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3D Digital Billboards: How Do They Work?

Chances are, you’ve somehow stumbled upon clips of 3D digital billboard ads, whether you were scrolling through LinkedIn, read about them in a news article, or maybe even crossed paths with one in real life. 

But what exactly is the deal with these engaging new forms of out-of-home advertising? 

What are 3D Digital Billboards? 

Put simply, 3D digital billboards are ads that use 3D “naked eye” technology to appear as if the subject of the ad is moving both within and outside of the physical screen. They are typically on screens that have a curve to them (think: wrapping around the side of a building), which enhances the 3D illusion due to the viewing angles. They often also feature sound, making the ad experience more immersive. 

There are a few famous spaces globally, including this one in Shinjuku, Tokyo, and this one in Seoul’s Gangnam District. They’ve featured ads for brands such as Nike and Fortnite, and are often posted to promote music artists, like this one promoting famous K-Pop group aespa

How Do They Work? 

Like mentioned above, they use 3D technology to give off the desired effect. But what does that mean? 

The effect of these billboards is typically achieved by binocular parallax, which works by placing two images over each other. When a person looks at that object using two eyes, the image converges and falls on the point of their retinas, resulting in the illusion of one single object. 

Linsn LED compared the effect to the focus of a camera: when the focus is on something far away, the items in the foreground become blurred; alternatively, when the focus is on something in the foreground, farther away items are blurred. In this case, a person’s eyes are acting as two separate lenses, on the same plane but in different positions, creating a sense of depth when looking at the 3D ad. 

It’s important to note that the effect achieved by binocular parallax is not the same as the effect achieved when looking at something like a hologram. While a hologram relies on the position of both the illusion and the person viewing it, 3D digital billboards are generally perceived the same, regardless of angle or position. 


3D digital billboards work by using 3D technology to appear as if the subject is moving within and outside of the 2D screen. This can be a useful tool for advertisers who are looking to stand out, as they are engaging, memorable, and just straight-up cool to look at. 

Photo via Pickel. 

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