The few sales staff in electrical shops, DIY stores and supermarkets are usually overworked, and have very little time for updating the price tags on the shelves. Electronic displays are no easier to handle: If the price changes, the flash memory cards in the appropriate display have to be replaced.
In future, a networked electronic display system will save employees the trouble of running around to change price tags – and customers will be spared the surprises. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems IMS in Duisburg have developed these networked displays in collaboration with a commercial company, renzel media. “The store manager can quickly and easily change the prices on the displays via a central computer in the office,” explains IMS team leader Hans-Christian Müller. “To make this possible, we have integrated a receiver in each screen.
Each display can be separately controlled via a transmitter in the central computer.” If strawberries are on special offer, for instance, the store manager only needs to copy the file containing the new price into the main directory – and the price displayed on the strawberry shelf is instantly updated. To ensure that the price is changed on the correct display screen, the name of this file is the numerical code of the appropriate display. The software for creating the price tags is part of the package delivered by renzel media.
The computer splits up the image to be displayed – such as a punnet of strawberries with the respective price – into small data packages which it transmits to the receiver. The receiver pieces the image together again and displays it. If a data package is lost during the radio transmission, the receiver automatically sends a query to the transmitter, and the missing package is sent again. There is a good reason for these data packages: The displays only have a very small processor so that they can operate with a minimum of energy and do not generate too much heat.
“This means it is even possible to use tightly sealed casings, which is an advantage in certain places where displays are installed – for instance in refrigerated shelves where moisture is unavoidable,” says Müller. The prototype of the networked display system with 25 displays can be seen at the Hannover Messe on April 21 through 25 (Hall 6, Stand K10). The researchers are now planning to scale up their development for serial production.
Monika Weiner | alfa
Supercomputing the emergence of material behavior
18.05.2018 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center
Keeping a Close Eye on Ice Loss
18.05.2018 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology