Paint Outside the Lines with Non-Conformist LED Displays

An LED sphere by Planar offers the ultimate wow factor and research tool for educational training at Queensland University of Technology.
An LED sphere by Planar offers the ultimate wow factor and research tool for educational training at Queensland University of Technology.An LED sphere by Planar offers the ultimate wow factor and research tool for educational training at Queensland University of Technology. (Image credit: Planar)

LED is a dominating force in the display industry and 16:9 remains one of the most popular form factors used, but what happens when your environment won’t accommodate a traditional rectangular display? Bendable LED display technology is maturing, producing more concave and convex curved video walls that stop traffic, make jaws drop and leave passersby wondering how did they do this? From sports arenas and education facilities to broadcast studios and tourist attractions, organizations across a wide range of markets dream of achieving this ‘wow factor.’ 

Must-Have Ingredients for Non-Conformist LED Video Walls 

Before you start painting outside the lines with non-conformist LED video wall displays, you have a few factors to consider to ensure you’re on the right path to create a video wall unlike any other.

First and foremost, make sure your LED displays aren’t an afterthought, but instead seamlessly designed into the fabric of the space or the building it’s being added to. LED displays are now an architectural wall cladding and the digital experience is best when it is planned during the interior design process. 

Next, thin, bright, seamless, colorful, and eye-popping LED displays are ideal for creating unconventional video walls and ‘wow factors’ for audiences. You want the technology to be elegant from both a physical and image-quality standpoint. Today’s customers prefer direct view LED technology over printed and backlit signs, rear projection cubes, or other forms of traditional digital signage.

Finally, do you have a creative blend of live video, still images, intriguing messages, and motion graphics for your audience? Gone are the days of static images and presentation-style slides. In addition to communicating your message, you’ll want to educate, entertain and create emotion in a way that will have audiences glued to the video wall. The longer you have viewers lingering, the more effective your impact will be. 

Modern-Day Display Innovations in the Spotlight 

Once you have the basics in place for a one-of-a-kind video wall, it’s worth exploring popular display innovations and trends that can help elevate your organization’s ‘wow factor.’ Let's take a look at the most common being used today:

Custom Display Sizes and Shapes

These include formats that don’t conform to the normal 16:9 rectangle such as the concave and convex displays previously mentioned, as well as skinny ribbons, tall columns, triangles, and trapezoids and compound curving displays like domes and spheres.

Anamorphic Three-Dimensional Video

More organizations are experimenting with ways to make content appear to physically escape the confines of giant outdoor digital displays. Imagine, for example, a hand reaching out at you or an animal jumping out of its cage. 

Transparent Displays

Rigid LED curtain and flexible LED mesh can be used to wrap entire buildings while still allowing viewers to see out from within and natural light to enter.

Mosaic-Style and Sculptural Displays

Organizations are increasingly gravitating toward mosaic-style and sculptural LED video displays that can make a statement with their unique, artistic shapes alone. Further, more displays are emerging with sections that physically move on actuators, allowing the technology to move up and down, fold up accordion-style and even split apart and come back together as you can see in the video below.

Video Floors and Ceilings

Today, any surface is a candidate for digital signage and purpose-built LED displays are available for face-up and face-down applications. Combining a three-dimensional space with 360-degree content can facilitate a virtual environment creating stronger impact for viewers compared to a traditional, flat display.

Gesture-Based Control

In light of COVID-19, many organizations and end users are adapting to a touch free society. However, they still want an engaging experience and this is fueling a strong demand for gesture-based control and bring your own device (BYOD) technology, which allows users to download an app and control content via personal touch devices.

Of course, creating a jaw-dropping video wall requires more than a single innovation or content hook. Consulting with a qualified AV consultant can help set you up to gather the key components for creating a truly unforgettable viewing experience.

Peter Lawrence spoke at The Digital Signage Event on the Wonder Walls panel. Read our in-depth coverage of the day's panel discussions.

Peter Lawrence, CTS

Peter Lawrence, CTS is a technical marketing expert with more than 25 years of national and international business experience. He is currently the director of the custom design team at Planar. He can be found on LinkedIn at