February 11, 2006 by Dave Haynes

Was in the Montreal airport yesterday, a place that seems to be perpetually under repair or upgrade.

One of those new upgrades appears to be digital screens, for something, in the departure lounges. Those areas have high potential for screen media, if well conceived, because we’re talking about a seriously captive audience, sitting bored to tears waiting for their flights to board.

I called this post “Tamper-goof” because the back-to-back screens suspended from the ceiling are within easy reach of curious fingers, and are therefore going to be subjected to all kinds of abuse. People will tug on the cables, fiddle with the control buttons, pull on the mount, scratch the screen, on and on.

The folks who put these up — it wasn’t clear who because they were turned off — did a good job in getting them down low enough that they will be noticed and impactful. But like so many installations I’ve seen through the years, they’re putting way too much faith in the general public. The company may have saved a few bucks by not putting any protection on the screen or the controls, but there’s a very good chance the techs will be back a few times fixing or even replacing things.

My rule of thumb: if a screen is within reach of people, assume tampering. 

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