Praevar produces the smartest media kiosks combining engineering innovation with decades of deployment experience. Our displays are designed to deliver perfect images and video for our partners, even in challenging environments, whilst being energy efficient and easy to maintain and service.
Praevar was launched by Ralph Idems and Chris Bolton in 2016.
Our design, prototyping and validation is carried out in Canada, with manufacturing, testing and assembly facilities in the US and China .
Our state of the art kiosks have their origins in the humble bus shelter. Our founders, Ralph Idems and Chris Bolton, applied their experience deploying telecoms in extreme environments to outdoor media. They launched Praevar in 2016.
The dual challenge of outdoor signage has been the same for two decades: producing the clearest, most attractive display and making sure that it can withstand everything that the street can throw at it.
Right at the start, back in 2001, the problem was just paper signs at bus stops. Keeping paper dry and flat and bright for the duration it was needed. Moving on (or round) was the next challenge: “how can paper rolls be rotated so that several different signs or adverts can be displayed at once?” Obviously this must be achieved whilst the paper remains dry, flat, intact and illuminated.
From there, signs – along with the rest of the world – went digital. Which presents particular challenges in an outdoor environment. A clear crisp image can be hard to achieve in the bright light of the midday sun. And the technology needs to be protected from rain and heat if it is to work at all – never mind for years on end.
The founders of Praevar, Ralph Idems and Chris Bolton, were there right at the start. Their first collaboration, Vertigo Digital, was to design a better adbox for bus shelters for the media group Clearchannel in 2001. Back then, innovation meant incorporating a light so that the poster was illuminated at night.
The industry - and technology - has moved on rapidly since then. Chris and Ralph were at the cutting edge of digital outdoor display development. They combined their experience of outdoor harsh environment deployments with engineering innovation to solve the challenges of putting delicate technology at the mercy of the elements (and the general public) and optimising its performance to exacting standards.
We both worked on outdoor harsh environment deployments in the 80’s when we designed and built outdoor kiosks for the telecoms industry. The original mobile phone base station infrastructure. Everything was build to Bellcore (now Telecordia) standards, which stipulated 25 years to end of life. These standards are built into the Praevar DNA.
In 2016, Chris and Ralph founded Praevar to focus on design, engineering, manufacturing and installing oudoor LCD displays and Smart City kiosks.
As innovators in the industry, they are ahead of developments, constantly adapting products to different placements and configurations. They were the first digital display company to adapt DACS (Direct Air Cooling) thermal management from the telecoms industry as well as remote control and monitoring. They were awarded patents in several countries for this ground breaking research in 2013. They developed many first in the industry, including modular construction using readily available components that could be easily serviced in the field. The team also led the development of specialised HTNI OC and engineered cover glass with leading global suppliers. They were able to do this by defining the performance requirements for large format digital displays by utilising the same Bellcore Standards used in the telecoms industry. In addition, the were the first to build a specialised high temperature solar test lab. This facility, in Toronto, is able to test solar gain and high temperature simultaneously.
“We learned what does – and doesn’t – work in direct sunlight outdoors, and why.”
Praevar displays can be customised with touch screens and other sensors to collect data from the environment, both actively and passively. They are complex connected IOT devices.
The hardware is not the only part of the system.
The team has worked with partners across the industry for twenty years and truly understands what advertisers need – from our built in media player to our agnostic operating systems, empowering agencies to use their own CMS to manage content, validate metrics for the media served and to collect statistics from the environment from sensors built into the displays.
This has enabled us to partner with some of the biggest outfits in the industry, including Outfront Media, Lamar, Intersection Clear Channel, AdShel, ooH Media , Civiq Smartscapes and LINK NewYork /London.