12 Dec 2018

The secrets that make Joan a low-power meeting room booking solution

Sustainability, flexibility, security, user-friendliness. These are the main elements that enable Joan to stand out in any crowd of (remotely) similar devices. In this post, we’re going to explore the feature that is not only related to but also makes the big four possible, and that is battery autonomy.

It’s no secret that using Joan helps you create a well-organized workplace ecosystem, while substantially cutting costs and reducing the carbon footprint in the process. Then again, there are a few secrets connected to its longevity that simply have to be revealed to current and future users for them to truly appreciate what makes it the best scheduling solution on the planet. Let’s try and do so without involuntarily invoking acts of industrial espionage.

The first secret lies in Joan being a thin client device. These rely on servers to do the heavy lifting. Or light lifting in this case. Compared to LCDs, which have to refresh every 30 seconds, a Joan device only reports back to its server every 3 minutes in the form of so-called “heartbeats” to inform it on its status, battery usage, etc. So, just like a reasonably fit human doesn’t run out of breath without excessive physical strain, similarly, Joan doesn’t run out of juice for weeks or even months.

Also, fat client display technologies that use LED or LCD screens, which use up to 99% more energy than Joan’s screen, the latter involves the appliance of e-paper. More precisely, E Ink® electronic paper. Or secret number two.

What’s unique about electronic paper is that an e-ink display will only use power when the image on the screen changes, resulting in it requiring a fraction of the energy usually necessary for a digital sign to work. Why so?

E-paper technology is bistable. This means it’s either reflective or non-reflective (black and white). For example, when you flip the page on your Kindle, you use a minuscule amount of energy. The rest of the time, as is the case with Joan, the display will simply show the image you want it to.

The third secret resides in the invisible force that surrounds us – a.k.a. Wi-Fi. In short, the stronger the wireless signal, the longer Joan lives on a single charge. In long, Wi-Fi network quality and configuration are very important. A noisy Wi-Fi environment with a lot of clients running on low-quality access points will cause more sign reconnects, which means more power is needed to reconnect, reducing the device’s lifetime as much as 70%.

Fortunately, battery lifetime in relation to Wi-Fi can be optimized easily. This can be done via periodic updates, where Joan is on “standby mode” until it’s woken up for a pre-scheduled content update. To make sure the Internet is used to their maximum advantage, users can monitor Wi-Fi strength via the Joan portal.

Another factor that has to be taken into account is the working day. Why make Joan work longer than you do? The “Office hours” setting, also found in the aforementioned portal, can be used to send Joan to sleep. By appointing the device to only be active at certain periods of time further conserves energy consumption. When you clock out, so does Joan.


At the end of the day, when talking about energy-efficient scheduling solutions, you’re left with only two choices:

Travel to the Caribbean, locate the Fountain of Youth, and dip in your fat client device until it magically changes its properties, or buy a thin client version instead.

Hint: Save on airfare expenses. Go get Joan.