Virtual posters may one day take over HK skyscrapers with augmented reality technology

March 27, 2017
Industry News
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Format will allow posters and ads to be projected in the air, without the need for screens
Raymond Cheng

“Hanging” a virtual poster 60 storeys high that stretches 200 metres wide across the 88-storey Two International Finance Centre in Central may one day be a reality with the help of a new form of technology.

Augmented reality, which enhances the real world environment with digital elements, as seen in smartphone game Pokémon Go that swept Hong Kong last year, could soon be used for outdoor advertising on skyscrapers, adding a new dimension to Hong Kong’s skyline.

British company Lightvert is currently developing a type of large-scale outdoor advertising technology which does not require a billboard or an LCD television set. The advertisement will not be attached to a building at all, but will be projected through lasers in the air, appearing in such a way that a “virtual” poster is created momentarily. A narrow strip of reflective material will be fixed to the side of the building and a high-speed light scanner will project light off a reflector and towards the viewer.

With this technology, giant posters could seemingly appear in the air.

Daniel Siden, founder and chief executive of Lightvert, said the new technology, called Echo, would be particularly attractive in Hong Kong with its strong array of tall buildings and impressive skyline.

“Echo allows us to create the world’s largest outdoor advertising images without the need for the world’s largest 2D screen,” Siden said.

He said the technology was still in the development stage, and the company was still holding a crowdfunding campaign to raise £670,000 (HK$6.5 million).

“We have already produced six working prototypes. The technology allows us to produce images up to 200 metres tall, in theory, and we have already produced images up to 30 metres tall. It also allows us to mount our technology in locations that traditional screen technology cannot access.”

Lightvert has already received encouragement from some key stakeholders. Continue Reading
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