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Link NYC: CIVIQ’s Largest Smart Cities Project

  • World’s most advanced public communication and outdoor advertising network
  • Weatherproof design built to withstand extreme cold, rain, snow, dust, and flooding—all while conforming to the Americans with Disabilities Act’s (ADA) standards
  • Generate $500M in outdoor advertising revenue for NYC

“The city that never sleeps”—New York—is often called the world’s economic capital. With 8 million residents and 54 million tourists, New York lives up to its bustling and exciting image. In 2014, Mayor de Blassio’s administration issued a competitive request for proposal (RFP) to repurpose archaic payphone infrastructure with free Wi-Fi, phone calls and advertising.In a city as demanding as NYC, the successful candidate needed to produce a scalable and attractive display solution able to deliver outstanding picture quality and withstand unpredictably harsh weather conditions. This project launched in January 2016, aims to bring every citizen into the digital age while generating advertising revenue for the city of New York.

Project goals

The smart city project envisioned the following as a must have:

  • Enhance public information, commerce, safety and efficiency
  • Provide an always-on “smartscape” that allows free domestic calling and public Wi-Fi hotspots
  • Provide a scalable connected technology solution with minimal cost to the City of New York
  • Outdoor advertising canvas that can be leveraged to provide relevant and targeted ads

New York City, in partnership with CityBridge, tasked CIVIQ to build a viable, affordable solution to replace the outdated and unattractive payphone booths scattered throughout the city. CIVIQ met the challenge with its Smartscapes™ Link NYC solution—a smart, connected communication infrastructure integrating municipal Wi-Fi, access to public services, phone and way finding capabilities. To accommodate for heavy outdoor use, Link’s systems are built with sturdy but lightweight aluminum metal frames and two 55” Samsung Display PID high-definition outdoor digital display panels (LTI550HF04-V).

'With this effort, we are moving to becoming the most innovative, the most accessible, most tech-friendly city anywhere in the nation and anywhere in the world.'

New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio

A city of the size as New York poses challenges beyond mere scalability. With one of the highest population densities as well as one of the most diverse populations in the world, coupled with extreme weather, CIVIQ had a number of design constraints and pain points to overcome.

The biggest challenges, however, were to ensure that the service was able to:

  • Withstand the harsh weather: temperature ranges from -20°C to +36°C, with potential snow, rain, dust, moisture and flooding
  • Deliver vibrant picture quality and high contrast to support the outdoor advertisement platform in bright sunlight
  • Provide a low cost of ownership with quality performance, durability, easy maintenance and maximum value
  • Ensure energy efficiency of displays that can be run on backup power in case of emergencies
  • Meet the American Disability Act (ADA) standards

The solution

Samsung Display panels were selected after a competitive bidding process and stringent product testing. LTI550HF04 met the design specifications—best-in class in performance, extended durability, and brightness and contrast levels unmatched by competitors. The winning benefits of Samsung Display PID were immediately apparent in the panels’ premium visual performance, reliability, and low power consumption—all crucial to the success of integrating Links into New York City’s neighborhoods.

Outdoor Signage - Link NYC Case Study

'It’s a very cool structure. The design is beautiful. When you think about what could be in a city, that’s not currently in a city, this is a really great welcome signal for our visitors to the city, for people that live and work here every day.'

Sandra Baer, President, Personal Cities and former Senior Director for Alliances, Smart Cities Council

Additionally, Samsung Display PID’s 55-inch outdoor display stood out from the competition for:

  • Full HD resolution for vivid pictures and clarity
  • 5,000:1 contrast ratio for unrivaled, professional image quality that is easy to read even from a distance
  • Super-high brightness of 2,500 nit for high visibility and uniformity in any lighting conditions
  • Special polarizer design (quarter wavelength plate) which allows for clear viewing experience even with polarized sunglasses
  • High TNI (110℃) liquid crystal designed to operate at high temperature without any drop in performance
  • Specialized TFT design allowing for greater transmittance and lower power consumption
  • Black mura prevention technology and industry toughest testing to ensure resilience and dependability
  • Long-lasting and energy efficient backlight units (BLU)
  • Eco-friendly material composition certified by RoHS

The results

The beta of Link NYC, released in January of 2016, far exceeded the expectations of New York City’s government officials, including Mayor de Blasio who is quoted as saying, “It’s an exciting moment for New Yorkers because it means a lot more access to things they care about.” With the favorable outcome of the beta tests, CIVIQ secured itself as the driver of innovation for any city’s needs. Sandra Baer, President, Personal Cities and former Director for Alliances, Smart Cities Council posits, “The Link NYC installations [are] so beautiful! […] It has this incredible advertising that generates revenue for the city. It also has emergency services. I can immediately reach out to 911. I can also make a phone call right here and I can even browse the web; it has very fast, free internet service.” 

New York City plans to install over 7,500 Link structures, and Samsung Display is proud to be a partner and a trusted supplier of high-performance components to complete this modern design and contribute to CIVIQ’s next-generation solution and the project’s ultimate success.

Related links:

Link NYC

55" 2,500 nit Professional Outdoor Panel - LTI550HF04

NYC Mayor’s Link NYC Announcement

Free e-book on Smart City trends


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