Another robotic LED wall has surfaced, though this one is much smaller and indoors. It is what I assume is a demo from the Chinese LED display manufacturer PJ Link.
You may recall Coca-Cola bankrolled a very ambitious robotics-driven LED in Times Square that, as predicted by people who knew better, ran into reliability issues when faced with the weather and everything else New York throws at it.
The company suggests this design has more stable mechanisms, and has been heavily tested. It is rated, PJ Link says, for 10 years of operation.
Certainly, indoors this doesn’t have wind, rain, snow, airborne grime and so on. But even in controlled conditions you have things endlessly moving in and out, and they all need precise alignment.
You can see in the bottom left corner, even in these demos, one of the cabinets doesn’t quite slide back to where it needs to be.
It also makes a bit of a racket.
As pointed out at the time the Coke board was launched – it’s cool, and quite an engineering feat both in hardware and synchronization software. But why?
Good creatives can do amazing three-dimensional full-motion visuals these days that have none of the moving parts and maintenance demands of this. Why buy into what will almost certainly be a needy piece of kit?
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.