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Sydney adopts 'world's first' e-ink parking signs

YOU SHALL NOT PARK, say wizardly auto-updating Kindle-tastic screens

E-ink parking sign in Sydney
One of Sydney's e-ink signs

The Australian city of Sydney has adopted e-ink-equipped parking signs.

Slovenian vendor Visionect says the State of New South Wales' Road and Maritime Services (RMS) agency has adopted its digital signage to ease the chore of changing signs to reflect coming events.

As Vulture South well knows, Sydney's sclerotic roads become even harder to navigate when special events such as football or cricket matches are staged in the city's stadia. Ahead of such events, parking signs in the vicinity sprout new plaques advertising changed parking arrangements.

An RMS spokesentity told The Reg the new signs were designed to help with event signage.

"The technology came about through staff who saw the potential of e-reader technology to display real time information about clearways to manage traffic flows during special events."

"The design, engineering and building work to create the signs was completed by a specialised engineering team within Roads and Maritime and forms part of the agency’s commitment to improve journey efficiency through innovation."

The RMS statement adds that the agency "successfully advocated to US based company Eink to be involved as one of four global partners to trial their proprietary EPD (Electrophoretic display) technology on applications other than e-readers."

"Staff then sourced various technology providers to assist in the development of the electronic hardware required to support the Esign design."

We're told 15 of the signs "were successfully trialled in the management of traffic on George Street in the Sydney CBD and a second rollout has since been completed in the Moore Park area."

The signs are hitched to a solar panel, equipped with wireless broadband and updated remotely. When there's an event, RMS staff change the text to reflect arrangements for the imminent event. When there's no event on the horizon, the screens simply go dark.

E-ink displays work for this application because they use rather less power than other types of screen, making it easier to employ solar power. ®

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