Famous LAX Time Tower Display Runs Like Clockwork with New RealMotion Server

RealMotion hardware refresh breathes new life into LAX Time Tower attraction while delivering flexible content management system.

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Los Angeles International Airport, the world’s fourth-busiest airport, continued a massive installation of digital displays and technologies in the Tom Bradley International Terminal that kicked off in 2013 with the 72-foot-tall Time Tower.

The four-sided LED Time Tower has received a significant upgrade with the integration of a RealMotion server that “enables generative and interactive content, while simplifying content management and creation,” according to a company press release on the installation.

That means, no matter how busy you are or how quickly you have to run to catch your next flight in LAX, you’ve definitely noticed the Time Tower.

The addition of the RealMotion server “increases the fundamental value of the LED display by streamlining operation and adding flexibility,” according to RealMotion director Geoffrey Platt.

“The LAX Time Tower quickly became a world-famous digital media project because, in some measure, it instigated the design currents we still see today,” he said. “However, even the most high-profile installations can be improved as technologies evolve.

“For this specific four-sided LED experience, the original head-end solution is where the field has evolved the most — and RealMotion embodies that evolution. Our product’s innate ability to use real time rendering capabilities is what increases flexibility, performance and creative possibilities,” said Platt.

Time Tower

New Era for the LAX Time Tower

The footprint of the RealMotion system “gives a notion of how far we’ve come,” said Platt, with the Time Tower using “less than 20 percent of the rack space with more than double the throughput.

“Combining these capabilities with the newest version of ISAAC, an integrated scheduling and automation control platform created by Smart Monkeys, gives this iconic installation many more years of delight to travelers,” he said.

“The Time Tower is a complicated piece of visual technology, consisting of both 6mm and 10mm LED displays with non-traditional aspect ratios,” says RealMotion’s Geoffrey Platt.

The nickname Time Tower comes from some of the original content pieces featuring evocative visuals inspired by a virtual clock tower, or clock face, shown near the top of the displays.

While the content itself has remained the same, the RealMotion server has greatly increased what the operator can do with that content, said Platt.

“The Time Tower is a complicated piece of visual technology, consisting of both 6mm and 10mm LED displays with non-traditional aspect ratios,” he said. “This contributes to the challenge for content creators.

“Through RealMotion’s visual rendering system, we’ve simplified the delivery format and made the whole process less obtrusive. This also brings benefits to advertisers, media companies and operators as these new tools will decrease the cost and effort to produce content in these non-traditional formats,” said Platt.

Another benefit of the new server is simplifying transitions between content pieces. Previously, changing interstitial content, as transitions are called, required re-rendering the entire piece with a new beginning or ending transition.

Now, those interstitial pieces can be composited on the existing visuals, without any need to process or re-work the originals. It is a cost-effective solution for the operator who has to swap and reschedule content on a regular basis.

“We’re also bringing increased possibilities to future content contributors by supporting new creative tools such as Notch and RealMotion Creator, which are used to create real-time visual content,” said Platt.

Time Tower

Photo courtesy of JCDecaux Group