Here’s a Very Different Use For Those LCD Ribbon Strips: Dynamic Name Plates For Legislators

October 25, 2023 by Dave Haynes

LCD ribbon strips have been around for many years now, but it’s only been in the last few that they’ve been natively made at these dimensions – lowering costs and upping reliability, because they’re not re-manufactured from bigger screens.

Almost all of the attention has been around using these strips as shelf-edge displays in big box stores, especially in grocery where they can pair promo messaging with ESL-like bar codes and dynamic pricing.  So I was intrigued by a photo that Rick Weinstein of Mimo Monitors showed me when I went to Canadian VAR/distributor Data Visual’s road show stop in Halifax on Tuesday.

The state of Virginia legislature is using a set of Mimo’s ribbon strips as dynamic identification plates for large meetings – presumably things like committee hearings.

The strips identify who is seated at each position, and when there is a vote, one end of the strip shows how each voted. Boring, sure, but clever and useful. Think about the time it saves the facilities people running around switching out physical name plates as meetings change.

Nova Scotia isn’t exactly a hotbed of digital signage, and I’ve barely met any AV people out here. So it’s great that Data Visual includes east coast Canada on the national road show tour is does each fall across mojor cities.

Brightsign, Navori, Carousel, Mimo, Bluefin, Planar, Avocor, Samsung, Viewsonic and a pile of companies enabling facilities with the different aspects of collaborative tech were there. Toronto-based AHRT Media had one of its big transparent LCD units down in the Westin lobby.  I think these things look way too much like shower stalls, but can work when they’re kind of assimilated with the surroundings – like built into a stage backdrop or retail wall.

I had a lengthy demo and it reinforced y feeling that these things are less about sales and marketing, and more about connecting people with distant audiences, whether that’s a crowd or hyper-targeted to one person or couple.

It was interesting to hear some real world use-cases for things like addictions and mental health treatment – making it possible for counselors to stay in touch with patients living at a distance, without flying for three hours or driving for 10. Seeing a trusted person, at life-size, surprise-surprise, is more effective than shoulders and faces on video calls. I like this kind of thing a lot more than spinning NFTs and $300 sneakers, though it’s amazing how people can be entranced by the bling and not the purpose or value.

Thanks to a very nice Lisa Kislich-Lemyre, CEO of Ottawa-based Data Visual, for taking the time to show me around the event. They’re in Quebec City (amazing place, if you’ve never been) later this week.

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