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.”

A Visit to the Elevator Museum in Massachusetts

Text and Photos by Caleb Givens

The International Union of Elevator Constructors Local 4 Union Hall is tucked behind a few industrial facilities in Dorchester, Massachusetts. Housed in this building, in a large, open conference room, is the Elevator Museum. It is the shining physical presence of the Elevator Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the history of the elevator and escalator industry.

Your author visited Steve Comley, who is truly taking the museum from good to great. Comley is a longtime elevator man, getting his taste of the industry at an early age, thanks to his father, James, who purchased Embree and White Elevator in Lynn, Massachusetts, in 1972. “I loved the dirty old elevator machine shop,” recalls Comley. “It was fascinating to me as a kid — the noise from the flat-belt pulleys running across the ceiling, the smell of the cutting oils on the machines and the smoke from the welding. They used to cast and completely build elevator machines there.”

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Riding into the Future on a Moving Walkway

A future without personal automobiles will require not only a change in attitude, but new infrastructure, as well. One suggested solution is moving sidewalks. Illustration courtesy of EPFL, via

Have you ever tried to imagine a world without personal automobiles?

A four-year research project called the PostCarWorld, funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, asked people to do just that, and came away with what might seem surprising to some: folks in Switzerland could, indeed, imagine a future without personal vehicles, reports. While this vision of a possible future does not completely eliminate cars, the project found that people liked the idea of efficient public transport and walkable urban settings. Of course, there were lifestyle considerations, such as online shopping and telecommuting, but the responses also called for infrastructure improvements.

One of the most fascinating of these improvements was the notion of using moving sidewalks for commuting. In a report presented this week before the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), postdoctoral researcher Riccardo Scarinci found that, if properly designed, moving walkways could move 7,000 commuters per hour, as opposed to roadways, which may accommodate up to 1,800 vehicles. Considering that so many commuters are the sole occupants of cars, the numbers can be quite eye-opening. While this vision may be decades from becoming a reality, it suggests huge, exciting opportunities for those in the business of manufacturing people-moving equipment.