After IMAX at Expo 1970 Osaka, the A to Z of Innovations at Expos moves to another technology for public entertainment that was also launched at an Expo in Japan. This time, it was at Expo 1985 Tsukuba, and the innovation was the Jumbotron, the name for the giant screens that can be found in stadiums and major events venues around the world.
As an Expo focused on the promise of science and technology, Expo 1985 was the ideal venue for Japanese group Sony to showcase its prowess in video technology. It did so by installing the world’s largest image display spanning 40 metres wide by 25 metres high and with a 450,000-pixel resolution. The JumboTron was born, offering the public a large, bright and high-quality screen, without any need for projection equipment.
While later versions would use modern LED technology, the Expo 1985 JumboTron was based on cathode ray tubes (CRT). Its success during the Expo fuelled demand and improvements in technology, with newer versions being developed and remaining popular to this day.
The Bureau International des Expositions (BIE) is the intergovernmental organisation in charge of overseeing and regulating World Expos, Specialised Expos, Horticultural Expos and the Triennale di Milano.