Note From The Road: Hong Kong

June 2, 2014 by Dave Haynes


There probably won’t be that many posts as I am waaaaaay the heck out of town – so far I just change AM to PM to figure out what time it is back home.

I am in Hong Kong for a couple of meetings and some looking around, before heading to Taipei for the Digital Signage Multimedia Association conference, which is tied to Computex. I’m speaking at that, as is Paul Flanigan, head of the Digital Screenmedia Association.

Hong Kong is over the top crazy/amazing in terms of the natural beauty of the surroundings and the engineering it takes to squeeze that many buildings and people into the available space. I walked my butt off today – had to because my room wasn’t ready when I showed up – and covered a lot of ground. I hung in long enough to see the light shows on Victoria Harbour, the bay between Kowloon and Hong Kong.

The light show on the 118-storey International Commerce Centre tower is a testament to just how much you can do with sync’d up LED lighting strips. The output is a bit like the very limited single color graphics you see on entry-level LED boards, but bear in mind this is one of the tallest skyscrapers on the world being used as the canvas.

I liked.

Can’t say the same for the sync’d up light show around the harbour, which follows the ICC show. The concept is terrific – sync up all the buildings that have lighting effects and turn that into a show. But what I saw on the 40 or so participating buildings wasn’t very cohesive or interesting. I was paying attention, and noting that I was one of very few I saw even looking at the lit-up buildings.

It was like bad free-form jazz – just a buncha buildings flashing here and there and playing ambient content.It’s important to note that there would be a huge challenge to get all the buildings on the same creative and technical page, but as it now runs, the 8 pm light show is a bit of a shoulder-shrugger.

Curiously, I passed through one very high-end mall in Kowloon and saw very little digital in the stores.



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