Displays in commercial spaces
Various digital media are increasingly being used in commerce to perform advertising functions. These can be single screens, as well as various combinations of them, for example, in the form of video walls (videowalls). Any electronic solution allows you to automate the process of changing the content presented on them – for example, with electronic labels, the prices visible on them can be updated in the system at any time, without the need to involve a team of employees. In addition, screens are also commonly used in other devices that we use while shopping, for example. POS (Point of Sale).
LCD-TFT displays are still most commonly used as advertising media. Commercial interiors, such as galleries, are intensely lit, so achieving optimal readability of the content, involves the need for proper selection of optical parameters, including brightness (at least 750 cd/m2). An interesting solution, which – with the saturation of the space with various types of screens – gives a chance to catch the attention of potential customers, are videowalls. These are systems of interconnected LCD-TFT displays, on which a single image is presented; in this type of application it is best to use frameless models, in which the matrix border is reduced to the minimum necessary.
An alternative to LCD-TFTs could be e-paper displays, especially the next variants of color EPDs, such as the Palette model from E Inka. These are solutions driven by simpler (and cheaper) electronics that produce seven colors: black, white, red, yellow, blue, green and orange, the popular colors used in advertising.
Displays for POS (point of sale)
POS (point of sale), also called POP (point of purchase), are places where we make payment transactions. They include a number of devices that support the shopping process – in addition to, among others. fiscal cash registers, for example, will also be scales.
In compact cash registers, the most commonly used – due to predictability in terms of how the device is used (under constant environmental conditions such as lighting or temperature, as well as an unchanging angle of looking at the screen) – are LCM displays (With the exception of devices used, for example, in cabs – due to the need to operate both day and night, as well as in extremes of cold and heat, it will be recommended to use a OLED displays).
In self-service points, where the customer directly “communicates” with the device, LCD-TFT displays with appropriately selected optical parameters (including brightness of approx. 500 cd/m2, as well as full viewing angles). These are solutions that are operated by touch – this requires applying a touch sensor and protective glass to the LCD-TFT display. For this type of equipment, it is worth considering the application of selected coatings, such as anti-fingerprint (AF), whose perfectly smooth texture prevents dirt, including grease, from sticking. It will make the screen surface look neater – it will not show, among other things. fingerprints, the main component of which is just fat.
Displays for vending machines
The term “vending machines” includes various machines in which we make purchases. These include solutions for selling goods such as beverages and snacks, and services such as various types of tickets. The choice of appropriate data visualization technology will be influenced not only by the function of the screen, but also by the location of the device.
In vending machines that require a simple screen to present basic information, such as the cost of the selected goods, monochrome solutions such as OLED displays can be successfully used. This is a technology that – thanks to its high contrast and wide viewing angles – ensures excellent readability of content regardless of the conditions in which the device will be operated. In addition, OLED displays have wide operating temperature ranges, typically specified between -40 and 80°C, making them suitable for indoor and outdoor applications.
On the other hand, vending machines that allow users to manage various purchase options, such as personalizing the snack/beverage ordered, will need to use advanced interfaces – these will be best displayed on LCD-TFT displays, and will be facilitated by the touch function. For this type of application, the configuration of the module will depend on the conditions of the environment – primarily the location (indoor/outdoor), which will define other factors such as light intensity and temperature range, for example; finally, there is still the choice of the touch sensor and the definition of the parameters of the protective glass.
Displays for food service
Menuboards located in restaurants or cafes commonly use LCD-TFT displays. Their parameters will depend on the conditions of the device’s location. For example: in order to ensure adequate readability of the content, the brightness should each time be selected according to the amount of light in the space; for example, in places with dim lighting it is possible to use models with a brightness of approx. 250 cd/m2 (but absolutely no longer perform well in intense lighting! – At least 750 cd/m2 is required under such conditions). Another parameter worth paying attention to is the viewing angles – ideally, they should be full, providing access to the presented content from almost any plane.
Another popular solution being introduced in chain restaurants or cafes are kiosks/totems for ordering; LCD-TFT displays are also commonly used in them. Usually this type of equipment is located indoors, in addition, with constant conditions in terms of, for example, lighting and temperature, which allows to assume a certain standardization of parameters. To ensure the best possible readability of the content, they should be solutions with a brightness of approx. 750 cd/m2, and full viewing angles will also be an unquestionable advantage (especially when the orderer is accompanied by other people – optimal access to the content will be provided not only to the person standing opposite, but also to those on the sides of the screen). These are devices where the touch function is required, so it will be necessary to select a touch sensor, as well as to determine the thickness of the protective glass.
In this type of application, in order to increase consumer safety, anti-microbial (AM) coatings are recommended, which significantly reduce the possibility of multiplying on the surface of screens microbes applied by each user using the device. Their effectiveness is determined at 99.9%.
Solutions to support restaurant employees
The backrooms of restaurants and cafes are increasingly using devices with screens to support the activities of employees. These include, for example, order management systems that allow tracking the next stages of order fulfillment.
At the same time, professional catering equipment is also appearing on the market, with traditional buttons or knobs being replaced by touchscreens. This type of solution, for example, uses standard LCD-TFT displays, which are then overlaid with touch sensors and protective glass. These are applications in which additional calibration of the module is usually necessary – so as to adjust the sensitivity of the touch panel to the conditions in the kitchen (including the possibility of splashing the screen surface with water or oil, for example, and operating the module with gloves, such as latex or nitrile gloves).