Armagard Enclosures and the 2012 Olympic Experience

With hundreds of thousands of people descending on London for the 2012 Games, communication was always going to be a crucial part the Olympics. Wayfinding, information and advertising is a necessary part of keeping people informed, and digital signage is one of the most effective methods for communicating this sort of information to large crowds.

Because of the sheer number of people descending on such a small area, bright, engaging and noticeable communication was essential, which is why digital signage screens are were crucial for the 2012 Olympics. No other form of messaging can reach as many people so effectively. Of course, these screens need to operate outdoors, which is why Olympic organisers and those associated with The Games, turned to Armagard and their PDS protective outdoor digital signage enclosures.

Armagard enclosures

Placing screens outside requires protection. The weather, temperature and risk of damage through impact can disable a display screen, which is why outdoors screens used for communicating, advertising and providing information during the Olympic Games, all required comprehensive protection provided by Armagard’s PDS enclosure range.

Designed to keep screens safe from the perils of an outdoor environment, Armagard’s PDS enclosures provide the perfect environment to allow screens to function regardless of the ambient conditions. PDS enclosures are waterproof to prevent ingress by rain and other weather elements, and contain climatic systems to maintain the perfect operating temperature at all times, whether freezing cold or baking hot. Whether a screen has to operate during the heat of summer, or subzero temperature of winter, the enclosure maintains a stable internal environment. The steel enclosures and shatterproof screen face provides protection against impact and damage, whether that is deliberate of accidental, ensuring a comprehensive solution for outdoor digital signage.

Armagard at The Games

Armagard provided several different types of installation for the London 2012 Olympic Games, both in and around the Olympic park. These screens were used for various purposes, from providing crucial information to the many thousands of people descending on Stratford for The Games, to giving advertisers a platform to reach these huge crowds.

Armagard LCD enclosures are the first choice for big events such as the Olympics, because of the experience Armagard has in protecting screens around large, busy complexes and because their PDS range can handle such challenging conditions. Having already supplied PDS enclosures for big events such as Euro 2012, and in busy transport hubs such as the New Delhi Metro, Armagard had the required skills and experience to ensure screens used at the Olympics had the required necessary protection. Furthermore, Armagard has a large range of options for outdoor digital signage enclosures and provide custom solutions to meet the individual requirements of event organisers.

Emirates Air Line

Opened just before the Olympics began, the Emirates Air Line is the first urban cable car system in the UK. Designed to provide an alternative route across the Thames, the Air Line provides both a tourist attraction and efficient method of getting across London. Sponsored by the Emirates, the airline company, the cable car connects the Royal Docks with the Greenwich peninsula.

Indoor Unit, Emirates Air Line, Armagard, 2012

Indoor Unit, Emirates Air Line, Armagard, 2012

The Emirates Air Line provided a pleasurable and much needed transport link for the hundreds of thousands of visitors descending on London for the Olympic Games, and Armagard provided its PDS enclosures at both ends of the cable car system, to protect the digital advertising screens used to reach the thousands of passengers using the cars each day.

The cable car operators needed a customised solution to protect two screens, one measuring 165” and the other 105”. These screens provided plenty of challenges due to their large size and weight of installation, but using innovative new techniques, Armagard created a solution that provided all the necessary protection for the screens, whilst also being an attractive design that befits the modern and contemporary nature of this new transport link.

Olympic Village

Digital signage played an important role in and around the Olympic Village. Not only did digital displays provide crucial information to people, but also advertising screens and entertainment displays played a big part of enhancing the Olympic experience for the thousands of visitors. One such entertainment systems was the photo booth designed to provide visitors with a memento of the Olympics by capturing an image of them in front of the Olympic Stadium.

(Left)Photo Booth from Behind, (Right) Photo Booth in Front, Armagard, 2012

(Left)Photo Booth from Behind, (Right) Photo Booth in Front, Armagard, 2012

To ensure the booth could function outdoors throughout the Olympic Games, it needed protection from the weather, temperature and any risk of accidental damage. Armagard supplied four 32” PDS enclosures, which provided the overhead displays for the photo booth system, while also maintaining the modern and sleek design required by sponsors BT.

The Olympic Village also provided official advertisers with a great opportunity to reach the thousands of people descending on the Olympics during the two weeks of the games (and during the subsequent Paralympics). Digital signage provides by far the best medium to reach out and connect with people in such a busy environment, but being outdoors, these advertising screens also require protection.

Armagard also provided its most popular outdoor digital signage enclosure to provide protection for outdoor advertising. Outdoor advertisers all over the world use its 52” PDS enclosure, as the size and design is ideal for getting noticed in any outdoor environment. Manufactured to allow the advertising screens to function in all weather, the PDS 52 also has a number of options to eliminate screen glare and the problems caused by the sun’s reflection, a common problem faced by outdoor advertising screens. Of course, the enclosures also provide the comprehensive all-year round protection from weather and temperature, as well as keeping the screen safe from impacts.

The Mall

And it wasn’t just in and around the Olympic Village where Armagard provided screens for The Games. Often, a highlight for many people is the various events that take place around the streets of London, such as the marathon and street cycling races. These events allow huge numbers of people to experience the Olympics without having to buy tickets, and tens of thousands lined the streets to watch the 2012 marathon and cycling events.

(Left)Cyclists on ‘The Mall’, Simon & Vicki, Flickr 2012, (Right) Enclosures on ‘The Mall’, Armagard, 2012

One of the most popular locations for people is of course, The Mall. With Buckingham Palace at one end and Trafalgar Square at the other, The Mall provides the quintessential London experience, so it was no surprise that during the outdoor Olympic events, people congregated along The Mall in their tens of thousands. To provide information, updates and advertising during these events, LOCOG (London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games) installed temporary outdoor screens.

Requiring protection to keep these screens operational whatever the weather, LOCOG contacted Armagard directly. While these screens were only temporary installations, LOCOG still needed a solution that would keep the screens functional no matter what the weather or temperature did during the games. Furthermore, with so many people due to gather along The Mall to watch the various events, the screens needed to be tough enough to withstand any impact.

Armagard provided its PDS 42” enclosure, designed for operation in almost any outdoor environment. These outdoor enclosures are tough, reliable and easy to install; ideal for such a speedy installation and removal. While the screens were only on The Mall temporarily, because of the flexibility of the LCD enclosures, LOCOG can reuse the screens wherever they see fit, and even use them to house different screens, depending on the requirements of any new location.

Return on Investment

While the Olympic Games lasted only a couple of weeks, Armagard’s range of outdoor digital signage enclosures provide a permanent and long term solution for any outdoor event and offer an exceptional return on investment. The screens on the Emirates Air Line, for instance, will function for years before they need replacing, thanks to the protection offered by the Armagard’s enclosures. Furthermore, when the screens eventually do need replacing, the same Armagard enclosures can be reused and continue the job of providing comprehensive protection for years to come.

No matter what the installation, whether advertising, information or entertainment, Armagard PDS enclosures provide year on year, guaranteed protection for generation after generation of screens, and because they last so long, they offer an excellent return on any initial investment.

Event and transport experience

Having provided outdoor digital signage protection for events such as the Olympics and Euro 2012, and installed display enclosures in transport hubs such as the Thames Ferry Service, New Delhi Metro, and now the Emirates Air Line, Armagard have unrivalled experience in equipping venues and transport hubs with outdoor screens.

No other company have the experience and expertise to understand the demands of such busy and challenging locations. Furthermore, when customised solutions are needed, often in short turnaround time, Armagard’s experience is second to none. Whether it is a single screen to provide information outside a train station, or hundreds of screens in and around a football stadium, Armagard have the right solution.

Now the Olympics is over, Armagard consider it an honour to have played their part in making London 2012 the renowned success it was, and look forward to future challenges of providing outdoor digital signage protection in events around the globe.

This post was written by Mike Thomas

Mike Thomas

Mike joined Armagard in 2010 and is the company’s marketing guru. Mike handles all of Armagard’s marketing requirements, dealing with exhibition organisation and producing essential marketing material that’s distributed to customers. Mike is also recognised as an article author, contributing extensively to Armagard’s article output in order to raise the profile of the business on a national and international scale. Mike Thomas Google+

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