The NYC-focused online publication Gothamist has a post up, with multiple photos, of the beating laid on some 30 LinkNYC smart city ad posters in Manhattan this past weekend.
A very cranky New Yorker smashed a series of the big digital display kiosks in the West Village and Chelsea, along 6th and 8th Avenues and across 14th Street. Some went black, while other units are still running, with the content playing behind broken glass.
There are some 1,700 of these units around the NYC boroughs, so someone taking out a few of them has only a minor impact on network uptime. Frankly, at times when I have been in New York and seen no end of black screens while walking around, and not because of vandalism.
The interesting thing here is that the damage spree happened in a nice part of town. I always thought the screens located out in Queens and the Bronx were going to be magnets for malice, but not right in the brightly lit, people and cops everywhere big city.
The ubiquitous screens have had other issues. Aside from a general problem with uptime (NOT as prevalent last time I was in NYC as in prior visits), the small browser kiosk screens on the sides of the slabs were being used by street people to watch porn, and someone hacked units to have them play out a creepy, slowed version of ice cream truck music.
Photo credit – (Jake Dobkin/Gothamist)
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.