Those Manchester advertising screens, need to standby at night

Manchester's advertising screens have a standby problem?
Left and middle is with the backlight on an right is one of the only ones with the backlight off. (heck it could be broken?)

I previously wrote about the advertising screens Manchester Council has deployed in the middle of pavements and walking spaces. The backlash was swift but things have settled down again now the screens are in place.

What I found strange about them, is they don’t seem to suspend. Or at least thats what I thought till I finally saw a few at night with no backlight. However most of the ones I see at night have the screen on but with nothing showing. The glow of a LCD screen with black screen is easily spotted at night.

I can’t help but think what a waste of electricity and certainly renews my thoughts about eink/epaper screens for advertising. Which funny enough BMW revealed their color changing concept car. Likely one of the biggest eink displays I have seen in a long while.

I saw in the Guardian on Sunday,

Manchester electronic ad boards each use electricity of three households.Freedom of information request shows screens that earn council rent of £2.4m a year consume more than 11,000kWh annually.

Well that really puts my thoughts about the lack of standby/suspend really into context. And I had no idea some were monitoring the environment too!

22 are able to monitor pedestrian footfall and air quality – something the council says will only be used internally to inform policy.

Used internally? I very much doubt it. Remember the advertising bins in London?

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.

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