Thursday, May 10, 2012

Driving Innovation with LED Message Centers

-Deacon Wardlow

Are you getting the most out of your Digital Display system (whether exterior LED message center or interior Digital Signage)? Are you innovating with your display and starting a conversation or pushing content? What’s the difference? Here’s a quick look at some innovative approaches to interactivity with LED displays:

2007 - Fishtisch experiments with LED displays which were capable of “sensing” objects and lighting LEDs in response. They came out with some cool furniture concepts which (unfortunately) didn’t go very far, but broke ground for other innovators. Over in Oslo a designer came up with a wall (for a subway) which interacted with passer-bys, creating a “light shadow.” The Dobpler(tm) interactive LED system showed people LEDs didn’t have to be passive light sources. In a society where digital display systems are becoming more pervasive, they're blending into the background. They don't stand out as much as they used to as they're becoming the "norm." Interactive approaches which have systems react to outside forces (i.e. someone walking by) can be set in such a way as to make people want to interact with the system and pay attention. Forever 21 thought of just this approach with their display in Times Square.

2010 -  Forever 21 came out with an “interactive LED display” billboard in Times square. Check out the video and you’ll note how it gets people actively looking at and waving (interacting) with the display. This makes LED display content “come alive” and connects the viewer to the system.

Work like this innovates how LED display technology is applied in the market. I came across an interesting idea on utilizing feedback systems (like the Kinect) to make 3 dimensional LED displays which track physical body position and allow people to interact with the system via game or general track motion following. Thinking outside of the "flat box" format drives innovation and creativity leads to more eye-catching moments to grab your audience.

While these ideas seem “out there” for the typical LED Message Center/Digital Signage owner, the concepts are solid. Digital Signage can do more than push information to your potential client-base. Digital Signage can engage them, draw them into a “conversation” about your product/message. Instead of pushing, pull. Draw people in. Look at the innovative ways others are using their Digital Display systems (from exterior LED message centers to interior LCD/Plasma displays) and see how they’re changing the way they speak with their customers. Why “talk at” someone when you can talk with them?

Vantage LED is hard at work developing new LED Message Center Technologies which will not only disrupt how content is created and managed, but will lead the way for a paradigm shift in how exterior LED message centers are used by businesses and communities. The days when Digital Signage had a huge "wow" factor just by their presence alone are disappearing. The technology itself is a delivery channel, how that channel is used makes the difference between an "experience" and a "view."

Definitely let me know what you come across and I’ll put the feedback in the blog. I look forward to hearing from all of you.

*Always feel free to comment here and/or email me directly with requests at Vantage LED has white paper resources and more educational material on the website (, please check it out when you have a moment. Advertisements/promotion for your business and inappropriate comments will be deleted.. Thank you!

**Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Vantage LED’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically stated.

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