Business: Advertising: Media: Billboard
Animated Billboards   (+4, -2)  [vote for, against]
See your favourite products jump and prance...

Allright, how's about this. animation works by seeing slightly differing fixed images in close temporal succession. If you set up a number of booths along the side of motorways, close together, with a series of stills inside them spaced only a couple of metres apart from each other as you passed them there would appear an animation in a fixed place in your visual field. Get me?

. ! . . . [] . . . !

. ! . . . [] . . . ! \_\ - frame 1

. ! . . . [] . . . ! \_\ - frame 2

. ! . . . [] . . . ! \_\ - frame 3

. ! . . . [] . . . ! etc..

(travelling down the page, on the left of the road)

Obviously you'd experiment to get the spacing, angles etc. right. If it is deemed to distracting / dangerous for roads then could still be used alongside train or tube lines.
-- goatfaceKilla, May 22 2002

(?) Baked in mass transit tunnel
PDF file [half, May 22 2002, last modified Oct 04 2004]

The company behind tunnel advertisments; with a brief animation clip that explains the principle. [jutta, Mar 15 2007, last modified Jan 02 2016]

Can't find pictures but linked to an article describing an existing application of this in commuter train tunnels. Baked.
-- half, May 22 2002

You'd have to prevent eyeball saccade for this to work, methinks.

Maybe if each 'billboard' were shuttered somehow.
-- bristolz, May 22 2002

well done. I have come across a guy once who sugested something similar for rental bike wheels.
-- wood, May 22 2002

Very cunning: the article half links to essentially describes a zoetrope which is linear rather than rotating. Because you only see each image for a short period of time, and spend most of the time looking at blackness (the wall inbetween the slits through which the image is viewed) each image does not move significantly while it is being viewed.

I suppose construction costs would be considerable, owing to the length required for a sizeable animation, which would limit the use of this technology. Also, I imagine the apparatus would require a depth between viewing aperture and image at least equal to the width of the image, meaning installing this in subway tunnels would require extensive digging.
-- pottedstu, May 22 2002

you aint just a pretty goatfaceKilla.
-- po, May 22 2002

{pottedstu] nails it on the head: The reason it works well in a tunnel is primarily because the image 'surface' is consistently very close to the viewer, just beyond the train window, and the eye has no time to track the image; to extend the viewing time.

I think this would be much harder to do on a freeway or roadway where the distance from the viewer to the billboard is not very controllable and where the natural tendency for the eye to briefly follow an image and then jump to another spot (saccading) would spoil the animation effect.

It could work if you could shutter the windows of the cars, somehow, but that doesn't seem very practical.
-- bristolz, May 22 2002

Adult Novelties -- Next Exit
-- reensure, May 24 2002

You'd need to be going at a specfic speed to see it with clarity. I dunno what the spacings would need to be for a specific speed, coz I dunno the appropriate equations and shite. Or at least I think I'm right about what I'v ejust said
-- kaz, May 24 2002

I've seen this in practice recently (in a subway tunnel, as discussed). It was surprising and disorienting for a short while - as if a television screen had popped out of the side of the train. "How!? What?!" Then it got a little bit out of sync, and was more flickering and transparent than the original illusion; and I remembered reading about it in this idea.

It would do well with spots that have been made to look like something from the silent film area; or, conversely, something futuristic, like a tie-in to an alternate reality game.

(This was the same day that, passing by a big backlit outdoor billboard, I saw instead of my usual advertisement - a Microsoft Windows desktop with windows being moved about by a gigantic mouse pointer, all controlled by a comparatively small guy in a cherry picker! The ads were just a giant screen saver; it wouldn't be difficult to conventionally animate those at all.)
-- jutta, Mar 15 2007

random, halfbakery