Smart Home, Smart Office and Smart City – displays for smart spaces

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Displays for smart spaces

There are more and more devices in our environment that we can “communicate” with, for example, using our smartphone. In smart spaces, whether it’s a home or an office, we can remotely, for example, control lighting and/or heating or operate household appliances, etc. What’s more, smart spaces increasingly include public places, such as offices, clinics and hospitals or schools, for example, where various navigation systems are used to improve movement through such edifices. The possibilities for digitizing the space seem endless, especially given the coming 5G revolution.

Smart Home

We already come into contact with screens in almost every domestic space. We can find almost all data visualization technologies among them – displays LCD-TFT , LCM , OLED , and sometimes EPD . The conditions that prevail in the interiors of houses or apartments are quite predictable, which makes it so that even when using the LCD-TFT displays it will be possible to use standard solutions with universal parameters.

Displays for smart devices

More items can be added to the list of devices in which screens are used – we can find them in equipment we use in the living room (in addition to televisions, such as audio and video players), office (in computer accessories such as printers and scanners), bedroom (e.g. in weather stations), kitchen (e.g. in coffee makers, microwaves, stoves and ovens, refrigerators) and bathroom (e.g. in washing machines or boilers).

Still, not every smart device mounts a display – you won’t always find them, among other things. in the sensors, although this is not the rule. Similarly, in the case of, for example, heads at radiators – if there are screens in them, they are usually small in size, for example, with diagonals not exceeding 1.5 inches. The most common are LCM displays of the reflective type, that is, without a backlight. The content presented on them is illuminated by ambient light, and this effect is achieved using, for example, a mirror that reflects it. In addition to standard modules, it is also possible to create customized solutions, implemented according to the customer’s individual design, with appropriately selected parameters. The production of such modules is handled by one of our suppliers, Winstar.

Noteworthy solutions finding application in selected equipment, such as coffee machines, audio and video equipment, as well as printers or scanners, are bar-type displays of several inches in LCD-TFT technology, which stand out from standard models by their unusual widescreen shape. In all the aforementioned devices, it will be possible to use solutions with fairly universal parameters – for example, optimal readability of content will be achieved already at a brightness of 250 cd/m2. Moreover, it will not always be necessary to use full observation angles. A 12:00 or 6:00 direction may be sufficient (depending on how the user looks at the screen – “from above” or “from below”).

An alternative to the above solutions can be EPD displays, which in the spaces of a house or apartment, with access to a light source – natural or artificial, will provide excellent readability of the content. In addition, they are energy-efficient – current is drawn only when the content changes, so they can be used in battery-powered devices such as weather stations. Still – due to production costs – they are not commonly used in consumer electronics (and are mainly associated with e-book readers).

Smart Office

Nowadays, solutions that make offices smarter spaces, friendlier to their users, are becoming more common. Some of the most popular amenities include systems for managing lighting or heating, which adjust room parameters according to, for example, the number of employees in a given space. They are conducive to reducing energy consumption costs.

Other solutions that work well in office spaces are reservation systems for common spaces such as conference rooms. They can be managed, among other things. Through control panels located in the immediate vicinity of the rooms. In this type of application, it is best to use touch modules based on, for example, 10-inch LCD-TFT displays. They are usually located indoors, so optimal content readability will be achieved at a brightness of approx. 750 cd/m2. Full viewing angles will be an added advantage, allowing the content to be read from any plane. A matter of preference, on the other hand, is the choice of touch sensor; here you can use different technologies, such as capacitive or resistive. Given that these are solutions operated in semi-public spaces, it is worthwhile to use in them a glass of several millimeters thick, which will prevent accidental damage to the surface of the screen (in addition, you can give it a unique look, for example, by painting it, and adding a logo). You should also consider applying coatings, such as anti-fingerprint (AF) – its structure is perfectly smooth, which significantly reduces the possibility of dirt sticking to it. This includes fat, which is one of the components of a visible fingerprint.

The STM32 Embedded Displays solutions designed by the Riverdi team will be perfect for this type of application. Their resolution (1024×600 or 1280×800), brightness (at least 800 cd/m2) and contrast (1000:1), as well as full viewing angles, will ensure excellent readability of content, even in more intense lighting conditions (such as in corridors). These are modules available with two variants of touch sensors – capacitive and resistive. The STM32 Embedded Displays series solutions are all-in-one solutions based on the STM32H757XIH6 microprocessor from STMicroelectronics. A feature of the series is modularity, making numerous variants with different parameters available off-the-shelf, including models such as. With touch panels. This allows the module to be constructed to best meet the needs of the users of the end device.

Smart City

In the simplest terms, it can be said that the activities carried out under the banner of “smart city” projects involve the use of modern technologies in urban areas. In an ideal scenario, they should meet the expectations of residents, improving their quality of life. In order for projects of this type to make sense, it has become necessary to collect and analyze data in real time – which is why more sensors or meters are appearing in public spaces, as well as cameras that allow for real-time response to events such as piled-up traffic, to which the intervals between light changes at intersections are adjusted.

Screens are commonly used in solutions for smart city systems – an example is transportation, where, for example, timetables, route mileage, arrival and/or departure announcements or arrival and/or departure announcements or signage leading to the correct stops, stations and gates, etc., are presented in digital form.

A form of solutions that fit into the “smart city” category are also amenities introduced in public buildings, such as interactive systems that support movement through various edifices, such as offices, clinics and hospitals or schools. Such a solution was designed as part of the Incrediscope project. It’s a navigation system based on e-paper displays linked within a single network to present directions for navigating a given space to reach a destination point, such as a specific office. The messages are individually tailored to each person who registers with the network – the only condition is access to a smartphone with Bluetooth. Users are assigned unique numbers – identifiers, based on which the next steps are recommended, for example. “Turn right” or “turn left.” These are place&play solutions, seamless in implementation (the key is only the proper placement of the screens to make them accessible to users).

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