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?

Before Apple launch what ever…

I wanted to quickly get my thoughts down before the Apple announcement later today.

I can’t see myself buying what ever Apple launches. But we all know that was the case anyway.

If Apple do launch a Tablet device, I will only be interested if it has a colour e-ink screen and costs less that 400 pounds. If its LCD screen then the battery life is going to be a killer, unless it holds 3x more charge per hour that your laptop. Why carry around a tablet which holds the same battery life as you laptop? If its not cheap, it will be eaten up by the small netbook industry or the whole host of smartphones coming on to the market. If its OLED then cool but its not going to be anywhere near cheap. And thats another problem. If its 500 pounds plus, why not just get a laptop? Or even add a nice top of the range netbook like the Nokia netbook or Dell Mini10’s? So could Apple do a crunchpad and get a LCD tablet down to the price of a Netbook? Maybe but the appeal is low. Would it have 3/4g? unlikely, specially after the AT&T burning Apple’s received.

Ok lets say its a Ebook device with E-ink. Well that market is becoming flooded and I can’t really see what more Apple could do in the space. I’m also sure E-ink would frustrate Steve Jobs. So were back at LCD/OLED again.

I had another thought that Apple could do something like a slate which is pretty underpowered when in its default state but when you plug in your ipod touch/iphone it binds the two together for something more powerful. So yeah all your games from the apps store can be played at its full rez instead of the iphone screen rez.  I was thinking they  could do the same using a bluetooth pan (personal area network) but we know Steve doesn’t like Bluetooth. So we’re left with either Wifi or some other new radio technology. Having the ipod/iphone part of the sum seems to cut the costs down quite a bit, plus when your at home it could piggy back off your laptop or other apple hardware.

I do also wonder if this big announcement be the next AppleTV, Apple Stereo or even Lisa? If so, we’d wasted so much time for a piece of crap. The chances are that its not because Apple have been working on this for years and it might be Steve Jobs last major product launch. So it could be something very different like a Apple branded LCD TV, a larger screen movie player or even finally the Apple Pippen (the games console which never came out). There is a thought that Steve Jobs must be surprised by the amount of casual games created on the appstore that the idea of a mobile gaming slate or device. Knowing Steve Jobs, he’ll be using that new standard for wireless digital hdmi system to interface with larger screens.

I guess we’ll find out soon…