Outdoor digital signage is becoming a popular from of advertising, marketing and branding. Many industries are implementing some sort of digital outdoor campaign but there is one area that has come as quite a surprise to outdoor AV and digital signage companies – the ski slopes.
There are large number of enquiries to outdoor digital signage and outdoor AV companies from ski resorts and winter outdoor centres – but this poses the question, as to why?
Ski resorts and slopes have a need for communicating with the people on their slopes. Important information such as piste closures, avalanche warnings or dangerous snows needs to be communicated as quickly as possible – and until the advent of outdoor digital signage, there were few ways this could be done.
Obviously when people are on the slopes it is difficult to ensure everybody is made aware of the information. The only method where you can be sure people have been informed of it is by sending somebody out to physically tell people.
Outdoor screens can replace this manual method by having the important information displayed at regular points along the ski-runs, and of course when there is not any essential information to display, the local retailers and vendors can have advertisements displayed on the screens – generating revenue that could see the screens pay for themselves.
There are plenty of challenges for any outdoor digital signage system that has to operate in these types of locations, though.
The cold and snow are not good bed-fellows for an LCD or plasma screen. Not only can snow penetrate inside the LCD, acting like water and potentially short circuiting or permanently disabling the device, but the intense cold can also cause freezing of condensation that can permanently damage the screen too.
So keeping snow and moisture out of the LCD and keeping it at a warm enough temperature, is the primary challenge for outdoor screens in ski resorts and slopes.
Heated LCD enclosures are a common solution. These outdoor LCD enclosures not only prevent the ingress of snow, often to IP65 or NEMA 4 guidelines, but with the thermostatic controlled heaters and cooling fans inside, the optimum temperature for the screens are always maintained.
And with these LCD enclosures there is no need for any specialist outdoor screen (which are highly expensive anyway) as any standard or commercial device can be housed within one and predicted from the rigours of the snow, ice and sub zero temperatures.