Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Prices at the push of a button

14.04.2008
Sometimes you get a pleasant surprise at the checkout: T-shirt, camera or chocolate cost less than the price advertised on the shelf. Occasionally a product turns out to be more expensive.

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
Further information:
http://www.fraunhofer.de/EN/press/pi/2008/april08.jsp

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Construction of practical quantum computers radically simplified
05.12.2016 | University of Sussex

nachricht UT professor develops algorithm to improve online mapping of disaster areas
29.11.2016 | University of Tennessee at Knoxville

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>