Smart Ink Enables Poster to Display Weather Conditions
Tom Spendlove posted on February 11, 2019 |

Oli Woods was in an engaging family conversation when the topic of the weather was raised, and each family member in the conversation pulled out their phone to check the weather and the interactive family moment was gone. This set an idea in his head for a weather updating stream that could be viewed without the need for a phone, but one that could be less of a screen and more of a poster or work of art. After working with his team at Typified for a few years the Weather Poster was born, a screen printed poster that uses smart ink to display the day’s weather conditions. The group is running a Kickstarter campaign to fund the first run of production pieces and certifications.

The poster requires an internet connection and a power connection – the campaign page says that batteries were considered but because of the power draw and need to change batteries a wired power connection was chosen. The paper uses a two sided printed circuit board and smart ink on twelve icons in the poster, showing weather conditions as Rainy, Cloudy or Sunny at 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm. A 540 MegaHertz CPU with 2.4 GigaHertz WiFi connection controls the weather input and icon display, while the system draws 5 Volts and 1.7 Amperes throughout the day, at night drawing currents down to 0.1 Amperes. The group recommends using the power at temperatures between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. When the temperature reaches 29 degrees Celsius the ink can react on its own and give inaccurate readings.

On the surface the Typified Weather Poster looks like a simple project, but the campaign page is full of information detailing the materials and construction of the posters. There’s also a commitment to a pure mix of art and technology, making sure that the posters are aesthetically pleasing while manipulating the printing process to deal with the unusual smart ink particles. A healthy comments section has people asking why the temperature can’t be displayed or asking for an air quality meter, and the Frequently Asked Questions section covers internet connection and power consumption questions. The campaign is around two thirds of the way to its goal as of this writing, with the campaign ending on March 4, 2019.










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