amtravels
Topic Author
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2019 12:54 am

Hidden Digital Displays at ORD T1 Security Checkpoint

Wed Jul 03, 2019 3:42 am

Back in 2006, United installed a large digital display ribbon spanning the length of the terminal 1 security checkpoints. Just 5 years later (2011), most of the screens were covered up by printed signage and have remained that way ever since. In fact, while going through T1 security, if you turn around you can still see dozens of black equipment racks housing the hardware that powered these displays. Nobody ever bothered to remove all the equipment - they seemingly just shut it down and covered up the displays.

The articles linked at the bottom talk about the install as being somewhat ahead of its time.

I'm curious if anybody has any insight as to why they were all covered up and are no longer used.



Then (2006) - Digital: The screens say "Additional Services" and "United Economy International".
Image

Then (2011) - Mixed: The only digital screens that remain from the 2006 installation can be seen in the back of the image on the left side where they display "Global Services" and "Premier Access Security". The original long ribbon had been covered up by then.
Image

Now (2018/2019) - Static:
Image
Image

This is the install that I'm referring to: https://www.svconline.com/news/av-takes-flight-busy-terminal-370142
More technical overview of the installed system: https://www.copybook.com/companies/magenta-research/articles/flight-terminal-displays
 
shamrock137
Posts: 308
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2005 7:10 am

Re: Hidden Digital Displays at ORD T1 Security Checkpoint

Wed Jul 03, 2019 12:49 pm

Don't know the specifics in this case, however these systems can be expensive and labor intensive to maintain. They're good for common use positions that are shared by airlines or might change from a premium to economy checkin throughout the day. However, its going to be Premier Access 99% of the time, its not really worth having a screen system. They can also be a bit of a branding nightmare, as the screens age, they'll display colors differently so what was a nice clean blue stripe with the UA logo can turn into different shades of blue as the screens burnout, or you can be left with blank spaces. Beyond the assistance of a construction and facilities maintenance crew to install and maintain the system, you also need a staff of IT workers to maintain the computer and connectivity side of things. My guess, and just a guess, is that in this case, the cost to maintain wasn't worth it.
Time to spare? Go by air!
 
WPvsMW
Posts: 2022
Joined: Thu Mar 23, 2017 7:30 pm

Re: Hidden Digital Displays at ORD T1 Security Checkpoint

Sat Jul 06, 2019 7:42 pm

My guess is that the original system was a prototype to establish a maintenance cost baseline... and the results were "pull the plug".

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