A reader, doubling as a volunteer operative, sent me pix from Toronto’s ritzy Yorkdale mall of an actual, real installation of that giant, gorgeous Sony “crystal LED” screen that’s shown up at trade shows for the last couple of years.
The CLEDIS display – new tech that is micro/mini/something LED versus the normal surface-mounted LEDs we see most places – went up recently as a back wall of one of the few retailers out there that would look at the price tag and shrug – Apple.
Not sure of the dimensions, but the back wall LED screens I have seen in other Apple stores (including one I saw last week in Brooklyn) are, and I am totally guessing, something like 15 feet high by 35ish wide.
What I am more sure of is cost, which would be north of $1.5 million USD for this very pretty moving wallpaper. It looks amazing, but should for Russian oligarch/Wall Street hedge fund owner money.
One note is that this is in a relatively bright retail environment, whereas the CLEDIS screens have often been in handily darker areas in trade shows. They are rated for up to 1,000 nits brightness, which is bright, but not terribly bright.
Specs vary wildly between manufacturers, but a Samsung 1.2mm, for example, is 1,600 nits.
Apple doesn’t seem to do press releases on this stuff or, more to the point, allow vendors to make any hay about their tech being present in a store. So don’t expect much more detail to come. The great, great majority of the LED walls in the back of Apple stores are from a West Coast US LED company (won’t say who, JUST in case that would cause issues).
I assume Apple is playing around with other displays in hopes of finding one that looks amazing but is less fragile than traditional LED walls, which can lose light pixels easily when the public is in reach. The Sony tech, when I have seen it, has some sort of film or something over the LEDs, so they are kinda protected.
Not sure how the LEDF light’s heat gets out, though.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 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, on Canada’s east coast.