The penultimate talk of Curious Season 5 saw us welcome Daniel Siden, Founder and CEO of Lightvert, the London based start-up that’s taking augmented reality to the skies. Their pioneering technology, known as ECHO, uses a narrow strip of reflective material affixed to the side of a building along with a high-speed light scanner to project images which can appear at heights of up to 656 feet. While ECHO’s final product is still in the process of being refined, Lightvert do have a global patent for the technology and are scheduled to have a fully functioning commercial model available from October 2017.
For those who missed the session, we’ve picked out our top 5 takeaways below;
Image Credit: Lightvert
1) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
ECHO’s imagery is generated using only a single vertical line of light and, as such, the image doesn’t actually exist in reality, but only in the viewer’s eye. It relies on a phenomenon known as the ‘persistence of vision’ (PoV) to print a temporary image onto the viewers’ retina, creating that mirage effect of ‘now you see it, now you don’t’.
2) Short and Sweet
Given its fleeting nature, the medium works best for showcasing iconic content, such as symbols or images. Lightvert are banking on the premise that the spontaneous appearance of their visuals will be so impactful that a viewer will immediately be stopped in their tracks, and compelled to do a double-take to confirm that what they’ve just seen wasn’t just a figment of their imagination.
3) The medium is the message
The ‘do you see what I see’ intimacy of the channel has the potential to bring audience engagement to a new level. While tease and intrigue are clearly key components of the medium’s value proposition, the technology’s scale, location, and immediacy make for an exciting alternative to traditional launch strategies.
4) Opportunity knocks
ECHO’s hardware has virtually no physical footprint and could dramatically change the game in terms of capital costs and planning permissions for premium outdoor media. Crowded urban spaces such as New York’s Times Square and London’s Piccadilly Circus can make it difficult to cut through the clutter, this new media has the potential to elevate brands above the traditional messaging dogfight.
5) Scaling with scarcity
The ambition for Lightvert is to eventually have six ECHO installations per city, with one hyper-scale and five standard scale units within urban areas with populations of over three million. This would allow the company to sufficiently grow their business while retaining the novelty and intrigue that characterises their media offering.
Well there you have it, the sky truly is the limit as Lightvert look to provide brands with an exciting new way to rise above the noise of street level advertising. Special thanks to Daniel Siden for coming in and giving us a glimpse of the future evolution of DOOH. If you’ve enjoyed this round-up you’ll be delighted to learn that the grand finale of Curious Season 5 is only just around the corner. Tune in on July 6th when we’ll be hosting a panel of industry heavyweights such as Sky AdSmart and JCDecaux to debate the conundrum of Mass Vs Targeted advertising strategies.
Until then – stay curious!