Exploring networked message signs as a new medium for urban communication

By Jos\'e, R.; Pinheiro, A.; Rodrigues, H.

PerDis 2018 - Proceedings of the 7th ACM International Symposium on Pervasive Displays

2018

Abstract

In this work, we reflect on the use of LED message sign displays as an enabling technology for multipurpose, dynamic and open display networks for urban environments. We argue that the specific affordances of message signs may provide the ground for the emergence of a new type of digital and locative outdoor media with the capability to serve relevant and unserved purposes of urban communication. Our main goal is to provide an analytical perspective into the opportunities and challenges of this approach, and characterize the distinctive features that may define the uniqueness of this medium within the broader ecology of urban displays. To address this set of challenges, we explore different perspectives and research approaches, including photo and market surveys, interviews and prototyping. The results provide new insights about this medium, which are organised around 5 different themes: technical architecture, urban integration, direction, media and interaction.

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