Germs? What Germs?

The Te Papa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand, wants to find the subject of this nearly 50-year-old photograph taken by Max Oettli; image via nzherald.co.nz.

An exhibition of historical photographs in New Zealand has launched something of a sleuthing effort to identify the subject of one of the show’s many compelling images: a young girl, apparently seeing an escalator for the first time, captured on film licking the moving stairs’ handrail. The 1970 photo was taken by noted photographer Max Oettli, a Swiss-born longtime resident of New Zealand whose iconic images are part of a show called “The New Photography — Life in the ’60s and ’70s” on display through October 13 at Wellington’s Te Papa Museum. Athol McCredie, a curator at the museum, told the NZ Herald that Oettli captured the image inside a department store that had new escalators. “To a child who had never seen an escalator before, this belt (handrail) might have looked like a giant licorice strap,” McCreadie said.

Then again, who knows what goes through the mind of child? If she comes forward, maybe we’ll find out.

Escalators as Security Scanners

You’re riding up to the concourse anyway — why not let the escalator take some of the trouble out of flying?

For anyone who’s ever been annoyed or bewildered by the security-check process at airports — a demographic that includes virtually everyone who flies — inventors Charles Bombardier and Ashish Thulkar have a solution that will guide travelers through the process quickly, easily and without a second thought. They call it the Aerochk, a security scanning system mounted on an escalator that checks person, passport and carry-on simultaneously.

Passport, person and luggage enter the scanners simultaneously, keeping all three tagged together in the system.

The system, featured in online magazine Yanko Design, allows travelers to ride up to the gate concourse next to their luggage and passports, which ride on separate conveyors. All reach the top at the same time, squared away and ready to board. Now, if these guys would only turn their attention to the Department of Motor Vehicles and supermarket checkouts …

When travelers reach the top, it’s simply a matter or picking up their passports, grabbing their bags and heading to the gate.

Reading and Riding

Transport for London escalators now feature ads that can follow you. Exterion Media photo

Hundreds of HD screens have been installed across five different high-traffic tube stations in London. According to a report from The Drum, Exterion Media and Transport for London are doing this as a part of a “network-wide digital, out-of-home upgrade.”

The Waterloo and Oxford Street stations now have full-motion “Digital Ribbons” installed along the escalators. According to the article, the ribbons let ad campaigns flow along the length of the escalators without any breaks.

In addition to the ribbons, the first Digital Gateway superscreen was installed at Bank Station above the escalators. This screen can reportedly update with real-time data like weather or the economy.

“With our new Digital Ribbons screens, Digital Gateway at London Bridge and DEPs, we’re offering big impact for brands in an environment where commuters are very receptive to advertisements and are looking to be engaged and entertained,” Nigel Clarkson, chief revenue officer of Exerion Media said in the article. “The dynamic capabilities of these full-motion formats offer advertisers a stand-out creative canvas that will engage London commuters on a whole new scale.”