123 Buckingham Palace Road,
Tel: +44 (0)207 043 1355
- 2021 International Trade
Papercast® received the email ‘Congratulations on winning a Queen’s Award for Enterprise: International Trade 2021’ almost four years to the day that the London-based firm launched its solar powered, cloud-connected e-paper signage solution.
The technology was primarily designed for public transport authorities that need an innovative, energy efficient and cost effective solution to show real-time information at bus stops. Papercast has since become the world leader, with customers across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and Australasia.
Here, Robert Bicket, CEO, explains why the company’s e-paper displays are becoming the de-facto digital display technology for bus stops…
What is real-time information?
Robert Bicket: Cities all over the world face the challenge of urban congestion and pollution. Public transport plays a vital role in reducing the number of vehicles on the road, and so governments have strategies in play to make public transport more attractive and easy to use.
Providing real-time bus arrival information at the point of travel is proven to provide certainty, which improves the traveller experience and attracts new users to public transport – helping to increase public transport usage.
Tell us why you developed the technology, and why for the bus stop market?
RB: We saw a gap in the market. Air, rail and metro services provide live and accurate departure information, but bus travel is lagging behind. Why? One of the main reasons is that it is not feasible to take a power supply to the majority of bus stops, and most display technologies require a mains power supply.
E-paper on the other hand is the perfect outdoor signage technology, with excellent sunlight visibility and incredibly low power consumption, which means it can be solar-powered. With wireless connectivity to the content management system, the displays can be installed in less than an hour without the need to dig up any roads.
What markets are best suited to your technology?
RB: While we have customers in more mature public transport markets, such as the UK, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Australia and the US, we also see strong demand from emerging markets. This includes cities with a high dependency on public transport and/or a focus on developing sustainable public transport infrastructure, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Mauritius.
How did you become world leader in the field?
RB: First, I believe it’s because we filled a genuine gap in the market. E-paper technology is incredibly versatile and the possibilities are endless. But we invested heavily in R&D to become the de-facto provider for bus stops. Using E Ink display technology, we developed our own electronics that are more than three times more energy efficient than comparable e-paper solutions. We have also developed other features that truly set our products apart, not to mention our cloud-based content management system.
Where now for Papercast?
RB: Our products cater for indoor or outdoor, fixed or portable use and we now have customers using our technology at train stations, airports, hotels, shopping centres, events, car parks, fuel stations and other public spaces. We also customise our products for bespoke requirements, and recently developed breakthrough technology to provide data onboard INEOS TEAM UK’s America’s Cup challenger.