In the Frequently Asked Questions section you will find answers to some of the most common questions about our electronic paper technology.
Q: Can e-paper come in different colors?¶
Electronic paper can have more than two colors. As with grayscale e-ink displays, electronic ink displays with more than two colors are bi-stable and don’t consume power during standby. However, the more colors there are, the more complex the display refresh becomes. The content on the screen takes longer to update.
Q: What temperature range can the e-paper displays be used?¶
The operational and storage temperature range that electronic papers thrive in is 32°F to 122°F (0°C to +50°C) — perfect if you need a weatherproof solution, wherever you are. Still, e-ink displays have proven robust in more extreme conditions from -5°F to 150°F (-20°C to 65°C).
Q: Are e-paper displays eco-friendly?¶
Electronic paper displays are the most energy-efficient displays on the market. The wireless displays have ultra-low energy costs and run months on the amount of power it takes to brew a cup of coffee. Every component of Visionect e-paper displays is hand-picked for unparalleled energy efficiency. From WiFi modules to microchips on the system board, all refined by a decade of research, the displays are as power-efficient as possible.
Q: What’s the difference between Visionect and Joan?¶
Joan is part of the Visionect company but targets different markets. Joan offers a brand of e-paper displays that support workplace management with a key focus on meeting room management. Visionect, on the other hand, has unleashed a powerful pair of versatile Place & Play devices for limitless use cases. What’s more, the company also caters to urban scenes, offering outdoor e-paper solutions.
Q: I’m interested in using Visionect technology for my outdoor project. Do you have any suggestions for enclosure development and manufacturing?¶
While enclosure development is very crucial for outdoor applications, it is not something we do directly. However, we have strong partners who specialize in enclosure development; you are welcome to contact us and we will be more than happy to help. For a more in-depth understanding of electronic paper and outdoor enclosures consult our in-depth guide.
Q: Is it possible to display videos on your platform? What are the limitations?¶
Due to the nature of e-paper technology (a low refresh rate), e-paper screens are generally unsuitable for displaying animation or video. In addition, there are other factors like connectivity type, RSSI, display size and data size that may add an additional delay to the final refreshing rate of your device. This is why we do not recommend it.
Q: Your devices are said to come with “1 month of free hosting”. Does it mean the Visionect Software Suite (VSS) will be rendered useless after 1 month?¶
All Visionect devices come with 1 month of free hosting. After this period expires, you have the option to either:
- Purchase the Cloud hosting license and continue using the VSS cloud service,
- Purchase the Essential license and install the Visionect Software Suite on your own server infrastructure (if you’re deploying in production) or install it on your PC (if you’re using it in a home environment).
Q: I can’t connect my device to the computer using the provided USB configuration cable and The Visionect Configurator. What could be the problem?¶
- Configuration of the Place&Play devices needs to be done throught USB, so if the Visionect Configurator is not recognizing the device there are two possible issues:
- Visionect Configurator issue
- USB connection issue
First, we need to check if the issue is on the Visionect Configurator side, and we can do this by going to Device Manager on Windows and checking if the device is visible under the “Ports” sections. There should be a COM port for the device.
On Mac, you can check by using the in-built terminal command
ls /dev/cu.* - This will find the available serial connections.
If the device is recognized by your machine you should see
- If the device has not made a sound when connecting and is not visible in Device Manager (Windows) or Terminal (macOS) please check the following:
- Do you have the FTDI driver needed for communication with devices installed on your machine? It is available for download at (http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm)
- Do you have any restrictions on USB ports that would prevent communication between the Place&Play device and your machine?
- Could you please try another regular USB cable and see if the machine is recognizing your Place&Play device?
Q: Virtual Screens tab seems to be broken¶
The virtual screens feature enabled display tiling, meaning you could have 2 or more devices split the content and “tile” the devices to achieve a bigger screen or some split content. The feature described is a complex one that was supported on older versions of Visionect Software Suite, and currently it is not maintained and deprecated.
Q: What is a session?¶
- A session represents:
- A state of the device (content, device information, …)
- The rendering, that is displayed on the device.
Q: What is the difference between HTML and HTTP backend?¶
A backend is a mechanism how rendering is created for a session. We support multiple backends, most notably HTTP and HTML.
- The HTML backend:
- Content is created by taking a screenshot of the customer’s web page
- meaning it behaves like a web page (actions to click events, etc.)
- any changes to the web page (e.g. font changes size, …) are automatically sent to the device without any extra work from the customer (no additional code is required to update the content of the device)
- because the backend is a “web browser”, it consumes more memory than the HTTP backend
- The web app must be deployed separately using a web server (e.g. Nginx, Apache, …)
- The web app must generate the content to show on the device
- The HTTP backend:
- Pre-generated (PNG image) content is pushed to the device using the VSS API (HTTP API is provided by VSS)
- The backend consumes much less memory than the HTML backend
Q: I’m getting a “Could not connect: Connection refused” message displayed on my client device’s screen. What is wrong?¶
Everything is fine with your device. The Software Suite is trying to open a non-existing or inaccessible URL. Please double check the app settings for possible typos in the URL address and check if the URL address is reachable. The other alternative is that the Software Suite does not have connectivity to the target webpage - the firewall could be blocking the access, DNS could be down, or some other server related issue could be at hand.
To test if the Suite has access, log into the Software Suite terminal and run
wget http://target_url. The resulting HTML output should contain the data.
Q: I’m noticing that there’s a “ghost image” of the previous screen visible on the device. Is this something that’s being worked on, or is it just the nature of the technology?¶
The effect is called ghosting and it occurs due to the nature of e-paper displays. It is also dependent on the temperature. This issue can be minimized by refreshing the screen between frames or by using full white and full black images to “clean” the screen before displaying new content.
Q: I’m planning to connect and run several client devices on one server but I’m not sure about the Visionect Software Suite requirements in this case. Where should I check to verify that the Suite is capable of handling this load?¶
The Suite requirements (RAM) depends on many factors, like number of devices, device type (screen size), running app, frequency of updating etc. It possible to calculate it for your specific use-case, using the following form:
Number of devices * your Web Session Memory Limit + 1GB (system requirements).
You can can always a add few additional GBs, to be on the safe side. For example, a use-case of 32 devices with the Web Session Limit at 200 MB would require around 8 - 12GB.
NOTE: you can find your Web Session Memory Limit setting in the Management Interface of the Software Suite (under
Settings -> HTML Backend -> Web Session Memory Limit).
Q: Does the Visionect Software Suit scale pictures? Should I care about a picture’s size?¶
The Visionect Software Suit does support automatic scaling, but for the sake of image quality, users should still make sure that the pictures have the correct proportions to fit their display.
Q: Which ports do I need to use when configuring my Visionect client device?¶
- The ports in use are:
- 8081: used for the Visionect Software Suite Management Interface
- 11113: used for the TCP connection between your device and the Visionect Software Suite. This port needs to be used when configuring your device with the Visionect Configurator.
Q: How long will the battery of my Place&Play device last?¶
Place&Play can yield up to several months of use on a single battery charge, depending on the use case. Battery life depends on many different factors, ranging from connectivity type, network environment, the display’s size, and finally your use case and settings applied.
To reduce power consumption and extend battery life, it is recommended you optimize polling and DTIM settings and make sure your client device has a good signal strength. You can read more in Power consumption and battery life.
Q: What happens when the Place&Play device runs out of power? Does the battery recharge through USB? Can the Place&Play run on USB power permanently?¶
The batteries are re-charged through the USB port of your Place&Play device. You can run the Place&Play device permanently on USB power and there will be no issues with the battery if you opt for this method.
Q: How can I reboot a Place&Play device?¶
- There are several ways of rebooting your device:
- By using the red button “Reboot device” in the Visionect Software Suit. Note: this option will only work if your device is connected to the server (i.e. is online).
- By using the Visionect Configurator or CLI. You can use the “Reboot” button or type in the command: reboot.
Q: My Place&Play device keeps rebooting constantly. What is wrong?¶
There are a few things that could be causing this: misconfiguration of the device, missing firmware information, and power-related issues. Please reach out to email@example.com and if possible prepare the log file from the device for a better understanding of the issue.
Q: I’m trying to connect via the cellular network. I inserted the SIM card and configured my client’s device. It is stuck at the PIN stage. What is wrong?¶
Please try to disable/unlock your SIM card by using your cellphone, so that it will not require PIN verification anymore. Also, make sure your SIM card is activated and that your cellular settings are correct. Then try connecting again.
Q: Can I access my cloud-hosted Visionect Software Suite by using the ssh command?¶
No, the server we’ve set up for you does not come with a customer SSH access. If you require that option, please deploy the Software Suite on your own infrastructure. See Installation for detailed instructions.