking meters

Wednesday, November 29, 2017
Why e-paper displays are perfect for use in parking meters E-paper screens are sunlight-readable, have a wide viewing angle and are ultra-low power making them the ideal display choice for outdoor applications By Scott Soong, CEO, Pervasive Displays Virtually every town and city in the world is home to tens, if not hundreds or even thousands of parking meters with digital displays. Some designs haven’t changed for decades, with their simple, traditional numeric liquid crystal displays (LCDs), like those found in pocket calculators. Other manufacturers use back-lit TFT LCDs in their meters – similar to the ones in our laptops and smartphones – to enable them to display richer, more complex information. But with the maturing of e-paper technology – commonly found in e-book readers such as the Amazon Kindle – there’s now a new and better way to present visual information on these parking meters. E-paper: Ideal for parking meters  ..

Adding a low power display to a Maker project

Tuesday, November 07, 2017
Adding a low power display to a Maker project By Hardy Kuo, Field Applications Engineer, Pervasive Displays Have you ever thought how great it would be if you had a sign on your front door that said ‘Hello’ just as you approached to put your key in? Or you could see if you should take an umbrella to work with you, just by looking at your coffee table? Or you knew if you were running low on sugar just by glancing at the closed cupboard door? If the answer to any of these questions is ‘Yes’ then you’re probably already a Maker. If it’s ‘Yes please!’ then you’re a Maker in the making and you might just be looking for e-paper displays. Accessing technology for your project The number of single-board computer modules available to Makers is on the increase. Platforms like the Raspberry Pi ( family give everyone access to technology that, not so long ago, would only have been available to lar ..

Why e-paper displays will run for 22 years in coin cell powered IoT applications

Wednesday, November 02, 2016
Why e-paper displays will run for 22 years in coin cell powered IoT applications? By Scott Soong, CEO, Pervasive Displays You’ve carefully selected your sensor, found the lowest power MCU for your battery-powered IoT application, optimized your code to minimize energy consumption and chosen the lowest power wireless solution to send packets of data where they need to go. Now you want to figure out how to add a display to your application without completely trashing the power budget. That’s the challenge faced by many IoT product designers, for example those designing remote meters or smart tags. If they think only in terms of dot matrix displays, it’s a challenge they’ll struggle to overcome. Let’s assume that you want your display to operate for five years with CR2032 coin cell batteries as the power source. These have a typical stated capacity of 220 mAh, from which we might reasonably assume a nominal real-world operating capacity of 88% ..

5 ways e-paper displays are simplifying our lives

Friday, August 05, 2016
Millions of people love using Amazon Kindle e-readers because of the way the e-paper display looks like normal paper. There is no flickering or radiated light from the screen and no irritating glare - even in bright sunlight. E-paper doesn’t require any backlighting for daytime viewing and therefore consumes far less energy than power-hungry LEDs, LCDs and plasmas. E-paper screens will not turn dark when the power supply is cut off or if the battery runs out. It continues to hold the last image on the display until an electric charge rearranges the electronic ink particles in another pattern. This makes e-paper a great energy-saving alternative to smartphone and tablet displays and, together with low power wireless communication protocols such as Bluetooth and near field communications (NFC), product designers can let their imaginations go wild with the potential applications available. Here are 5 applications showcasing just how versatile e-paper is: E-paper makes ..