What does the future of eco-friendly digital signage look like in terms of power consumption?
According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, “An important rule in marketing green products is to minimize the sacrifices that consumers must make in order to buy and use ‘green’ products. Improvements must be substantive, and if possible backed by hard facts.”
An example for our industry is the choice between LCD and LED displays. Both types of displays have their pros and cons. D3LED, a designer and manufacturer of LED displays, says that when considering eco-friendly digital signage, “given the same brightness, LEDs are typically 30 percent more efficient on average than LCD displays, resulting in a 30 percent reduction in energy consumption for lower monthly power bills. The reduced power usage also results in lower heat production and thus reduced cooling bills.”
The NEC Displays Environmental Business Vision states that, “Data on environmental impact can be visualized by systematizing (organizing), analyzing, and simulating information, and energy efficiency can be realized by automatically controlling devices and process flows.”
There are two concepts at play here. First is the notion that the industry can build devices that require less power to operate than previous technologies. One media player manufacturer claims that its hardware is “so efficient that it consumes less power every year than the cost of a cup of coffee.” Second is the idea that data can be used to lessen power consumption by effectively controlling devices. That may be as simple as a network capability to turn off displays automatically when the store is closed and turn them back on when the store reopens.
In both cases, it appears the end result is lower power consumption. Whether the decrease is substantive enough to cause buyers to purchase and use these “green” products remains to be seen.