The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) is known for one thing: Cars. It is a once a year event loaded with all of the next generation of vehicles as well as dozens of futuristic concept cars, all waxed to a near reflective shine. Well this year the show offered a glimpse at another new and exciting technology: LED Lighting. Now, LED’s are not new by any means, but they aren’t old either, and they are just hitting their curve. With the impending incandescent blubs ban, LED lighting will become the new norm in illumination. The future of LEDs was on full display at NAIAS where several of the worlds largest auto-makers built massive LED walls, screens and even a color-changing LED walkway or two.
In addition to the large LED displays there was also a focus on many of the smaller applications of LED technology. There was, what seemed to be, a competition on which of the new green cars used more of the new lighting. Every car that claimed to be “environmentally friendly” listed it’s various lighting systems that utilized LEDs. Also, Lexus was unveiling their new vehicle, the eco-friendly, wallet-friendly CT 200h, and one of the main points they pushed in their presentation was that they boasted, a record holding, 89 LEDs in this new vehicle.
Overall, the spectacle was quite impressive and really featured all of the advantages to LED lighting: crisp images, clean white light, limitless applications, and of course, minimal electricity usage. It was definitely a sign of whats to come.
Lexus LED Walkway
Prius LED Wall
As I predicted earlier, QR codes would soon be everywhere, and at the North American International Auto Show they were. The new, high-tech bar codes were being used by several of the worlds largest automakers at the yearly auto show in Detroit. The codes, which can hold a link to a web page, a picture, or preset text, allows customers access to this information on their smart phones. For the most part, companies at the Detroit Auto Show were using these codes, posted on their cars, to provide more information about the car that you were looking at. Some companies took it a step further. One company used them to direct you to a page that contained information about their products and a $250 “Auto Show” discount on their vehicles. Yet another company used them to sign you up to receive information and enter you in a sweepstakes to win a car.
I was impressed with these large companies utilization of a relatively new phenomena. Plus, not only did they use them, they used them perfectly. They used them to improve user experiences at their displays as well as cut back on a lot of the paper associated with information packets. In addition, I would assume they set up some sort of system to track their total scans on these codes, providing usable data from their presence at the event.
Overall it made the whole experience, which is fun to begin with, far more interesting and interactive. That is why I love these things; they could turn a boring trip to the mall, or grocery store into an interesting, fun, insightful experience. Expect to see a lot more of these in the future.