Mercury Innovation's Real Time E Ink Sign

Welcome back to Future Ink: a series on how E Ink technology pushes the boundaries between industries to put Creativity on Display. Now, we’re taking a road trip to see the innovations of E Ink across the transportation sector. For more futuristic ideas from E Ink, read our blog at


We don’t need roads where we’re going… but we do need directions.

Smart cities are a complex ecosystem made up of citizens, public organizations and businesses. Intelligence combined with connectivity means the ability to have a platform where all individuals and organizations can exchange mutually beneficial information to create an interactive and meaningful experience.

There are a range of needs from a myriad of individuals and organizations to take into consideration. Passengers want real-time transit information and updates to get where they are going faster. The city’s transit authority is interested in improving operational and infrastructure efficiencies. And businesses are looking for new ways to engage and attract patrons. So how can a city planner meet all these needs? Thankfully, E Ink’s innovations have been deployed in cities across the globe to help people arrive at their destination in a safe and efficient way.

For example, take a seat at one of our partner’s smart benches, charge your phone and stay up-to-date with real-time travel updates displayed on our digital paper.

Solstreet Bench

These autonomous, solar-powered benches can support phone charging and are fully sustainable. The smart bench can display timely information to commuters, enabling them to make decisions based on their schedules.

GDS Real Time Sign MBTA Boston

Looking in our backyard, the MBTA, Boston’s transit authority, is running a pilot program, deploying E Ink signs across the Green Line. These signs provide citizens with real-time transit updates. For example, the sign can be updated to display train delays as well as estimated arrival times. Looking to the future, these signs could provide alternative route options if different trains can take the waiting passengers to their destination.

The MBTA program is fueled by the many benefits of E Ink: easy installation, energy efficiency, grid independence and connectivity. The durability and flexibility of our digital signage helps to future proof transportation infrastructure.

Luggage Tag w/E Ink

E Ink’s applications can be found at every level of the transportation industry, from digital signage at bus stops and subways, even integrated into transportation environments like airports. E Ink luggage tags can reflect important boarding information, including gate information, departure times as well as inventory details.

4.jpg 电子墨水屏在智能交通的未来 Future Ink: Future of Transportation 电子墨水阅读器 第4张Sydney Parking Sign w/E Ink

Another example is digital parking signs. These signs can improve driver experience with clearer messages to reduce confusion and improve flexibility by updating signs remotely. The signs can display parking information like street cleaning schedules, traffic routes and parking availability during special events and improve the driver experience.

Reviver CA License Plate w/E Ink

Finally, the digital license plate! These digital paper license plates offer similar flexibilities as the previous examples. Advantages of E Ink license plates include the option for a personalized plate that can be updated at the driver’s discretion. The connectivity feature can even enable vehicle registrations and inspection renewals to automatically update – no trip to the DMV necessary. And on the flipside: if a car is stolen, the plate can update to flash “stolen” helping police (and fellow drivers) spot the missing vehicle.

Our digital paper gives commuters the ability to make decisions on their travel options based on things like delays, weather conditions and neighborhood activities. Digital paper enables individuals to engage with a larger network of citizens, minimize the environmental impact from legacy transportation systems and promote social wellbeing.

So where could you see E Ink in the future? You can find our digital paper in applications like:

  • Bus shelter displays and signs

  • Bus stop sign

  • Smart street light

  • Transit advertising

  • Parking meter

  • Gas station signage

  • Traffic information signage

  • Digital licenses plates

Smart cities need smart mobility! When it comes to transportation, it is vital to consider all parties, from city planners to passengers and even bystanders. E Ink’s digital signage innovations are all-encompassing. Digital paper provides passengers with peace of mind by providing up-to-the-minute travel information, can help optimize logistics for city planners and even gives local business and community initiatives a place to display and raise awareness.

Interested in learning more? Check out our Smart Signage for Smart Transportation webinar here.