Eastidea Marketing 2nd-Gen Of Integrated Projection Systems For Elevator Media

November 8, 2023 by Dave Haynes

A very, very long time ago, when TVs had tubes and cell phones were too big to slide into pockets, I got my start in digital signage with a company that put screens in office tower elevators.

Back in 1999, it was hugely expensive and hugely complicated. PCs were still, generally, the size of carry-on luggage and WiFi was mostly just something being talked up as coming soon. Being the guy in charge of getting buildings installed was challenging and eye-opening. Everything that went in was invented or co-opted, including using cable TV head-end servers and software from Capital Networks, because digital signage didn’t even have that name and there were a small handful of companies that had something akin to CMS software. The capital and labor cost per elevator was well north of $10K.

So almost a quarter-century, it is so interesting to see a company marketing a consolidated product that isn’t much bigger than a mini PC, uses short-throw projection and is just glued to the metal bulkhead panel over elevator doors.

The company Eastidea Solutions has been at this for several years now. Whereas companies like Captivate provides flat panel displays installed in elevator cabs as a service and amenity to the commercial or residential property owners, Eastidea sells the gear and supporting CMS software to the buildings (or I suppose to small media companies).

This video gets into a full explanation of what’s called the the Ei Mini Lifter II, and how it goes in …

Based either in Hong Kong or Shanghai (that’s not clear), the company’s core proposition is that the top half of the elevator sliding doors get a projection film adhered, and that’s the media surface (as opposed to cutting holes in the elevator car wall to attach or embed a flat panel).

The new 2nd-gen units are 1,000 nits, which is not overly bright. How much the visuals pop likely depends on ambient lighting in the elevator car.

Eastidea doesn’t say price, but it will be a fraction of what we had budgeted back in 1999. However, the wild cards with this sort of thing are installation labor costs and power stability.

It probably isn’t much of an issue in Wild West-y China, but in many to most places there will be requirements that an elevator technician be on site to at least supervise the job. Back then, it was $200+ an hour, so Lord knows what it would be now. The installation manual says two techs, so ka-ching.

Those techs probably also have to be involved in tapping into the power to the elevator, on top of the elevator. So that’s more cost, and the power to the elevator might be “dirty” – with spikes and surges that sensitive electronics definitely don’t like. There are workarounds on that, but anyone thinking these little projectors would just go up in a matter of minutes and get put in by whoever should be aware it’s not that simple.

I also wonder if the people who inspect buildings for safety risks would be OK with something hanging over people’s heads, attached just with adhesive – albeit hard-core 3M stuff.

Projecting on the doors is an interesting approach, as it can generate a much bigger visual than a tablet-sized display embedded in the panel above the floor buttons.

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