Transparent LED mesh displays have come a long, long way in terms of resolution and scale, and the tech’s ability to deliver tight and bright visuals.
In the right setting, it can look really good, particularly at a distance. For glass curtain walls that aren’t really windows, that people don’t really look out, they’re a great option. Though not really transparent, they do let in light.
For buildings that perhaps can’t support or accept the weight and retrofitting needed to do solid outdoor LED cabinets as a wall or array, these much lighter LEDs make engineering and installation sense.
But in big spaces where people will see the displays not only from the front, but also from the rear, that’s when there’s a design problem. Front looks pretty darn good. Back looks like crap.
This is the visual side of a mall screen at a mall in Vietnam, from the manufacturer Nexnovo. And the same screen, as seen from the rear.
Again, it looks quite good and is something that can likely can go in without needing to re-engineer the ceiling. But it means a whole bunch of shoppers are looking at, simplistically, the equivalent of the rear of a TV.
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.