Photo by Don Harney, Mayor’s Office
BOSTON – Friday, July 1, 2016 – Mayor Martin J. Walsh today revealed a new 32-inch solar-powered E Ink® screen on City Hall Plaza. The sign uses ePaper technology and will provide visitors to City Hall Plaza with information on local events and help residents and visitors locate nearby landmarks. Through a partnership between the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics (MONUM), E Ink and Global Display Solutions (GDS), the prototype sign is the first of its kind in the nation.
“Over the past two years we have been taking steps to improve our city services and make City Hall more inviting for residents and visitors,” said Mayor Walsh. “By providing residents with real-time information that is both helpful and easily accessible, we are building on our commitment to providing excellent City services to the people of Boston. The addition of this screen is just one more step towards making our most prominent civic space in Boston more resourceful and welcoming for all who visit.”
The 32-inch E Ink display is connected to cloud servers, allowing City staff to easily update screen content online. The screen is solar-powered, requiring less energy consumption than a traditional digital screen with easy readability. The E Ink screen is also weather resistant, enabling it to remain in operation through the harshest of weather conditions. The City will alter the content and informational layout in the coming months as needed based upon user feedback, starting with basic wayfinding.
“There are thousands of visitors and dozens of events happening around City Hall Plaza each week,” said Judy Wang, Innovation Fellow with the New Urban Mechanics who managed the project. “This screen will allow City Hall to share all of these events with public in real time, and this tool gives us a new way to engage with visitors, get them excited about upcoming activities and help them navigate all our city has to offer.”
The City Hall Plaza screen is the first known civic use of an E Ink powered sign in the United States. The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics collaborated with WalkBoston, an advocacy group focused on pedestrian issues, to refine the wayfinding design and provide accurate walk times to a variety of nearby destinations.
“GDS is proud to be part of the City of Boston’s plan to improve the public experience by providing better information with an energy sustainable solution,” said Andrea Ongaro, GDS Chief Technical Officer. “Our collaboration with E Ink has helped realize a product we hope Boston is proud of.”
“E Ink is honored to partner with the City of Boston in realizing its smart city vision,” said Harit Doshi, head of E Ink’s Signage business. “Together with GDS, we have created an eco-friendly display that replaces paper signs with a dynamic ePaper display that will provide the public with valuable information.”
About the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics
The Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics serves as the City’s innovation incubator, building partnerships between internal agencies and outside entrepreneurs to pilot projects that address resident needs. Their streetscape work spans ways to make the transportation experience better for users, through products like the ParkBoston app, to providing ways for local designers to make public space more intuitive and delightful with the Public Space Invitational.
About Global Display Solutions, Inc.
For more than 35 years, GDS is at the forefront of developing and manufacturing leading edge technologies for the digital signage market. We are passionately committed to pioneering new displays technologies while delivering total customer satisfaction in the design, manufacturing, installation and lifetime support of our display solutions. Our goal is to provide eye catching display performance at lowest total cost of ownership.
About E Ink Holdings
Founded in 1992 by Taiwan’s leading papermaking and printing group YFY (1907.TW), E Ink Holdings Inc. (8069.TWO), based on technology from MIT’s Media Lab, has transformed and defined the eReader market with its ePaper technology, enabling a new multi-billion market in less than 10 years. Its corporate philosophy aims to deliver revolutionary products, user experiences, and environmental benefits through advanced technology development. This vision has led to its continuous investments in the field of ePaper displays as well as expanding the use of its technologies into a number of other markets and applications. Its EPD products make it the worldwide leader for ePaper. Its FFS technologies are a standard for high end consumer electronic products. Listed in Taiwan’s GreTai Securities Market and the Luxembourg market, E Ink Holdings is now the world’s largest supplier of displays to the eReader market.