These things are a very different twist on digital signage and I’ve loved them since I first saw a prototype a couple of years back at Infocomm in Orlando. Now the little SF Bay start-up MonkeyLectric is coming off a successful Kickstarter round and going into full production with a pro version.
MonkeyLectric puts an array of four custom bars of LEDs inside bicycle wheels and turns those wheels into digital signs.
The rotation of the wheels uses Persistence Of Vision to create an image with the 256 full color LEDs. The new Monkey Light Pro has sensors to track its speed, heads-up position and rotation direction. The system creates stable, full-wheel images from 10 to 40 mph (15 to 65 km/h).
The system is arguably more powerful than some entry-level digital signage offers out there, with Web-based playlist capability, updates and control using Bluetooth, onboard storage and support for JPG, GIF, PNG, AVI, MPEG, MOV, QT, FLV, and more. There’s even developer tools and an API.
The video, if you haven’t watched it yet, is quirky as hell, but the campaign on Kickstarter did the job. The company raised $220,000 over a two month window, which was $40K more than was sought.
The Pro version ships in December.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.