Airport Trade Show Demo Has Fine Pitch LED Wrapping Jetway Entry As Departure Gate Portal

April 29, 2024 by Dave Haynes

Anyone who does a lot of commercial flying for business travel knows the quality of information on the screens at depature gates is all over the map – from rich and detailed to minimal and not all that useful, beyond confirming the gate number and destination.

So it is interesting to see a departure gate portal screen, using LED display tech that wraps around the jetway entry door, demo’d this week at the American Association of Airport Executives conference this week in Nashville.

The portal display tech is from LED manufacturer Daktronics and the content strategy and execution is by Boston’s Art Of Context, which is focused entirely on airport communications.

The big LED screen has far more visual real estate than the flat panel displays typically used post-security in departure gate areas, and would allow an airline to keep key information on screens while also relaying secondary things or layering useful content like American Sign Language messaging. I am also all for anything that visually relays boarding status, as a LOT of airports still have crappy audio systems that just have waiting passengers looking dumbfoundedly at each other, unable to pick up the too-soft, muffled or garbled message rattled off by a gate check crew member.

This concept would have generated amusement just a few years ago, because of the cost back then of fine pitch LED, and their fragile nature. A conventional LED screen would be beat to hell by all the roller bags and carry bags people have with them as they squirt through the door and down the jetway.

But costs for fine pitch LED have dropped to a level that this doesn’t seem nutty, and LED manufacturing processes – like coatings – now make display cabinets somewhat damage/impact resistant.

Will be interesting to see if the big switch to LED we’re seeing airlines make at check-in and bag drop off areas in refurbished or new airport terminals starts to find its way to the gates.

  1. Nick Dwyer says:

    Love it! Informative and entertaining.

  2. Kevin Palmeter says:

    Thanks for sharing Dave! Yes this was our Daktronics Booth at AAAE in coordination with Art of Context for some creative concepts around how the canvas can blend entertainment, sense of place and information. We see the trend expanding, from ticketing, security, wayfinding and gates. And yes I agree with your insight on price vs durability and Daktronics has both covered. I’d invite you and rest of the industry to visit us at INFOCOM2024 to see how we are addressing the durability – reliability – price triangle!

  3. Steve Sluder says:

    Still a little skeptical of the practicality… you’re going to have to “show me the money”.

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