WATCH | This interactive billboard from BREAKFAST claims to give businesses a ready-to-use kinetic display without breaking the bank.
Billboards are perhaps the oldest form of advertising, but very soon that static display will be getting a high-tech makeover that reacts to the movements of a potential customer -- for cheap.
It's called the Flip-Disc Display, and it gives businesses the option to have a kinetic display for way less than big box businesses usually pay.
What is kinetic display? It's a group of panels with small plastic circles that quickly flip from one colored side to another.
You've probably seen kinetic display on public city busses, telling you where you're going. The letters in "Sunset" are made by little flip discs.
It moves when you move
The flip-disc display is equipped with a 3D camera that allows the mechanism to shift flip-discs to mirror your moves.
If you're in front of the screen, you can see your interactions with the billboard play out in real-time.
This allows for a truly customizable experience for whoever is seeing your brand's message.
This interactive feature isn't the first of its kind, but it's a neat feature.
What makes this so unique
The makers of the product, BREAKFAST (a NYC-based agency), say one of their biggest draws is the cost of the system.
"Until now though, any business interested in purchasing a kinetic display would need to commission a specialized company to design and build a bespoke hardware and software solution. This requires a team of electrical engineers, mechanical engineers, software developers, industrial designers, project managers, and much more," said Breakfast.
Each 17-inch panel is equipped with 784 flip-discs that have a different color on either side. These panels can then be configured into various shapes, like a single-row display that is 17 inches tall and 45 feet long.
Zolty, one of the founders of BREAKFAST, wouldn't say how much this modular system costs, but he did say it would land in the low six figures.
Initial orders for the product will have a 15-panel minimum, but Zolty told Circa they expect to offer smaller displays once production ramps up after launch in spring 2017.
What does this mean for other businesses
Alanna Gombert, general manager of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Tech Lab, says the lower price point is great for small businesses.
"These things were originally worth millions of dollars," Gombert told Circa. "It's still an investment. People who know how to use a phone can now use it to customize their sign."
"Anything to do with open source overall helps small businesses benefit from an entry point in the market."
The Flip-Disc Display also comes with a Controller app, which lets you display any logo, image, text or video on the panels, and schedule it, too. There's no need for software developers or engineers, which cuts down on costs.
POLL | Would you buy a Flip-Disc Display?