JR West Railway Company has selected electronic ink technology firm E Ink as the display medium for a smart signage trial at Japan’s Osaka station.

E Ink’s partner Dai Nippon Printing (DNP) has previously worked with JR West to install a battery-run smart transportation signage system that can be moved to different places in the train station.

The multi-language signage system offers up-to-date information about trains and connection locations.

JR West will use 16 units of 42in ePaper display. CREA was responsible for designing the software and hardware while DNP installed and supported the system.

The signage has a long battery life due to the bi-stable nature of the display as it consumes power to change an image. However, it does not require power to show any information.

This is beneficial for JR West as the displays can show evacuation information without power, as outages are common in Japan due to frequent typhoons and earthquakes. The signs will also help foreign travellers understand procedures as evacuation orders are given in Japanese.

E Ink Business Center executive vice-president FY Gan said: “We are honoured to be chosen by JR West as their display medium of choice for this installation.

“Our displays provide information in real-time and give the added security of keeping the public informed when an emergency is declared and information needs to be conveyed to travellers.”

JR West plans to take feedback from travellers during the trial period, which runs through February next year.

Last month, Typhoon Hagibis caused widespread destruction in Japan and disrupted train services.