Subway riders may get tunnel vision
Riders on Canada's subway systems may soon be getting the equivalent of an in-flight movie to stave off commuter boredom.
Riders on Canada’s subway systems may soon be getting the equivalent of an in-flight movie to stave off commuter boredom.
SideTrack Technologies, of Winnipeg, is the creator of ‘tunnel movies,’ that use still images and flashing lights to create a film effect.
Currently being used in Boston, the ‘animation’ is created from 400 still images positioned along a 1,000-ft. section of the subway tunnel. The images are timed so riders see 24 per second. Lights flash on and off as the train goes by, transforming the stills into what appears to be moving images. For example, in Boston, riders see an ad for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines depicting activities such as snorkeling, jet-skiing and rock climbing.
Tunnel movies have been used from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to New York over the past three years, and SideTrack president Rob Walker is currently awaiting a decision from the Toronto Transit Commission to install the technology in that city.
SideTrack is also in discussions with Vancouver, whose Sky Train goes underground for three stations downtown, while plans for Montreal’s Metro are on hold for the time being. SideTrack pays to install the equipment in the tunnel then splits ad revenues with the transit system. It has an advertiser on track that wants to be the first to use the new medium in Canada but Walker says the plan is top secret at the moment. The cost for a tunnel movie will range from CDN$35,000 to $50,000, based on the number of riders who will see the mini film. The Boston buy cost Royal Caribbean US$75,000. Walker hopes the first tunnel movie in Toronto will launch next year.