ECHO display Technology
ECHO is not a billboard. It is a wholly new display medium for the digital out of home advertising industry, an industry which has not seen disruption since the invention of the LED screen. ECHO is a game changer.
ECHO is a revolutionary new type of patent-protected persistence of vision (PoV) display technology developed by Lightvert Ltd. An ECHO display uses the PoV effect to temporarily and safely print an image directly onto the viewers' retina. ECHO imagery is generated using only a single vertical line of light and as such the image does not exist in reality, but only in the viewer's eye.
To date, Lightvert has proven and privately demonstrated ECHO technology, completed all required R&D, aligned the supply chain and created the minimum viable product. We are now raising our seed funding round to produce the first commercial units within the next 12 months.
HOW ECHO WORKS
ECHO hardware consists of a single vertical reflective strip measuring no more than 200mm wide. This reflector can be fixed to the side of almost any building and is capable of running between windows or along the side of existing billboard displays. A unique, high-power, high-speed projector sits below or above the reflector beaming light off of the reflector and directly into the viewers' eye.
Through the natural horizontal saccade movements of the human eye, ECHO images appears to the viewer for approximately 1/10th to 1/4 of a second through the PoV effect. This is where the name ECHO comes from as the effect can be described as a visual echo.
Through our patented projection technique for generating PoV images, Lightvert's ECHO display technology can unlock vast amounts of new large scale advertising real estate opportunities.
TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT and proof of concept
Lightvert has developed several proof of concept systems starting with an LED based unit and quickly moving through several high power and high speed projection units upon which the technology patent is based.
Health and safety
Q: Is the laser projector dangerous to the general public or maintenance staff?
A: The laser projector can be dangerous. But as it is mounted at height, away from the general public, it poses no threat to the general public. The system will have a large number of safety interlocks in place to prevent H&S issues with maintenance staff. See Lightvert Ltd. Business Plan for the outline H&S analysis by our laser H&S partner, LVR optical.
Q: Can the flickering light trigger seizures in individuals prone to photosensitive epilepsy?
A: Lightvert have carried out extensive testing using the industry standard Harding Test. All trials have received a passing grade. Furthermore having completed a large number of temporary public space installations of persistence of vision displays featuring LED technology, no reports have ever been received of the system triggering seizures.
Lightvert will continue to work with Epilepsy Foundation to keep safety at the forefront. Lightvert will continue to work closely with our Public Affairs and Public Relations partners at Four Communications to ensure the technology is properly positioned in the public realm. See business plan appendix for our Harding Test pass certificate or contact us directly.
Q: Will ECHO distract drivers and cyclists?
A: ECHO is targeted specifically at pedestrians, not drivers or cyclists. As such ECHO is intended to be fixed to buildings, high above the eye line of driving or cyclists, near the top of skyscrapers. Lightvert will continue to work closely with TFL in conjunction with our planning partners and our public affairs and public relations partners to ensure ECHO is correctly positioned.
Q: Is the system at all dangerous to the aviation industry?
A: No. The laser projector cannot physically project light anywhere other than the target reflector. The reflector optics reflect 99% of incident light to a predefined target area, loosing only approximately 1 % to scatter, thus preventing the possibility of dazzling or distracting pilots in nearby aircraft. Lightvert Ltd. have reviewed the optics characteristic with our global health and safety partner LVR Optical and have concluded no significant issues related to aviation.
Furthermore the reflector design is capable of preventing significant amounts of light straying into the airspace directly above an ECHO installation.
POWER / ENVIRONMENTAL
Q: Does the system use a lot of power?
A: As a one dimensional display system, ECHO uses a small fraction of the power, approximately 1/20th, that of a standard 96 sheet digital outdoor display.
Q: Does ECHO need to be brighter than existing LED displays?
A: To answer this question 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 and is often used to characterise 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 characterise 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.
Building and Advertising Planning Permissions
Q: Will there be significant hurdles with regards to obtaining building planning permissions to install ECHO on buildings?
A: Having consulted with numerous professionals in the outdoor media industry and the construction industry there are no significant barriers to obtaining planning permissions for ECHO units outside of conservation areas.
Q: Will there be significant hurdles with regards to obtaining advertising permissions for ECHO installations?
A: Having consulted with numerous professionals in the outdoor media industry and the planning industry such as CBRE, JLL, and Cushman & Wakefield, it is clear that advertising planning laws and guidelines are not designed to address persistence of vision displays such as ECHO. As such, Lightvert Ltd. have built into the business plan a strong public affairs and public relations works programme to educate the public and the policy makers about this new medium, as well as a works programme with a global real estate asset consultancy such as CBRE , JLL or Cushman & Wakefield to guide the planning permissions process.
Q: Is ECHO actually subliminal advertising?
A: No, ECHO is not, and has no technical relation to subliminal messaging. ECHO images rely on the Persistence of Vision effect and creates imagery that registers on the conscious level of brain cognition.
Q: How much does ECHO cost to manufacture and install?
A: ECHO consists of two main components, the projector and the reflector. We anticipate the projector and reflector manufacturing costs to be be significantly less than that of a similarly sized LED display, with a hyper scale unit measuring 100 meters costing less than £750,000 based upon the current design. However, we fully anticipate costs to reduce by as much as 20% as manufacturing efficiencies are introduced.
Q: What is the return on investment for an ECHO installation?
A: The cost to advertise on ECHO units will be approximately 50% that of similarly sized premier digital displays, a very compelling price point. We estimate that an ECHO unit will pay for itself and become profitable within 12 months of operation.
Q: How will Lightvert commercialise ECHO technology?
A: Lightvert will own and operate a portfolio of ECHO units across MENA, EU, and North America, and license the technology into other regional markets.
Q: What kind of earnings potential is possible with ECHO?
A: Based upon a leasing price of 51% of regional premier digital out of home displays, and with a portfolio of 30 units divided across MENA, EU and USA markets distributed proportionally upon markets size, ECHO is forecast to yield £25m in annual revenues and £15m in post tax profits.
Q: How far away can you see the effect?
A: The viewable distance depends on the power of the projector and the design of the reflector. Each system will be tuned to suite the environment and the distance of the intended audience. We have not yet explored the maximum possible viewing distance, however we do know that distances ranging from 20 meters to 1000 meters will be possible.
Q: Does the ECHO system protrude from the building on which it is mounted and as such invade neighbouring airspace?
A: Depending on the size of the installation, the ECHO projector will need to be cantilevered from the building on which it is mounted anywhere from 1.5m to 4m. This distance is well within the typical ground level footprint of most buildings.
Q: What type of content works best?
A: For ECHO to work best, ‘Iconic’ content is important. This can be Logos, short words, symbols or highly iconic images, for example, the Mona Lisa. But this begs the question, what makes an image iconic and when does an image become iconic? ECHO is not meant to replace billboards, but acts as another medium with which creative agencies and brands can powerfully communicate their brand message. Global advertising campaigns will always include a wide range of media, and have the power to make new images iconic through their global media strategy, with ECHO effectively communicating the iconic elements within any campaign.
Q: Can ECHO show moving images?
A: ECHO can show moving images, however, at present the viewer will only ever see one frame at a time of the moving image.
Q: Is ECHO actually subliminal advertising?
A: 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.
Q: Can ECHO content be captured and recorded by a camera or video camera?
A: Yes. ECHO content can be captured 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.
Installation and Maintenance
Q: How will installation of new ECHO be managed?
A: Lightvert will be partnering global building management services organisations such as CBRE, JLL or Cushman & Wakefield to provide project management, and asset management services, as well as to facilitate the introduction to building owners.
Q: What are the maintenance requirements of an ECHO system?
A: ECHO projectors will require yearly routine maintenance, and significant maintenance every 8 years where 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. Maintenance will be provided by Haberdashery.
Q: What risk is there for competing technology to steal market share from Lightvert?
A: Lightvert Ltd. is working with Gill Jennings and Every patent lawyers, and has registered a global PCT patent application which it now converting to regional applications. The ECHO patent application is very broad and will secure extremely strong protection for projection based persistence of vision displays, effectively preventing other companies from creating projection based persistence of vision displays. Lightvert Ltd. does not rely on the licensing of 3rd party intellectual property. At present, LED based systems are the closest competing technology, however LED systems will have significant draw backs compared to a ECHO system, namely: capital equipment costs, brightness and viewing distance, and maintenance.