Shanghai Company Develops Short Throw Projector Kit, CMS Software, For Elevators

April 14, 2020 by Dave Haynes

My start in digital signage came when I left the newspaper business (wisely) 21 years ago and joined a company that was putting in small LCD screens on the door header or in the corner of office tower elevators.

I did not think, a generation later, that LCD tech, computing and WiFi would have progressed to a degree that the entire walls of elevator “cabs” would be huge HD screens behind glass.

I definitely did not envision short-throw projectors on the door header pushing video images onto the closed doors of the elevator interior.

This is a company called Eastidea, from Shanghai, promoting something called the EL-Mini. Its solution includes CMS software, with the primary application being advertising.

The solution comes as a kit, and includes a roll of light reflection film that can be applied on the stainless steel doors (necessary because the projector only pushes about 260 nits, which is pretty feeble).

This leaves me with mixed feelings. A ton of direct experience tells me people do indeed look at screens in elevators, because it’s looking at that, or their phones, or their shoes. Putting this into an all-in kit with relatively minimal impact on elevator weight or operation is going to work better for both building owner and elevator safety people, who don’t like extra weight, gear or protruding things people might bonk their heads on.

But a kit is not as simple as it presents itself. You still need to power these things, and that means (outside of China) getting VERY expensive elevator mechanics to tap into the elevator power, and then (likely) adding something in between that will level out power that is loosely termed as dirty (it can spike and kill sensitive electronics).

I also think 260 nits is the sort of not-brightness you get from those $40 pocket projectors on Alibaba. 

There’s also a reasonable question to ask about reliability, as projectors use mirrors that need to be precisely aligned. Elevators are like 24/7 shake tables, that are vibrating away as they run up and down.

  1. Ian says:

    …260 nits? And the content is interrupted at every floor when the door opens… I know a guy who also does elevators, he’s not impressed. 🙂

  2. Dave,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write on our product EI-MINI lifter, Eastidea team and myself appreciate your work. We always make it a point to read your articles – they are interesting, well written, and informative.
    However, there are a few points that I would like to clarify on your article:
    EI-MINI lifter, an ultra-short-throw projector designed primarily for displaying eye-catchy advertising messages and information on the interior surfaces of elevator doors
    EI-MINI lifter is a brand new solution for the indoor advertising industry – it’s able to show advertisements during the elevator journey in order to keep passengers informed and entertained. Thus, we give our clients an opportunity to capture an audience that stares at the door waiting for it to open. Smart move, right?
    Talking about the technical characteristics of the projector:
    We’ve been testing EI-MINI lifter light brightness, it can generally be up to 460 lumens at least, which means EI-MINI lifter can produce a picture in less than perfectly dark conditions. That’s why it requires 30 watts. I’m wondering where did you get this 260 lumens thing?
    Power connection.
    EI-MINI lifter comes only with one cable plug that should be connected independently with a cable that runs through the ceiling of the elevator. We always suggest to use the service of a professional elevator technician to prevent the potential of causing damage to the sensitive electronic system.
    We’ve obtained all the proper Electrical Safety Certifications for EI-MINI lifter to be mass-produced.
    Vibration in the elevator.
    The answer is complex because it precisely depends on the type of elevator you use; so far we‘ve received no complaints related to the vibration issue. Our laser-mirror system is designed for 24/7 operation in order to let our product works productively and reliably. I can tell you that much.
    We agree on the point that some people look at the floor or fiddle with their cell phones while standing in the elevator waiting for the doors to open. However, we know from everyday experience that people are curious by nature and aware of everything that moves within sight. All you have to do is install EI-MINI lifter and let them enjoy the ride.
    And I also would like to point out the fact that EI-MINI lifter is not just something you can find on Alibaba. EI-MINI lifter is the ultimate advertisement and information solution for the interior surface of the elevator doors. A projector, connected to the AI-based digital signage management system, so our clients can operate each projector separately and display a wide range of content.
    More detailed information regarding the technical characteristics of our products you can find on our website or email us!

    P.S.: It’s a pity, that you didn’t make it to reach our booth at ISE 2020 and see the projector in a real-time action, and learn about all the device features.
    I would like to have a brief call with you, so we can explore how we may be able to help each other now or in the future.
    If you are interested, I would like to have a brief call with you, so we can explore how we may be able to help each other now or in the future.
    If you are open to a call, please pick a time that is most convenient for you.
    I am looking forward to speaking with you.


    Dmitry Shklyar
    CEO at Eastidea Integrated Solutions

  3. Oh, now I see. I’ll immediately contact our partners and aks them to fix all the inaccuracies in the technical specification. Thank you for letting me know!

    ps.: in our expert’s opinion, 460 lumens is considered bright enough. FYI

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