a sign of things to come

Remember waiting on train platforms, where the “next train” indicator was an analogue clock and station list, all updated by hand? And then, a few years back, when the computerised “next train” indicators came in, what an improvement it was?

You could see which stations the train would stop at, and how long it was until the next train.

Of course, you could easily write for entertainment purposes only on the time, and to some extent the station list – they’re not really a reflection of reality outside of peak hour.

But still, it was a step forward, and more convenient than having to run back to the one spot on the platform to find out the same information.

Now, with the new timetable about to start, there’s a disturbing trend. Instead of showing the next train information all the time, there are little interruptions every couple of minutes, advertising the coming of the new timetable.

Does anyone else think that this is the beginning of yet another form of advertising on train platforms – on-indicator advertising? What happened to the good old days of being told something without a product placement in the middle of it?

Hmm… maybe I shouldn’t talk, when I have google ads on the page.

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