I’m not quite sure how I feel about receiving a cheeky wink and wave from a holographic projection/image-type-thing of a woman standing at the foot of the escalators of Platform 15 (I think, the platform) at Leeds railway station. Let me explain…
Firstly, the cut out Perspex screen (cut out in the shape of a human body) upon which the woman’s image appeared was diminutive to the extent that she was reduced to more of a child-like size/stature – not that women (or men for that matter) cannot come in all manner of sizes, but she kind of looked like she had been shrunk, artificially, to fit the Perspex screen aforementioned – a bit like when Obi-Wan (Alec or Ewan, doesn’t matter here) appears as a projected image in a Star Wars film.
Secondly, it’s the way in which she suddenly appeared from out of nowhere, presumably an energy saving device where she disappears from the screen when the station platform is empty, to return to the screen when motion is detected once more by the presence of incoming travellers.
Thirdly, the interaction with the woman’s image-type-thing left an unsettling feeling as I passed her by, precisely because of the wink/wave combo. Deciding to opt for the escalators, because I couldn’t be bothered to climb the stairs, took me right past the Perspex domain from where she was issuing a bog-standard greeting letting you know which way to head if exiting the station or indeed if you were continuing an onward journey. And this is where the unsettling part comes in – she winked at me (I even made eye contact with her so I definitely know she was looking at me when she did it) and gave a cute little wave thing with her hand (kind of flirty, really). And then I’m off up the escalator and can’t see her anymore. And the first thing that popped into my head was that it was a teeny bit Blade Runner. The next thing was pondering over: A) what did she mean by the wink/wave?; and B) how did she know to wink/wave at that precise moment for it to look as if she was directing said wink/wave at me, just me?
Most unsettling, as you can probably tell.