Subway-Tunnel Signage

Subway-Tunnel Signage


Hines Subway-Tunnel Car Ad

 Manufacturing License Available


      The HinesLab subway-tunnel advertising provides bright video content that can be changed remotely.


      Unlike conventional streak-scanned signage that uses back-lighted paper posters, the HinesLab subway signage uses vertical LED light strips that are viewed through a liquid-crystal video screen.  Horizontal motion of the train causes the images to be streak scanned.  Persistence of vision causes the image to appear to follow the train just outside the window.  


How does it work?

Subway-Tunnel-Signage-02-Cvrd-Bridge       The effect can be seen driving through an old wooden covered bridge with sides made of vertical boards.  The landscape can be seen through gaps between the boards which streak past too fast to be noticed.  


      A problem with conventional subway signs is the dim image of back-lighted paper posters.  The brightness was reduced an additional 98% when viewed through narrow slits.  When the ad period ended, a maintenance worker had to go in the tunnel to replace the posters and flickering fluorescent lamps.  The LCD screens in the HinesLab approach, cost little more than a single conventional paper poster, and need to be installed once.


      Train riders view the back lights through the transparent LCD TV screen without the diffuser.  Each light box has multiple images with a vertical light strip behind each.  Compare the relative brightness of (1) a conventional back-lighted paper image shown at left, to (2) viewing a bare LED, through a 35mm Kodachrome slide or clear LCD.  

Subway-Tunnel-Signage-04-Poster Subway-Tunnel-Signage-03-Prjn-Panel
      Conventional tunnel signage uses printed posters back lighted with fluorescent lamps.  The images seen by the train riders will be only 2% of this brightness because the posters will be viewed through narrow slits which are required for the scanning effect.  The final image using this technique is very dim.  

      In the HinesLab signage, vertical LED light strips (simulated here with the filament in a clear-glass light bulb) are visible through a liquid-crystal display.  Forward motion of the train causes horizontal motion parallax of the vertical light strip behind the screen to scan the image. 


      Perceptual image lag leaves a streak-scanned image in the viewer’s mind so that the sign appears to hang just outside the train window.  LED’s produce much less heat and have much longer life than fluorescent lamps, and best of all, the image can be changed at the computer without going into the tunnel.


For more information:

U.S. Patent 7,827,712
U.S. Patent 7,870,686


      HinesLab is actively seeking licensees to commercialize this technology.  This is not a product being offered for sale to end users.  To discuss licensing, please contact Steve Hines at:



Glendale, California, USA