Flying LED spheres take advertising to the skies

Flying LED spheres take advertising to the skies
Japanese mobile phone operator NTT Docomo has developed a drone surrounded by an LED sphere in what it believes is a world first. The flying spherical screen, announced on April 16, 2017, spins when airborne to create the illusion of a solid sphere of motionless LEDs.

The device comprises a spherical external frame, an internal LED frame consisting of a series of eight curved LED strips that extend from top to bottom, a drone fitted inside the sphere and legs protruding underneath. 

Drone lit upDocomo says the drones could be used in concert halls or arenas where they can be included as part of a performance or deliver advertising or information. 

The maximum diameter of the spherical frame is about 88cm and the entire device, including the drone, weighs 3.4 kg. The display measures 144 pixels high and 136 pixels wide (horizontal circumference).

By using a largely hollow display, Docomo was able to avoid problems with the screen interfering with the airflow of the drone’s propellers and adding too much weight to the drone. 

Docomo hopes to commercialise the drone display in the fiscal year ending in MarchDrone structure 2019 and will explore potential entertainment and messaging options for event venues.

The drone will be shown at the NTT Ultra Future Museum 2017 during the Niconico Chokaigi conference at Makuhari Messe, which will begin on April 29. The exhibition will include a flight demonstration inside the event hall.

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