All eyes on Dubai skyline for wonder ads

DUBAI // Images of an ice-cold Coca-Cola suspended in the sky on a hot summer’s day or the latest Mercedes-Benz projecting from one of Dubai’s iconic buildings could be the next level of advertising targeting UAE consumers.

A United Kingdom start-up has patented a new display medium that could revolutionise the advertising world and the way we make consumer choices.

Lightvert Ltd, a tech company run by American entrepreneur Daniel Siden, has developed the Echo system, a persistence of vision display technology that temporarily prints an image directly on to the viewer’s retina.

Images are generated using a single vertical line of light, so do not exist in reality. Adverts up to 200 metres tall could appear, but only in the viewer’s eye.

Project designer Mr Siden, from San Francisco, hopes to bring the technology to the Middle East this year and said Dubai’s skyline was the perfect place to display what he hopes will be the future of advertising.

“The UAE is an important market for us, because the world looks to it for innovation, particularly on an architectural scale,” he said.

“What we have is a display technology that is unbelievably innovative and relies quite heavily on the property market, like most outdoor media.

“Outdoor advertising is traditionally at street level on a human scale – we are looking to change all that by opening up new amounts of high-value advertising real estate, and that is tall buildings.”

The concept may be hard to grasp but developers insist the display is safe and will not cause a distraction to drivers or pilots.

LED advertising, used since 2005, is limited to the amount of available real estate in prime urban locations. With the Echo system, a narrow strip of reflective material is fixed to a building with a high-speed light scanner projecting light off the reflector towards the viewer.

This creates large-scale images that are “captured” for a brief moment in the viewer’s eye. The images are fleeting but striking, prompting viewers to engage and share the experience.

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