Updated: R.I.P. Christie MicroTiles — True Innovation is Laid to Rest

Update: We just heard from Christie, who told us that although it’s true the original Christie MicroTiles are being retired, an all-new version that’s “smaller, brighter and faster to install” will be announced at ISE next week in Amsterdam. Stay tuned for more information!

I just received an official notice from Christie Digital, today, that they were ending production of the famed Christie MicroTiles as of February 1st.

I haven’t even had time to plan for this. It was so sudden. I am emotional and melancholy.

In all seriousness, this is a weird moment in AV history. I mean, like them or not, the MicroTiles were the most innovative display products to come along at that time. Prior to them, everything display was a just a rectangle. And, in January 2010, when I attended the official unveiling of MicroTiles in New York’s Times Square (after months of private showings to the key industry players), it was an exciting night for everyone in attendance. There were nothing but smiles on the faces of everyone at Christie and companies like Shen Milsom & Wilke and AVI told me about giant installs they were designing using hundreds of them at a time.

They won every award given in 2010 — including all those pay-for-play awards that every industry magazine gives out, but they also won two giant awards that aren’t pay-for-play — rAVe’s 2010 Digital Signage CHAMPS award for having the Most Innovative New Digital Signage Hardware Product and Best New Indoor DS Display; both were bestowed less than 60 days after the debut.

But, the proof was in the fact that every integrator wanted them and most used them at one point or another.

And, sure, Leyard, Planar and even Prysm eventually had MicroTile-like options, in that they had non-rectangle products you could use to build odd-shaped displays.

But the original was MicroTiles.

So, RIP MicroTiles. Your headstone should read: “Christie MicroTiles; 2009-2019; Here lies true creativity through originality rather than emulation.”