Giant E-Ink Screens Turn Lorries Into Dynamic Rolling Billboards

By Andrew Liszewski on at

Despite the gloriously colourful screens used in devices like the new iPhone 7, monochromatic e-ink displays have remained a popular choice for devices like e-readers since they’re cheap, durable, and work fine in direct sunlight. It also means they’re the perfect technology for turning lorries into in-your-face rolling billboards.

Giant E-Ink Screens Turn Trucks Into Dynamic Rolling Billboards

The giant e-ink displays, developed by Mercedes-Benz, Visonect, and RoadAds Interactive, are actually each made up of four 32-inch e-ink screens that are synced to function as a single three-by-five-feet display with a resolution of 1440 x 2560 pixels and 16-levels of greyscale.

Powered only by electricity drawn from the lorry’s battery, the e-ink displays are easy to mount and remove, so they can be transferred from lorry to lorry depending on its route and schedule. And they’re durable enough to withstand dust, inclement weather, and even a trip through a car wash—if you could find one large enough for a tractor trailer.

The e-ink displays also feature built-in 4G functionality, wi-fi, and GPS, allowing the advertisements displayed to be constantly updated, but also relevant to where the lorry happens to be rolling through. That’s part of the reason lorries aren’t already slathered in ads, the next day the vehicle could be hundreds of miles away and billboards tend to be highly localised.

In terms of advertising, the lorry on the road right next to you is going to make a stronger impression than a billboard on the side of the road that whizzes right past you, so there’s certainly some great potential for exposure with this approach. But the e-ink screens could also be used to supply information to other motorists, such as impending slow downs ahead, or other emergency details. They could even provide more accurate and up-to-date ‘how’s my driving?’ information for shipping companies to keep tabs on their employees—much to the chagrin of the driver behind the wheel. [Visionect via Gizmag]