British Airways Digital Billboards Know When A Plane Is Flying Overhead

Kids on the billboards stand up and point at the plane as it flies by.

British Airways has unveiled an assortment of "interactive" digital billboards that change when planes fly overhead. A child on the billboard stands up and points at aircrafts as they pass, while the screen displays information about the aircraft, like what kind of plane it is and where it's coming from.

The ads, which were developed by Ogilvy 12th Floor, are currently located in London’s Piccadilly Circus and Chiswick. They use custom-built surveillance technology to track the overhead flight and its relevant data.

"We hope it will create a real ‘wow’ and people will be reminded how amazing flying is and how accessible the world can be," Abigail Comber, the head of marketing at British Airways, told The Drum.

If you want to see (and actually interact with) some other billboards, head to Australia, where earlier this year, Google started testing interactive billboards in airports in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.

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  • Motupally Pavan

    Very much impressive....see this ad with digital will love it...Thumb up....

  • saltcay

    And exactly when was the last time you purchased something ONLY because of the advertising? Frivolity? Absolutely. Genius in advertising? Totally.

  • Menachem Began

    "They use custom-built surveillance technology to track the overhead flight and its relevant data."

    Utter nonsense. They'd use a cheap ADSB receiver. They probably didn't use the $7 USB SDR receivers available on eBay, but they could have if they really wanted to make a point. It'd make sense to purchase a $800 professional version simply for reliability. Saying that it's "custom-built surveillance technology" is just pure nonsense.

    Even the SW code to analyze the data is essentially self-evident. Trivial, practically writes itself.

    Clever advertising: yes. Ingenious new technology: no, it's off the shelf.

  • Menachem Began

    Assuming that you're serious, then Google some of the more unique keywords such as ADSB, SDR USB. You can search on ebay for SDR USB and additional keywords such as RTL2832 and R820T. If you choose to buy one, the correct price class for the SDR is $10, not $200. If you plan to use these USB SDRs with a portable device, you'll need a gadget with USB On The Go (host mode). You might also want to purchase an RF adapter to use a better antenna than the garbage thingy included.

  • Bob McAlister

    thanks for the info . had it in the back of my mind to make an app that would alert a shopper to all the coupon deals in a mall ..and then found retailmenot...still think an app for the travelers that would notify them on the cell about restaurants, etc on the next few exits..someone probably has that done all ready also ...

  • whatever

    They also can do facial recognition and tailor ads for each person looking at the billboard.

  • Ibrar

    They use custom-built surveillance technology to track the overhead flight and its relevant data.