Friday 27 August 2010

Public Displays in Chengdu

This is a post to document the transition of public display systems around the work (hopefully there are more to follow). In the European pdnet project we investigate and develop a new communication medium based on public displays. The transformation that takes place in this domain is extremely quick, and hence I think it is interesting to keep some record on specific displays.I found it very interesting to see that there are many simple animations used in simple displays when they become digital. One example is the use of animation in traffic lights. There are two types of dynamic information: informative (e.g. showing the count-down to the next green light) and decorative (e.g. moving bicycle wheels as shown in the video).Currently there is a mix of traditional painted/printed displays, illuminated static displays, illuminated displays that change between discreet presentations and fully digital high resolution displays. The digital advertising displays in the inner city center of Chengdu are impressive. Looking at the photos it could be anywhere in world. It seems that public displays lose more and more their local character - very different from 20 years ago when they were still painted/printed in most places around the world.