Frequently Asked Questions
Get quick answers to the most commonly asked questions about ECHO advertising technology.
Can ECHO content be captured and recorded by camera phone?
Yes. You can capture it on your camera phone by simply shaking the camera while taking the picture. We are currently exploring the development of a custom application that will capture ECHO content automatically without the need to move the camera.
Is ECHO the new billboard?
No. ECHO is not meant to replace billboards. Instead, it acts as an alternative medium. Global advertising campaigns will always include a wide range of media. Brand owners, creative agencies and planners now have the power to create ‘stand out’ displays that deliver an element of surprise and huge visual impact.
Is ECHO actually subliminal advertising?
No, ECHO is not subliminal, and has no technical relation to subliminal messaging. ECHO communications rely on the Persistence of Vision effect and creates imagery that registers on the conscious level of brain cognition.
Can ECHO show moving images?
ECHO can show moving images, however, at present the viewer will only ever see one frame at a time of the moving image.
What type of content works best?
ECHO is perfect for displaying iconic content, short words, symbols or images, whether they be complex images like the Mona Lisa or simple like the Nike swoosh. It is a new medium which makes it an exciting opportunity for a wide variety of content.
How far away can you see the effect?
The viewable distance depends on the power of the projector and the design of the reflector. Each system will be tuned to suit the environment and the distance of the intended audience. We have not yet explored the maximum viewing distance. However, we do know that distances ranging from 20 meters to 100 meters will be possible.
Is the system at all dangerous to the aviation industry?
No. We have reviewed the optic’s characteristic with our global health and safety specialists and have concluded there are no significant risks to aviation. The laser projector cannot physically project light anywhere other than the target reflector. The reflector is designed to prevent significant amounts of light straying into the airspace directly above an ECHO installation. The reflector optics reflect 99% of incident light to a predefined target area, allowing only approximately 1% to scatter. Therefore, it will not dazzle or distract pilots in nearby aircraft.
Can the flickering light trigger seizures in individuals prone to photosensitive epilepsy?
We have carried out extensive testing using the industry standard Harding Test and consulted with the Epilepsy Foundation. All trials have received a passing grade. Furthermore, having completed a large number of temporary installations of persistence of vision displays featuring LED technology in public spaces, no reports have been received of the system triggering seizures. We will continue to work with Epilepsy Foundation and ensure that the technology is properly positioned in the public realm.
Will ECHO distract drivers and cyclists?
No. ECHO is targeted specifically at pedestrians, not drivers or cyclists. It is intended to be fixed to buildings, high above the eye line of drivers or cyclists. Lightvert will continue to work closely with public transport bodies, in conjunction with our planning partners to ensure that risk is assessed and monitored closely.
Does the ECHO projector pose a risk to the general public or maintenance staff?
No. Laser projectors can pose a risk but the ECHO projector is mounted either at height on a building, or inside one of our specialist transit vans, away from the general public. There is no risk to eyesight for viewers ordinarily looking at projection, as no direct contact with the beam is made. This is much the same situation at many more traditional light show installations at concert venues, where a separation is maintained between similarly high-power lasers and the spectators in the audience.
Does ECHO need to be brighter than existing LED displays?
No. To explain this, we need to look at both the Luminance and Illuminance: Luminance is a photometric measure of the luminous intensity per unit area of light travelling in a given direction. It is often used to characterize emission or reflection from flat, diffuse surface such as the ECHO Reflector. From the point of view of Luminance, ECHO will measure approximately the same brightness as a similarly sized area of a traditional two dimensional LED display.
Illuminance is the total luminous flux incident on a surface, per unit area. It is a measure of how much the incident light illuminates the surface. Illuminance is often used to characterize light pollution levels, as it measures how much light is falling on nearby surfaces away from a source. When designed with a similar viewing angle as a traditional 96 sheet digital display, ECHO produces approximately 1/100th of the illuminance.
Does the system use a lot of power?
As a one-dimensional display system, ECHO uses a small fraction (approximately 1/20th) of the power needed for a standard 96 sheet digital outdoor display.
Will there be barriers to obtaining advertising permissions for ECHO installations?
ECHO displays require the same advertising planning consent as traditional screen and poster media. However, ECHO displays have a very small footprint and reduced power consumption and light pollution when compared with traditional media and this helps to lower a number of the barriers to obtaining consent.
Will planning permission be needed to install ECHO?
Yes. However, we have consulted with professionals in the outdoor media industry and the construction industry and found there are no significant barriers to obtaining planning permissions for ECHO units outside of conservation areas.
What are the maintenance requirements of an ECHO system?
ECHO projectors will require yearly routine maintenance, and significant maintenance every 8 years when the laser diodes and scanners will need to be replaced. The ECHO reflectors will require regular cleaning with the same frequency as the windows of the building on which the unit is installed. The cleaning will not require any specialist staff or equipment beyond that of current window cleaning services. The system will have a large number of safety interlocks in place to prevent health and safety issues with maintenance staff. Maintenance will be provided by Lightvert.
How will installation of new ECHO be managed?
For permanent installations, Lightvert will be partnering with global building management services organizations such as CBRE, JLL or Cushman & Wakefield to provide project management and asset management services and to facilitate the introduction to building owners. We maintain all ECHO display equipment.
Are there any competing technologies that deliver the same results?
No. We are not aware of any other companies offering the same technology. At present, LED based systems are the closest competing technology, however LED systems will have significant draw backs compared to an ECHO system, namely: capital equipment costs, brightness and viewing distance, and maintenance. We are working with Gill Jennings and Every patent lawyers, and have registered a global PCT patent application which is now converting to regional applications. The ECHO patent application is very broad. It will secure extremely strong protection for projection-based persistence of vision displays, effectively preventing other companies from creating projection based persistence of vision displays.
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