A Close Look At Transparent LED Foil In Retail, And A Broader Look At Digital In London’s Revitalized Battersea Development
October 3, 2023 by Dave Haynes
One of the work stops I wanted to make while in London recently was the revitalized and re-imagined Battersea Power Station, a huge decommissioned structure along the Thames and just up-river from the central part of the city.
It is now a multi-purpose development – with the turbine hall turned into retail and food, and the surrounding area built up with new multi-unit housing.
I wanted mainly to go to see a live installation of that super-thin LED on foil product that a few manufacturers have introduced in the last couple of years. I have seen it at trade shows – mainly from the Chinese manufacturer Muxwave – but there is a working unit running in a window at Battersea, in the Under Armour store there.
London-based solutions provider/integrator Elport Digital put in a 9 meter wide by 2.4 meter tall (so roughly 30 feet by 9 feet) display on the glass using 3.9mm pitch LED. The product has a potential brightness of 4,000 nits, which is way more than sufficient for a job done inside a building.
It looks good when on and has very high transparency when off, though certainly not invisible, as Muxwave’s marketers assert. It’s also not holographic, but Under Armour’s content doesn’t go down that path anyway.
This is what it looks like when off.
This is up close in an off state.
This is the same with it on.
This is the side profile.
My impression – big shrug. I like the way it turns a window into a digital canvas, but I the use-case here is a bit mystifying. It’s at the back end of the store for some sort of mini running track thingie that a small percentage of shoppers will see. I did, and just saw a couple of guys practicing their sprint starts.
The overall development is interesting, and because this is a high profile development, there is some flagship level investment in the stores.
The Nike store has LED mesh in the windows, which looked OK-ish.
But I did like the interesting use of LED ribbon strips for signs inside the main entryway.
This Jo Malone store had a nice, vibrant LED in its window.
The wayfinding displays looked good, but the touch was unresponsive. It was a Sunday, so maybe IT came in on Monday and gave the set-up a technical kick in the pants to get things responding again.
Nice development to visit if you are in London and have time. There’s now an Underground station right at the development, though we took a river bus to get there.