You’d think when a top five global brand has a dismal failure with its splashy, expensive and very high profile robotic LED display, that would get around to the potential user base and put the brakes on other deep-pocketed companies trying the same thing.
Apparently not …
This is somewhere in Malaysia – probably Kuala Lumpur and probably on the side of a lux hotel there – and involves a kinetic display that would have no end of moving parts that are sliding LED modules in and out based on programmed robotic sequences.
The Chinese company PJ Link – which has a specialty in large format LED screens that have movement – is behind this job. This is the Linkedin post about the project:
This sort of thing, done indoors, has an undeniable eye-candy quality about it. I’ve seen it at trade shows and thought that running in controlled conditions inside, it would be reasonably reliable. That said, even the sliders on the trade show demo I saw weren’t all perfectly aligning when they would go to their “home” positions.
Put something like this outside and you are begging for problems, because of all those moving parts intermingling with the elements. The Coca-Cola board in NYC’s Times Square had four seasons to deal with, and snow and ice would be particularly challenging.
Malaysia has, I think, just one season – hot, muggy and frequently wet. It will be high 90s with near 100% humidity on Tuesday, for example, in the capital.
As noted in the past, the visually interesting three-dimensional stuff that is the sole reason these things exist can largely be done in the creative. In a hugely ironic decision, some of the Coca-Cola creative content on that Times Square screen – which stopped shape-shifting – has three-dimensional elements.
I like some of what PJ Link does with simple robotics, like rotating billboards that spin, but this sort of thing, outside, makes me jumpy.
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.