Head Turner – Japan’s 3D cat billboard is something you can't take your eyes off
Depending on the time of day, the 3D representation depicts the massive kitty simply meowing or napping.
The 17-second clip was shared alongside a caption in Japanese give details about the video. (Image Credit: Twitter)
Do you know where the coolest cat is? It's in Tokyo right now, sitting on top of a 1664 sq ft skyscraper near Shinjuku subway station. The kitty occasionally wakes up, sways its tail, looks down at the audience, and meows its way into the hearts of passers-by.
A curved 26-by-62-foot LED billboard is used to create the illusion. And we're looking at another advertising trend that could take over cities in the next months.
We've seen videos of gigantic waves atop a building in Seoul's Gangnam District before the cat in Tokyo. In fact, the videos that are making their way to YouTube are obviously in 2D and do not do the genuine action credit, yet this technology has enormous promise for advertising. Whenever the Tokyo furball is sleeping, the screen might display ads.
People are waiting on the street with their cameras pointed at the building just to see the cat wake up and wag its tail. It's becoming as big of a talking point as the Winston (and early Camel) signage, complete with artificial smoke rings, on Broadway in the 1970s. But this is technology, and the screen can show whatever it wants (and whenever it wants).
Similar curved LED billboards have begun to appear throughout Asia during the last year or two. People in Chengdu, China, have witnessed a lion "burst through" the screen and "running away," while in Taiwan, a massive cyclop appears to "step out." Something resembling the Starship Enterprise has also been spotted. 4K resolution displays and large panels are employed to reach “3D” status, providing a sense of realism. More crucially, screens must be installed at 90 degrees from street level at the corner of a structure.
As per The Korea Times, the commercial design firm d'strict, which is responsible for the “wave” billboard in Seoul's Gangnam District, is planning a trip to Times Square in New York. A'strict, the company's "media artist unit," was founded "as a loose collective of artistic producers." A 1,400-square-metre digital screen that can turn into a surreal 3D oceanic aquarium featuring a moving blue whale will be available to New Yorkers.
However, it's not just massive LED billboards that are creating waves by displaying hyper-realistic animation; virtual hybrid LED solutions appear to be promising as well. Advertisements displayed on small boards, such as those found surrounding a football stadium, can be customised to reflect the demographics of the country from which the feed is aired. The technique is known as "virtual replacement perimeter technology," and it operates in an unusual way. While Messi completes a corner shot in India, we may see an advertisement from company X on one of the billboards, whilst in England, the advertisement may be from company Y and in France, from Z.
In the past few days, a Reddit post by user erivaldoff has attracted a lot of attention, in which he explains the technology that is being employed.
“The camera is attached to a ‘virtual head,' which reads the positioning and alignment data. The lens of the camera is calibrated along with the camera body and sensor, as well as the software, so that the virtual software can be adjusted for any deviation from ‘zero' when the camera was attached. Consider a virtual 3D box, and they just instruct the computer where to place everything in relation to the camera.” Despite the fact that the technology has been present since 2018, it has improved and is now gaining momentum.
“The new ad is digitally placed in the broadcast feed in a quite specific manner that the viewing public has no idea that they are seeing something different than the fans on-site,” Supponor EU's commercial officer Massimo Magri wrote in a blog.
As to the kitty in Tokyo: it doesn't have a name (and its gender is unconfirmed), but it does have a Twitter account (@cross_s_vision) with roughly 20K followers.