Toronto Rail Hub’s ATM Gets Virtual Nature Scene Surround With Fine Pitch LED

I’ll be out next week with a report on fine pixel pitch LED, with the key assertion that this tech will grow very, very common in parts of the world other than China and Hong Kong, where it is already everywhere.

Here’s a good precursor to what’s coming – a fine pitch surround on an ATM in a commuter rail station.

The Canadian chartered bank TD Canada Trust wanted to create a unique experience in Canada’s historic and busiest commuter hub – Union Station in Toronto. The Toronto digital agency St. Joseph’s Communications, working with property manager Metrolinx, developed a fine pitch LED surround at an ATM in the crazy-busy rail station that shoots out tracks in several directions from central Toronto.
St. Joe’s says Metrolinx put tight restrictions on content – with no advertising or brand promotion of any kind allowed. The content had to be relevant and recognizable to the audience, and exclusive and owned by TD.
The company developed a series of natural vignettes that encapsulated the four seasons in Ontario, using stock footage and its own videography to capture the transition for night to dawn, to day, to dusk – for each setting.
“We added surprise and delight elements that the commuter audience might not see every day – commuters might catch a glimpse of something they never noticed before, like shooting stars, clouds, a canoeist, a person jumping from rocks into a lake in the distance, cherry blossoms or leaves fluttering in the wind, assorted critters,” says St. Joe’s in a synopsis. “We even have a visit from a deer.”
So, two things:
I love that this is not pure brand promotion, peddling bank programs. People rushing to trains don’t need/want to see that. The underground walkway system most commuters use to get to the rail stations has lotsa lotsa OOH ads.
And, interesting that fine pitch is used here and the diode packages are pretty much exposed and unprotected to the general public. The little lights are fragile and pretty easily damaged, but people in a rail station are generally going somewhere, in a hurry. The whole “idle hands” thing maybe doesn’t come into play much.
I like. Think the the ROI will be hard to quantify. But, I like.

Chicago Office Block’s New LED Display Motion-Paints Impressionist Scenes

One of my favorite big screen creative shops, New York’s ESI Design, has started talking about another stunning piece of work – a 23-foot-tall fine pitch LED feature display in the lobby of a Chicago office block that  “paints” videos of familiar local scenes in an Impressionist style.

You get visuals that transform from flowing and swirling clouds of colors to sharpened images – all done using custom software. The video does a better job than my description.

The install at Five One Five North State would just be a big screen in the lobby, but by investing in gorgeous original content, the space becomes a landmark and destination for the property owners. These kinds of feature displays are becoming a “thing” in real estate – the new water fountains that make tenants want to stay in buildings and attracts new tenants who want to be located in cool spaces.

VERY nicely done. Will or should win awards.


The job also involved screens at the elevator lobbies.

Twin Experiential LED Video Walls Light Up Lobby Of Chicago’s Aon Center

The Aon Center, one of Chicago’s tallest and most recognizable buildings, has followed the lead of some other major commercial office properties in turning a feature in the lobby to a giant LED digital wall.

Part of a recent renovation of its lobby and atrium included a pair of 42-foot-wide by 10-foot-tall direct view LED walls running custom-designed motion graphics and video content. The commercial property owners used NanoLumens‘ light and skinny displays for the wall, though a press release doesn’t get into the pixel pitch.

“During renovation planning we worked with architects to include cutting-edge features that would be fun for tenants, prospective tenants and guests,” says Joe Hynes, Senior VP of Project Management at JLL, the center’s property management firm. “One of our ideas was a massive digital canvas, and NanoLumens was the obvious choice to make this idea a reality. As people pass by and enter the building their sight line is dominated by the astounding visuals playing on the NanoLumens displays. In fact, they have to walk right between the two displays in order to enter the main hallway, so it’s almost as if they are walking directly into the digital content itself.” 

The walls run five three-minute videos on a constant loop. All the content was created by the Seattle-based content shop Pixelfire. One video shows the view from a train traversing Chicago as it passes by the lakefront, the Chicago Loop, the city’s elevated tracks and some of its famous architecture. Acting as a single, ultra-wide display, the train then crosses over the hallway onto the adjacent screen.

Another piece of creative content, says a press release, portrays a digital ballerina rising out of a water fountain that was created using motion capture of a live ballerina. A third visualization presents a mirror image on both displays of a picture in frames, which gradually change and move in different patterns on each display, which again captivates the lobby’s audience as they wait to see what happens next.

Hynes says they plan to update the content quarterly. “This is a visual experience unlike anything else in Chicago. It’s so enthralling that people, including tenants, are constantly stopping to take selfies and videos and sharing them on social media. The same thing happens at lunch hour as visitors pass by the displays on their way to the building’s restaurant section.”

Indianapolis-based integrator Sensory Technologies did the install, and Cariane Kafka, Project Manager at Sensory, notes that using Nano’s tech made the job particularly easy.  “It’s a lightweight technology, so it doesn’t require much in terms of support infrastructure, and since it is composed of small Nixels that make up a larger display, people can work independently and get the job done quicker,” she says. “These two displays, making up a total of 840 square feet of digital real estate, were installed in just 11 days, almost a full week ahead of schedule. It’s also much easier on the content delivery side since there are only two displays, versus the complicated multi-display system that would be required for a projection or multi-panel installation.”

Big screens in office tower lobbies seems to be a thing now – the 2018 version of fancy water fountains. I know in talking to companies like ESI Designs, which has done a few lobbies, digital art walls are seen by commercial property owners as an amenity that both attracts and retains lease-holders who want to be in a building that’s cool and different.

See How A Lexus Gets Lit Up And Reactive With 42,000 LEDs

Hat Tip Tom McGowan …

This is about a year old but the first I’ve seen of an interesting car launch promo – tied in with a music video – that uses almost 42,000 hand-applied programmable LEDs to light up a Lexus luxury sedan.

Three distinct modes, says a press release, allow the LIT IS to interact with sounds and people in its vicinity. Attract mode features a loop of colorful graphics that highlight the strong lines of the IS and play into its bold styling. Music Viz mode is designed to respond to music, as the LEDs will create custom, responsive displays that perfectly sync to any song. Gesture mode allows the motion of the LED animations to be controlled by users’ hand movements with the help of a gaming console. This mode directly connects the car and the driver, allowing the person to send a signal and see the car respond.

The car is part of a music video by UK recording artist Dua Lipa.

Lexus PR suggests the custom car produces 175,000 lumens when fully illuminated, but that is probably a total of something or other. The science is mostly beyond me but I’m thinking 175,000 lumens from LED would probably blind and then melt anyone looking at the car.

That said, kinda cool and you could imagine how a variation of this could show up at car shows or even showrooms. But should you buy one, don’t run it through a car wash. You’d probably lose a few thousand LED chips.