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UIST 2016: Exploring the Design Space for Energy-Harvesting Situated Displays

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Abstract: We explore the design space of energy-neutral situated displays, which give physical presence to digital information. We investigate three central dimensions: energy sources, display technologies, and wireless communications. Based on the power implications from our analysis, we present a thin, wireless, photovoltaic-powered display that is quick and easy to deploy and capable of indefinite operation in indoor lighting conditions. The display uses a low-resolution e-paper architecture, which is 35 times more energy-efficient than smaller-sized high-resolution displays. We present a detailed analysis on power consumption, photovoltaic energy harvesting performance, and a detailed comparison to other display-driving architectures. Depending on the ambient lighting, the display can trigger an update every 1 – 25 minutes and communicate to a PC or smartphone via Bluetooth Low-Energy.

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