An updated daily front page of The New York Times as artwork on your wall
A $2500 e ink art piece that displays daily newspapers on your wall.
I'm a news junkie, and the power and allure of a newspaper's front page have always fascinated me. So, when I stumbled upon an article written by a Google engineer who had built an e ink device with the front page of his favorite daily newspaper prominently displayed on his wall, I was jealous. So I built one as well, using off-the-shelf hardware. The project became a small hit on Hackernews.
Since then my mailbox gets bombarded with people that want one as well. And now you can :). We're calling it: Project E Ink. A huge e ink screen, for on your wall, that allows you to read the front page of your favorite newspaper every day. It's beautiful.
“As more and more connected devices arrive in our homes, it is a good time to remember the principles of Calm Technology, first formulated at Xerox PARC in 1995. They talk about how technology should respect our attention and remain in the background most of the time, how relevant information should be presented calmly and make use of the periphery", writes Max Braun.
E ink is the perfect technology for wall art
E ink screens, with no backlight and a slow refresh rate, induce a sense of calm. In addition, due to their low power consumption, the batteries on e-ink screens can easily last for weeks or even months.
This is why e ink screens are uniquely suited for displaying wall art. The screen allows for the display of dynamic content, making it possible to display ever-changing front pages. The absence of a backlight makes it less distracting than an LCD screen.
Finding the right hardware ✔
In my search for vendors of e ink devices, I came across the Slovenian company Visionect, which sells e ink screens for corporate use. Known for their Joan office screens that display the availability of a meeting room, they also sell larger screens for use in, for example, airports (to display flight times) and hotels (to provide conference room overviews).
It turns out that the dimensions of the screen they sell for corporate use are identical to those of an unfolded newspaper front page. The Place & Play 32-inch screen is pricey (2300 euros ex VAT), but an exquisite piece of hardware. It is made of stainless steel with sharp edges and a glass panel on top. The USB ports are discretely concealed, and the device feels sturdy.
The device is equipped with Wi-Fi and a cloud-based content management system that allows you to load a webpage, for example the PDF of the New York Times frontpage, making it easy to display. The CMS also allows you to configure the screen refresh rate (in my case, once daily was sufficient).
The screen has a convenient VESA mount on the back, making it super easy to hang on the wall with a standard TV mount and allowing it to blend seamlessly with existing décor.
Satisfied news junkie ✔
The device has no buttons or touchscreen; it only displays the front page of newspapers. That is sufficient to understand what is happening in the world. And if I also want to continue reading an article that piqued my interest, I use the dedicated news app.
Every morning, I wake up to a fresh newspaper edition on my wall. I find it wonderful to hover with a cup of coffee, scan the headlines, or peruse an article. Mission accomplished, and I am one satisfied news junkie.