Parking & Mobility, July 2021

Page 44

By Peter Filice

New technologies have revolutionized what parking facilities can do with signage.

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RADITIONALLY, digital signage for parking systems consisted of simple, one- or two-color, fixed

format or seven-segment, calculator-style displays that were used for showing parking facility status or space-available counts. With the advent of affordable, full-color, LED/LCD matrix displays in the last 10 years, the traditional open/full or digit count signs can now be supplanted in parking access and revenue control (PARCS) and automated parking guidance (APGS) systems with a more flexible and readable approach. Digital Signage Technology Digital signage refers to the use of electronic displays that can show a variety of illuminated and changeable content, ranging from very simple digit counts or messages to fully flexible, multi-color, moving images. This technology has been around for decades, starting with signs made up of small incandescent or gas-discharge bulbs, and moving to modern solid-state electronic components such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and liquid crystal displays (LCDs). These light-emitting components are arranged in a pattern or 42 PARKING & MOBILITY / JULY 2021 / PARKING-MOBILITY.ORG

matrix that can be illuminated to show a single message, a few pre-programmed messages, or a completely flexible message. Digital signs can range from very small (such as a simple open/closed sign), to medium-sized (such as a wayfinding or parking count display), to very large (such as billboards and sports stadium displays). All displays have a control element that turns the sign on or off or sets the messaging content, a communication element that allows remote control of the sign, and a display element that displays the digital message. The control