Monday, December 19, 2005

Digital signage coming to a cereal box near you

Seems like electronic ink is making a lot of headlines these days, though I have to admit that this latest incarnation of a jaunt down the cereal aisle sounds a little scary to me...

The cereal aisle at your local supermarket may soon resemble the Las Vegas strip. Electronics maker Siemens is readying a paper-thin electronic-display technology so cheap it could replace conventional labels on disposable packaging, from milk cartons to boxes of Cheerios.

In less than two years, Siemens says, the technology could transform consumer-goods packaging from the fixed, ink-printed images of today to a digital medium of flashing graphics and text that displays prices, special offers or alluring photos, all blinking on miniature flat screens.

Miniature displays in color could appear on consumer-goods packaging, including medicine vials, in 2007, with a resolution of 80 dpi, Gerlt said. Three or more images could flash consecutively, creating a crude animation effect or cycling through multiple messages. By 2008, the resolution could double, said Gerlt.

Wired's article on the matter is pretty interesting at highlighting potential commercial uses of the technology, but ends with some commentary from those who would prefer not to be bombarded with thousands of moving image ads as they shop for groceries.

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