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Visionect Debuts an ePaper Sign for Museum and Galleries

amlabelThe ereader market may have peaked several years ago, but E-ink screens aren’t dead. A small Slovenian startup continues to find new uses and markets.

Visionect announced on Monday that it was adapting its Joan smart meeting room sign for use in museums.

The Amlabel digital gallery display offers museum curators a new alternative to static paper labels, one which can be changed remotely with a minimum of time and effort.

As Visionect explained, a recently surveyed group of museums reported that 66% of the respondents printed more than 200 labels per year while a third printed 500 plus labels per year. All reported an average cost of $70-$100 per label, with a single misprint or a change of text causing this cost to double.


The Amlabel cuts that cost by letting museums and galleries update a label digitally. Not only does this reduce reprint costs but it also lets curators change details, or even the language on the label, at the drop of a hat.

The Amlabel comes in 6″ and 9.7″ screen sizes, and connects to existing Wifi networks. Its battery is good for months.



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iestyn August 12, 2016 um 10:07 am

Surely the bezel doesn’t need to be so huge. No one is holding the device for reading.

Fjtorres August 12, 2016 um 11:59 am

They’re likely tweaked generic ereaders, not custom designs.
Volume is too low for purpose-built hardware.
For now.

Nate Hoffelder August 12, 2016 um 12:55 pm

it’s more likely that they’re the same hardware under the hood as Visionect’s other projects. That would up the volume and thus nicely lower the average cost.

Jim Heskett August 12, 2016 um 10:26 am

$70 per label? are they printed on Komodo dragon skin?

Nate Hoffelder August 12, 2016 um 10:34 am

Yeah, I was wondering about that. I’ve bought high quality card stock before, and it never cost that much.

Fjtorres August 12, 2016 um 12:09 pm

They’re probably farmed out to a print shop/photo lab.
$70 is probably cheap in thst context.

A while back my boss eagerly and happily bought a $15K dye diffusion printer that cost $5 a page to operate becsuse it actually cost less than using the corporate print shop which charged $50 a page for color overheads and took two-three days instead of five minutes or less per page. Plus the printer let him iterate right up to the moment he left to make the sales pitch.

A couple years later I got him one of the first generation Sony Vaio ultralights and a microprocessor so he could run the dog and pony shows from a single 5 pound briefcase. He was delighted. But he didn’t keep the laptop long: his boss kept borrowing it so he gifted it to her and we got him a newer, better Vaio.

The corporate world is different.
That’s why there’s so much money to be made there.

Fjtorres August 12, 2016 um 12:11 pm

Microprojector, not microprocessor.
The laptop was two pounds, the projector three.

Denise Wallentinson August 12, 2016 um 2:54 pm

I’m just impressed with the ingenuity of Visionect. Kudos to them! Plus they might be able to provide larger font when called for. Visitors who have no trouble seeing the pieces of art might have trouble reading smaller font.

RAD August 12, 2016 um 3:22 pm

It looks like they offer a 6″ and 9.7″ enclosed devices that are ready to deploy, only the 6″ has a touch screen:

This touch enabled 6-inch "V Tablet II" looks like the basis for both the museum label solution and the Joan Assistant for meetings. There is very little smarts in the device, the rendering is done on a gateway server that in turn makes requests to a 3rd tier web server. So the only difference between the Museum product and the Joan product is the software on the 3rd tier web server.

The software architecture is very different than what I was expecting. I was thinking more along the lines of standalone eReaders. The solution is quite flexible for their use cases and for custom applications.

The devices are battery operated which is great since no power source is required but they do need to be charged every few weeks which I imagine can become tedious in a large facility with many rooms/devices.

So the application sweet spot for the two smaller enclosed devices is any wall/surface that needs dynamic text (maybe interactive) but doesn’t have easy power access. Easy deployment, easy custom apps, but a bit of a maintenance headache for charging.

The sweet spot for the bigger signs is outdoor daylight applications with the end-user building their own enclosure and figuring out lighting if night operation is required.

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