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Editorial:

It’s All About The Fans

Story: Christopher Holder

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raham Kennedy had it sussed.

During his wildly popular variety show of the ’50s and ’60s, In Melbourne Tonight, Graham would personally spruke sponsors’ product — always irreverently and often hilariously. All the big brands of the day happily lined up to play live-TV Russian roulette (and no doubt pay a premium) by having Graham demonstrate, eat, use and generally make mischief with their product. This type of semi-scripted improv would never pass muster today in a world where brand integrity is fiercely guarded, but the truth is, these advertisements were phenomenally popular because people were entertained.

If you were Lever & Kitchen and you had your laundry powder liberally dusted around the Channel 9 studios because of some scatalogical Graham Kennedy sight gag, then you were laughing all the way to the bank. Housewives would be swapping stories about it over the back fence all week — “and you know what, Rinso has got my whites whiter”.

portrait, landscape, or orthogonally arrayed as a dancing rhombicuboctahedron we’ve not moved far beyond the traditional TVC.

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Alighting upon the format for the perfect digital signage advertisement has exercised the brains of screen media proponents for years. Most digital signage constitutes what’s effectively a TV plugged into some kind of media player. So you’d be forgiven for thinking that TV advertising would be appropriate. Wrong. This theory was debunked pretty much from the get-go. Just because the sign looks like a telly, doesn’t mean it is a telly, and very often the screen has only a moment to convey a message as the punter wanders past.

Signage has evolved to the point where it’s easier to generalise that a digital sign is more often than not a portrait-oriented TV.

This has forced producers of media to reshoot and rethink their advertisements — still… portrait, landscape, or orthogonally arrayed as a dancing rhombicuboctahedron we’ve not moved far beyond the traditional TVC.

Someone who has done a lot of rethinking of advertising messages is Lisa Trainor. The MCG is our cover story and Lisa is the Melbourne Cricket Club’s (which manages the MCG) General Manager of Commercial Operations. The MCC has spent millions of dollars on screens (including a couple of Daktronics doozies recently) and it’s Lisa’s job to monetise that investment.

I’m not entirely sure what Lisa thinks of Graham ‘The King’ Kennedy — she strikes me as being way too youthful to remember In Melbourne Tonight, but she may have vague recollections of Blankety Blanks! — but their ethos is aligned: entertain the audience and they will return. This means providing advertisers with sponsorship opportunities; getting them in on the fun rather than being the 30-second killjoys when there’s no action on the field. It might not seem revolutionary, but Lisa is certainly swimming against the tide. For those selling big-screen real estate, it’s far easier to sell out. But the MCC has a long view: and that view is all about the fans. Christopher Holder, Editorial Director chris@dsmag.com.au

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CONTENTS ISSUE 11 2014 Digital Place-Based Media & Technology

Advertising Office: (02) 9986 1188 PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086

Editorial Office: (03) 5331 4949 PO Box 295, Ballarat, VIC 3353

Publication Director:

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Stewart Woodhill (stewart@dsmag.com.au) Editorial Director: Christopher Holder (chris@dsmag.com.au) Publisher: Philip Spencer (philip@dsmag.com.au) Art Direction & Design: Dominic Carey (dominic@alchemedia.com.au) Graphic Design: Daniel Howard (daniel@alchemedia.com.au) Contributing Editor: Graeme Hague (news@dsmag.com.au) Technical Editor

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COLUMNS 16 Gaye Steel, GuihenJones REFERENCE 30 Who’s Who Company Profiles

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IN ACTION 18 Chem Mart 20 Queen’s Plaza 24 oOh! Hijacks Campus Life 26 Suntec, Singapore COMMENT 34 Mug Punter: Instant Replay, Constant Exposure

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Andy Ciddor (andy@av.net.au)

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Jaedd Asthana (jaedd@alchemedia.com.au)

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Mim Mulcahy (subscriptions@dsmag.com.au)

FEATURES 8 Mini Monster, London 12 MCG, Melbourne 22 Central Park Digital Wall

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alchemedia publishing pty ltd (ABN: 34 074 431 628) PO Box 6216, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086 info@alchemedia.com.au All material in this magazine is copyright © 2014 Alchemedia Publishing Pty Ltd. The title AV is a registered Trademark. Apart from any fair dealing permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. The publishers believe all information supplied in this magazine to be correct at the time of publication. They are not in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. After investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, prices, addresses and phone numbers were up to date at the time of publication. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements appearing in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility is on the person, company or advertising agency submitting or directing the advertisement for publication. The publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions, although every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy. 27/2/14


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MINI MONSTER Live streamed mobile LED car art turns corner. Story: Christopher Holder

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he Mini brand has been cultivated to embody everything that hip and urban. Mini drivers are self-consciously cool, contemporary and plugged in. So how about this for a marketing stunt: build a special Mini that’s a mobile piece of visual art. Not only that, you bring the consumer in on this. Build a website that allows people to submit their own Mini look and messages streamed to the car while it does laps of London’s West End. But, hang on, like the tree falling in the forest without anyone to witness it, the rolling visual art itself needs capturing, so people can view their artistic creations. Solution: rig a companion Mini with camera equipment to record the moment your pithy message glides past the statue of Eros. You can imagine the high fives and clinking of shot glasses as the creative team thought this through. Pure genius. PULSE OF ART BEAT

If you’re still cocking your head somewhat with a ‘huh?’ look on your face then, of course, read on, but I’d recommend YouTube-ing ‘Mini Art Beat’ before you continue – this project really is quite extraordinary and

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needs to be seen to be believed. Meanwhile, for those who have already seen footage of the project around the traps, then enjoy our detailed/exclusive back-end snapshot of this complex execution. Here’s the setup: For two weeks last year a Mini Countryman, fitted with a hi-tech LED ‘skin’, took up residency in London playing bespoke, live-streamed video and animations.

In practice, the process started with a website, Facebook page, and smartphone app that allowed users to upload a photo or video, select a graphic design, change colours, choose a soundtrack, and enter up to 140 characters of text to be displayed on the car. Once approved, the submission was transmitted to the car via multiple 4G modems. Lighting equipment specialist, Avolites, supplied its new AI media server, which combined the graphic designs with the user’s colour preferences, keying the text, and incorporating the video files which were transmitted live to the car (rather than as files for upload). Some sophisticated pixel mapping then presented the output onto the car. The car was then recorded 24 hours a day (via another fully-rigged Mini, of course) and streamed live to the internet. It’s a perfect promotional feedback loop. Kitting the car out was a technical challenge.

MORE THAN A MOBILE CHRISTMAS TREE

If you’re averse to technology, then look away now, because this project epitomises just how complicated a ‘great idea over a beer’ can turn out to be. The Mini Countryman was completely gutted and rebuilt by Tait Technologies. A generator was installed to provide power while driving, as well as additional air conditioning to keep the electronics cool. The car was covered with custom-made LED strips backed in velcro, which attached directly to the car. Each strip could be replaced relatively easily if a fault occurred. The crew counted around 48,000 pixels on the car, which weighed in at a hefty two tonne.

There were two ‘modes’: driving and static. Special permission was granted by Westminster Council, London Police, and Transport for London to allow the car to drive while active. The only condition was that no lights could be active on the rear of the car while driving. The car was driven eight hours a day (between 7pm and 3am), while for the other 16 hours a day it stood in conspicuous London locations such as Tower Bridge and Pall Mall. When static, the car was plugged into mains power and a satellite system to provide for greater data connectivity and a third broadcast camera was added to provide an additional angle. THE BRAINS TRUST

The project was conceived and managed by Berlinbased agency, KKLD*, which not only came up with the concept, but designed and managed the complex IT aspects of the project.

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Damn Good Productions (with offices in Sydney and London) was engaged by KKLD* to design and operate the camera, switching, and streaming systems, and to provide local support to the event including crew and logistics.

Damn Good provided a full HD, fully-mobile broadcast quality turnkey system. The LED car has a camera attached to the roof with a wide-angle lens — this was then transmitted in full HD to a second Mini, set up as a portable control room. The ‘camera’ car had a second camera on its roof. Both cameras were then fed into a device called a Tricaster, where the signals were mixed and a soundtrack added. The HD output was then fed to a device that bonds multiple 3G and 4G modems to output a stream in excess of 5Mbs, and the signal then transmitted to both Ustream (which streamed the event 24 hours a day for two weeks), and also to a custom system which could determine the time of each clip, cut it from the stream, add a top and tail with the user’s name on it, and then deliver it to YouTube — sending the punter an auto notification in the process (a nifty, automated process, I’m sure you’d agree). Clearly this was a deceptively complex art project that brought together everything we love: brand recognition, media buzz, social media feedback, and lasting international PR repercussions (we’re talking about it months later, after all!). And no, Mini has no plans to release the one-off Countryman as a production model!  CONTACTS Mini Art Beat: www.minispace.com/artbeat Tait Technologies: www.taittowers.com KKLD*: www.kkld.net

AUSTRALIANS ‘DAMN GOOD’ The Mini may well be quintessentially British, but the Mini Art Beat project had a distinctly Australian influence with Sydney-based Damn Good Productions driving the technical solutions. Damn Good’s Ben Alcott reflects on Mini Art Beat: “Mini Art Beat was a great opportunity for an Australian company to collaborate with global partners on a worldfirst project. All of the early morning and late night video conferences; the long hours of testing in UK and Europe; and the various challenges of getting the whole thing to work together seamlessly were worth it when you saw the people react as the car drove by. The Damn Good team were grateful for the opportunity of showing what an Australian company is capable of. It certainly was an unusual experience to drive around London in a moving LED screen weighing two tons with its own generator and air conditioner — I’m used to people pointing at me when I drive, but it’s unusual for them to have a smile on their face when they do! The whole project was a great example of how teams from all over the world can come together to create a fantastic result.”

Damn Good Productions: (02) 9699 5553 or www.damngoodproductions.com.au

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MCG: LOFTY GOALS The new big screens make the headlines, but the broader ‘smart stadium’ strategy is where the marketing challenge lies… as the MCG’s GM of Commercial explains. Story: Christopher Holder

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he MCG is turning itself into a Smart Stadium. And for one of the largest sports venues in the world, the scale of the transformation is immense. On the tech side, the MCG is in the process of installing (literally) hundreds of networked displays with an IPTV backbone. From a content point of view, it’s in the process of re-writing the advertising and digital signage playbook.

Leading the Smart Stadium strategy are the new Daktronics vision boards. The screens are enormous (three times the size of the previous LED screens) and as GM of Commercial Operations, it’s Lisa Trainor’s job to exploit them for commercial gain. So expect the big screen to be constantly letterboxed with VB ads with a Coke skyscraper on the side. Actually, no. It’s not what you might think.

“I’m not an advocate of making the live vision smaller with encroaching advertising content. I prefer to see the advertising integrated, probably through sponsored content, into the screens. There are really great ways to achieve this and we’ll start to trial some of these things during the AFL season.”

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NOT TO IRRITATE OR ANNOY

At the heart of the content strategy is the MCG’s desire to engage the game-day patrons and entice them to return. Within that, Lisa realises she and her agency need to take their advertisers on a journey of education.

Lisa Trainor: “We don’t want to irritate and annoy. With all of these additional screens it’s easy to load them up with more advertising. Yes, I’m the head of commercial here at the MCG and I have an obligation to make a return on these assets, but we’re resolute, from the CEO down, that we don’t want to annoy or irritate our patrons. Rather, we want to engage and delight our fans. Everything we do on our vision boards is about engagement. We want fans to keep coming back and enjoying their sport at the MCG.”

DigitalSignage: So we won’t simply see re-runs of TV advertising on a larger scale then? Lisa Trainor: “No. Over the last two or three years there’s been a gradual move away from the 30-second TVC over to a more seamless integration of sponsored content. I’m referring to advertisers sponsoring a celebration of moments — kicking goals, reaching a milestone — as well as on-screen games and competitions. It’s about engagement with the fan rather than simply


putting TVCs up on the screen. Like I mentioned, the commercialisation of these assets is my job, so it’s a fine line between raising money to pay for these assets and not annoying our patrons.” DigitalSignage: If you’re not taking TV’s advertising cues, where are you taking them from?

Lisa Trainor: “We’ll take cues from online display advertising, I’m thinking about social media ads I’m seeing; or the way broadcasters are integrating sponsors into their programming. So, for example, you may get a message via social media on the way to the game, you may then encounter concourse activity as you enter — there might be a competition or a game of skill against your mates or your family you can interact with. You’ll then get into the bowl and there might be a reinforcement of that message on the vision boards, and you might be able to interact with content on the vision board via your handheld device. From there, it might direct you to an outlet where you can sample a product or see a promotion. So the idea is to really engage the patron, without annoying them, or noiseblasting them. FANS FIRST

The MCG is all about ‘the experience’, and it makes sense for that philosophy to infiltrate the advertising. Lisa Trainor: “It’s about putting the fans first. Our primary motivation is to give people more reasons to consume their live footy and cricket more often — to keep coming back.

“Don’t forget, most people have a hi-def big screen in their living room, and are pulling down stats, odds or Supercoach figures from their smartphone.

Or they’re doing something similar in a pub with their mates. We have to step up to compete. DigitalSignage: And you’re saying you don’t compete by using screens like a domestic telly?

Lisa Trainor: “To compete we don’t want to blast you with a load of advertising ‘white noise’. We still want to have those advertisers here, the MCG is a great channel for advertisers, but it’s got to be more authentic. And we’ll explain that to advertisers, how they can integrate their campaign, here at the MCG, rather than going with the easy option of the 15- or 30-second TVC. THE IPTV ANSWER

IPTV has become the logical way of addressing a large number of displays with a whole host of content — signage, free-to-air/pay TV, and/or in-house video footage. As the name suggests, each display is an ‘end point’ on a network with its own IP address. As such, each screen can be addressed individually. It’s powerful and endlessly customisable.

“We have hundreds of TVs that have been linked to IPTV, and we’re in the process or rolling out hundreds more, again, all linked. They’ll be standalone screens, ‘gladiator’ walls, projections, and LED on the parapets (the hoarding fascia boards facing the pitch). You’ll walk into the bowl on a Richmond home game and see that tribal yellow and black everywhere — you’ll know you’re at a Richmond home game. The next day you’ll know you’re at a Magpies game, and then Demons.

DAKTRONICS BIG-SCREEN FACTS The Daktronics DVX-15HD Outdoor Video Display is: 13.2m (H) x 25.3m (W). Each display comprises: 2484 individual modules (each module is 365.76mm square). The DVX modules are fully-sealed, IP67 rated and housed in Daktronics ‘cabinets’ for quick installation. The components allow for redundant signal and quick swap for ongoing maintenance. The installation process started the Monday after the 2013 AFL Grand Final. The new screens were operational by end of November and final practical completion on 13 December in time for the Boxing Day Test. Daktronics was able to clear the existing advertising hoardings (many, many tonnes), employ as much of the existing structure as possible, lay down 3000sqm of pitch protection to bring in a 125t crane to put screen cabinets in place, then ‘assemble’ the screen using ropes and pulleys. The ingenuity and project management of the installation saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. Daktronics Australia: (02) 9453 4600 or www.daktronics.com

DigitalSignage: But if you’re talking about hundreds of screens, they’ll no doubt assume different purposes?

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Lisa Trainor: “That’s right. Some screens will obviously show the game itself — ideal if you’re in a queue, or a retail outlet. Some screens will be used for operational efficiencies — “there are no seats on Level 4”, for example — which will help with navigating around the venue. And some screens will have commercial content. BIG TICKET

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Smaller displays are a potent force in such numbers. But it’s impossible to underestimate the power of a true leviathan. And the new Daktronics vision boards fit that description to a ’T’. The screens undeniably become the prime focus between overs, after a goal or at quarter time. There’s a huge visceral thrill being part of a vast throng and the big screen has the power to calm crowds, inform and entertain. As Lisa points out, it’s all about the content strategy. But to be truly engaging and interactive these days, you need to strike up a conversation with your fans via their smartphones.

Lisa Trainor: “We need wi-fi. At the moment, if you go to a big game at the MCG it’s tricky to use the 3G and 4G network. We’re working side by side with our IT & Innovation department to investigate full-scale wi-fi here. It’ll take pressure off the 3/4G network and allow us to create authentic/engaging content pieces with our advertisers and allow people to use their devices as easily as they would at home.” DigitalSignage: Ah, yes, that win/win transaction: you give me free wi-fi, and I’ll ‘give’ you my smartphone. Lisa Trainor: “And the next logical step with that transaction is: what we do with all that metadata? We’re also exploring that now. We don’t just want that information to sit idly in a CRM system. We know there’s value in that data, and we’ve got to unlock that for our stakeholders and for ourselves.

“It’s a great journey that we’re on, and great to be in a commercial role at the front and centre of it all.”  14

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Retail:

Big Screen Marketing Experiences: Creating the Wow Factor Gaye is an experienced marketing professional, having launched her career in marketing in FMCG working for a multinational Reckitt & Colman for 10 years, followed by stints at McDonald’s (as National Marketing Manager), Telstra and Church & Dwight. Gaye is now relishing the challenges of agency life in her role as Marketing Director for GuihenJones (retail communications agency). She is also an accomplished Academic Lecturer in Marketing & Advertising.

Story: Gaye Steel

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t’s a world where we are constantly seeking the next wow. And with the proliferation of hi-def displays, the shopper is no longer wowed by just another screen on the wall.

The industry is headed toward creating big screen participation marketing experiences using huge video walls and large screens with motion sensors, touch, gesture, virtual aisles and augmented reality to engage the consumer in experiences that get the shopper off their pocket screen.

Video walls have been around for a while, with expectations still growing. Consumers are intrigued by their size and presence, however a few years ago those same consumers were not so much intrigued as mesmerised by them. Today, video walls have to create experiences to draw people in. The ‘wow’ factor is still a key objective for retailers, airports, stadiums, universities, restaurants and other venues. Experience will be paramount.

As the seams between large-screen displays shrink, the opportunity for further creativity grows, and it’s no longer just about disseminating information. People want high-impact digital signage. Retailers want to redesign their store environments so they can set themselves apart from their competition and establish industry leadership.

Creative video walls immerse consumers into brands and into the stores themselves. Just about any industry or organisation trying to establish a brand impression is ripe for a video wall. Walk into any major inner city building and you will see that corporate offices and their lobbies want to express creativity, display advanced technology and espouse leadership. A first handshake with a prospect or partner often happens in front of a video wall. TECH SAVVY

Grandeur is at stake here. So is brand-building. The retail environment is primed for the creation of an awe-inspiring video wall. Just look at the large video wall at AT&T’s flagship store Michigan Avenue Chicago, unique among telecom retailers featuring an 18-foot high interactive video wall that’s visible to passersby at street-level. With a goal to humanise technology and the AT&T brand in a way that is fun, interactive,

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and approachable, the store’s more than 150 video monitors weave technology throughout the space to create a dynamic brand canvas. Video technology provides visual backdrops specific to each area of the store and each lifestyle presentation. An 18-foot high interactive video wall, located along the Michigan Avenue side of the store can be used for product presentations or two-player games, while video ‘blades’ 12 feet high subdivide and identify the store’s Experience Platform areas.

Employing the latest technology at point of sale is nothing new but the trend has gone from merely ringing up sales via mobile devices to a deeply immersive in-store experience — fully digitised but crucially featuring that face-toface element.

AN INTERACTIVE WORLD

Smartphones, tablets, laptops and other ‘smart ’ communications devices are driving a truly interactive society. That interactivity involves one of the most fundamental of human senses, touch.

In the past, interaction was passive: Digital screens displayed content with a call to action — buy this burger for $0.99, for example. But now the interaction is active and physical, between a consumer and their device. Still, it’s more than just interacting with a device. Today the interaction could be using

NFC (near-field communications), augmented reality or other technologies to connect one’s device to a large digital screen or video wall.

That’s where multi-touch technologies come to the fore — giving the ability for several people to be interacting with the same large canvas concurrently. Laser, infrared, overlays and camera-based touch systems can facilitate that experiential opportunity. Consumers want the wow factor; they want to feel, touch and interact with brands. In the past, where brands would implement video walls to make a huge splash, they will now look at how they go beyond just the walls. Brands will touch-enable those video walls to connect with customers in immersive, experiential ways.


The Magazine for Audiovisual Professionals

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Eye Popping Pills A smart kiosk-style product finder for Chemmart

In Action

Sumo Visual Group: (03) 8290 0500 or www.sumovisualgroup.com.au

Vitamins and supplements are huge business. How do you like your multivitamins? Do you like them gummy for kids? Do you like them restoring you overnight for men? How about that special blend for 50+? Do you like them ‘mini’, or with added fish oil, or krill, or with an ‘energy boost’? Choose wisely, because these babies aren’t cheap. And if you get it wrong, your body will just flush them out — ‘expensive wee’, as some GPs like to call it.

It’s an elegant solution: the 22-inch digital signage touchscreen allows customers to browse for a product by condition or brand, or search directly. Each product has a picture and a description to assist customers in choosing the right solution for their problem. Once selected, the LED lighting flashes where the product is located and the customer can immediately locate it and move to the counter for purchase.

If you’re a bit confused — it’s enough to make you reach for a tub of St John’s Wort — then you’re not alone. Here’s a stat for you: According to the Vestcom Vitamin Shopper Study (July, 2012) 58% of vitamin and mineral shoppers have experienced confusion resulting from lack of information provided at the shelf edge. Digital signage to the rescue!

Chemmart Pharmacy staff are trained and encouraged to show new customers how to use the touchscreen system and if the screen is in idle mode, it has the capacity to play supplier advertisements.

Chemmart Pharmacy along with Sumo Visual Group, went about developing a solution that would assist customers in finding the right vitamin as well as highlight the product to make it easy for them to locate on the shelf. According to Chemmart Executive Director Jonathan Layton there are two types of shopper that need assistance, firstly “The shopper who knows what product they want but cannot locate it and, secondly, the shopper who understands their health problem but doesn’t know what product to buy”. Based on this information, the Interactive Natural Medicines Wall was born — a retrofit design that incorporates an interactive touchscreen and LED lighting effects that give customers the power to source product information and locate products immediately.

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Mr Layton said that there has been an overwhelming response to the wall so far. “The system tracks and reports on every screen touch, providing powerful consumer behaviour insights,” he said. The analytics — including product, brand and session behaviour — as well as feedback from the client and the customer, have illustrated overwhelmingly positive results. So far the results have shown that around 60% of customers who use the technology end up selecting a product. This has lifted the GP percentage margin by 4% according to scan sales data for the period Nov 2013 – Jan 2014. Based on these results, Chemmart is rolling this system out across Australia (250 sites in all) to assist shoppers in finding the right vitamin in an easy and interactive manner. The Interactive Natural Medicines Wall won a 2014 Global Point of Purchase Advertising International (POPAI) Award in Dusseldorf, in the Permanent Professional Healthcare Category. 


Super Popup Colonial First State camp in mall with seamless wall.

In Action

TR Vidcom: 1800 843 266 or www.videowallsaustralia.com.au Wunderman Australia: (02) 9776 1700 or www.wunderman.com.au

Another win for digital signage in retail mall popups. You’re looking at a two-sided, 18-panel video wall in Queen’s Plaza Shopping Centre in the heart of Brisbane. The interactive display (supplied by TR Vidcom) was popped up last September and ticked boxes — engaging passing traffic and capturing attention. Wunderman Australia created special content for its client Colonial First State to match the screen ratio, running on both sides of the Video Wall installation, to maximise exposure to the passing shoppers. Wunderman Senior Account Director Simon Sheedy commented on the inventive idea, saying, “The brief was an innovative concept for Queens Plaza and Colonial First State, Wunderman and TR Vidcom rose to the challenge with help from Junior delivering a truly interactive experience for Queens Plaza shoppers”. TR Vidcom is the Australian distributor of LG’s Seamless Plasma Video Wall panels, which are available in 42-inch and 60-inch diagonal size. These can form video walls of 420-inch diagonal size (10 metres) and beyond.

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The Seamless Plasma Video Wall panels have no edge bezel, so the panels meet glass-on-glass. This means no black plastic line between the panels to distract from your content. Each Video Wall array has one input (DVI or HDMI), so there is no need to split your content upstream of the video wall — it all happens in the panels themselves. Your content can be created as one seamless graphic, allowing you full creative control. TR Vidcom’s Video Walls can be seen in many places, such as Star City Casino’s foyer and the Burberry concept stores, as well as on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, Seven’s Sunrise, and Fox Sport’s The Back Page. At Queen’s Plaza, the build and de-rig took place afterhours to minimise any disruption to the public, and for the whole month of September, the Video Wall attracted favourable comments from the retailers and Centre Management for its versatility and effectiveness. 


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Seifert mtm Systems – precision air conditioning for Digital Signage Enclosures. Designed to keep your screen cool and operating at optimum performance. Seifert air conditioning incorporates filterless technology. No need to change filter mats means less maintenance, and less down time. Cooling capacities range from 200watt to 2600watt. Seifert also offer heat exchangers, heaters and fan systems – complete thermal solutions.

www.seifertsystems.com.au

Get Your Own Do you work in the digital signage sector and would you like to secure your own copy of DigitalSignage? It’s easy, log onto our website and register. It’s free.

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DIGITAL DEXTERITY The Digital Wall is not your average shopping mall big screen. Story: Christopher Holder Photos: Peter Bennetts

C

entral Park is a huge $2b urban development. Frasers Property and Sekisui House have taken the old brewery site and turned the prime inner west central Sydney location into a hub for young urban types to eat, live, play and shop. Situated at the heart of Central Park is ‘Central’, a multi-level vertical mall boasting sustainable architecture, unique designs and features. Complementing the dynamic, arty atmosphere is The Digital Wall. Actually, digital wall, undersells this installation somewhat, the indoor interactive LED screen is the largest of its kind in a retail precinct in the world. Designed by internationally renowned lighting expert Bruce Ramus, the permanent installation fuses art, technology and design — which just about describes the whole Central Park development. A NOSE FOR THE LED

Bruce Ramus was originally approached by the centre’s creative agency BMF. BMF knew it wanted a ‘Digital Wall’ for engaging content and interactivity but it was Ramus Illumination that took the idea and ran with it.

Bruce Ramus: “The first thing I did was change the viewing distance. With a screen this large you want the ideal viewing distance to be further than the area around the lift entrance. We positioned the kiosk [where patrons interact with the screen] on the other side of a void 18 metres away. At that distance, LED was the only practical technology to use. LED also meant we could do without the seams you get between displays.”

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Bruce and his team then got to work generating the content — 12 videos and three games. The video content is immersive, beautiful even; while the game apps are surprisingly challenging for a large-format public display.

Bruce Ramus: “We collaborated with a video gaming company, Current Circus, to develop three different apps. To play, each game requires the player to ‘donate’ their heartbeat via a sensor. From there you can play Muse, for example, where you travel through space collecting organic agents that help you amass different instruments to create a song.”

Another one of the four app uses the kiosk’s Kinekt sensor to allow you to collect objects as you move or dance.

Most shopping centres use a screen simply to sell as if the giant screen were the same as a home television

Let’s be clear, these aren’t games for toddlers, they’re aimed at uni students or older hipsters. They’re funky, and in their own way, challenging — not Diablo III-challenging, but more than a digital creche for kids.

There are four cameras recessed into the lighting trough above the screen which will provide further interactivity, but haven’t been activated yet. Bruce describes how the cameras map the area around the lifts for traffic and then casts those people’s shadows onto the screens — guaranteed to get attention. Bruce Ramus: “We call it ‘reflective content’: it reflects the environment where the installation sits.” As we went to press, the Digital Wall demonstrated some of its versatility. Central is a playground for university students and O Week is one of the more pivotal periods of the year. Social

The Digital Wall in full-blown O Week mode, hosting Instagram pics to accompany the cheerleading. (Opposite) The wall displaying Ramus video content with the kiosk and sensor for donating your heartbeat clearly visible.


MORE ABOUT THE INSTALLATION The 38sqm screen uses 154 customised LED panels and 2 million LEDs. The wall is draped around the centre’s elevators. Big Screen Projects supplied and installed the screen. VisionX supplied and designed the hardware behind the big screen. Working with Ramus Illumination, VisionX put together a deceptively sophisticated rig. Running much of the interactivity is a kiosk (the chassis designed by Thomas Creative) with a NEC 32-inch touchscreen that triggers content via a interface that deals directly with the Spinetix Elementi media scheduling software, which itself talks to the Ramus custom content platform. A Spinetix HMP200 solid state media player makes the link between the Ramus media PC and Big Screen Projects’ Airled screen. Why the Spinetix player? Dion Tilley, VisionX’s project manager called it like this: “I’ve used HMP players for 10 years and I’ve never had one go down”. Allowing people to conduct their own ‘content orchestra’ via the kiosk wasn’t enough for Bruce Ramus’ team, they wanted more interactivity. Skirting the ceiling perimeter of the area is a lighting trough which also accommodates four Panasonic security-style cameras. These map the concourse in front of the screen and can change the content as people walk through that zone. There are also a series of microphones in the lighting trough that, again, can impact the content via voice activation. Finally, the trough also houses eight ElectroVoice Evid 3.2 surface mount speakers that provide audio for some of the content or promotions. Central Park: www.centralparksydney.com Big Screen Projects: www.bigscreenprojects.com.au VisionX Audio Visual: (02) 8070 9309 or www.visionx.com.au Ramus Illumination: www.ramus.com.au Thomas Creative: (02) 4226 2800 or www.thomascreative.com.au Madison Technologies (Spinetix): 1800 00 77 80 or www.madisontech.com.au NEC: 131 632 or www.nec.com.au

networks plays a big role. Ramus Illumination developed a custom Instagram app that allows students to take their photos and hashtag those photos, which are then (after the Central moderation team weeds out all the shots that are a danger to public decency!) displayed on The Digital Wall with the protagonist’s name. SIGN O’ THE TIMES

There’s no one aspect of The Digital Wall that has you slack-jawed with amazement, but in a dozen subtle ways it’s a significant evolution. Public displays are generally either an advertising billboard or an incessantly-looping foyer artwork. They’re rarely interactive. The Digital Wall is architectural, integrated, arty, edgy, interactive, commercially savvy, and always being updated. Indeed, with the development of affordable screen and interactive technologies this kind of entertainment experience — once only affordable to touring mega-stars — is now within reach of property developers wanting to establish a point of difference and a lightconnection to their audience.

Bruce Ramus: “Most shopping centres use a screen simply to sell as if the giant screen were the same as a home television. By doing so they miss a fundamental point about screens in public urban environments: people watch home televisions in a passive, usually seated, position. People experience shopping malls in motion, in an active environment. The Digital Wall recognises this and responds to the opportunity through gentle encouragement."  Digital Place-Based Media & Technology

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oOh! Week oOh!’s network of uni screens get interactive.

In Action

oOh! Media: www.oohmedia.com.au

Australia’s first integrated online and digital out-of-home content platform in the notoriously hard to reach tertiary education sector has launched recently across more than 50 universities nationally.

oOh! Chief Executive Officer, Brendon Cook, said allowing users to “hijack” the conversation was the key to creating unprecedented engagement, both on and off campus.

The innovative new Hijacked platform by Australia’s largest out-of-home media company, oOh! Media, is like a giant digital campus where every tertiary student in the country can hang-out and a discuss news, views and pop culture on campus, at home or when they are out and about.

“As there was nothing like it in the market, we set about developing a website for students by students, which gives them a place to publish their content to a national platform and amplify it through our increasing network of digital signage on campus,” Mr Cook said.

Written by students for students, the hottest content on hijacked.com.au at any given time will be amplified via oOh!’s Study network of digital billboards. In addition to content about politics, entertainment, arts, culture, technology and sport, Hijacked publishes event listings, exclusive student deals and an entirely student focused ‘My Future’ section to help prepare students for life in the real world. 

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“Two-thirds of our digital billboards on-screen content will come from the most popular articles on hijacked.com.au, which gives student contributors a way to share their content among an even wider audience. “With more than 100 digital screens in universities and plans to substantially increase this, we are delivering content that’s directly relevant to students in places where they spend most of their time.” 


Hijacked is operated by an independent editorial team, led by Managing Editor, Lisa Omagari, who most recently was an editor of street press title The Brag, and backed by an editorial team of writers and editors who also work with campus-specific student publications. Former News Corp. Australia senior marketer Danika Houghton also joins the Hijacked team as Marketing and Partnerships Manager.

“In Telstra, we have a founding partner who can help us further develop in relation to content and technology.” Telstra’s General Manager, Niche Segment Marketing, Alister Park, said the Hijacked multi-platform offering was a tremendous example of how technology could create greater connectivity. 

Mr Cook said Hijacked has already gained tremendous support from university partners, students and Australian corporates including founding partner Telstra and Australian retailer, Officeworks.

“The Hijacked platform demonstrates the increasingly vital role technology is playing in education and connectivity. It delivers a central spot for students from around Australia to come together, share their thoughts and gain useful and relevant information from their peers.

“Our commercial partners see Hijacked as an innovative channel that enables the tertiary student community to connect and share content on a national platform,” Mr Cook said.

“We’re thrilled to partner with oOh! and work together towards creating a brilliant connected future for uni students across the country,” Mr Park said. 

“It is being recognised by brands as a way to build a more personal connection with the hard to reach university audience.

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Seeing The Big Picture Singapore’s Suntec breaks big screen record with 664 LG hi-def displays.

In Action

Interactive Controls (Dataton): (02) 9436 3022 or www.interactivecontrols.com.au LG Electronics: (02) 8805 4409 or www.lg.com.au/commercial

Guiness World Records — more readily associated with hotdog eating contests, and very large pumpkins — has recognised something quite remarkable in the world of digital signage: the ‘Largest High Definition Video Wall’. Standing over 15 metres tall and 60 metres wide (a whopping 556sqm in all), ‘The Big Picture’ is located inside the main lobby and entrance to Singapore’s Suntec Exhibition and Convention Centre and is fast becoming a major attraction in and of itself. Combining 664 full HD LED screens from LG Electronics, The Big Picture boasts 84 times the resolution of full HD, or, if you like, 21 times that of Ultra High Definition resolution. Wrangling the content and managing the millions of pixels (32,051 pixels wide by 7941 pixels high!) for 16 hours each day, are 21 Watchout display servers from Dataton. The Big Picture acts as a standalone exhibit allowing a combination of multiple media such as still images, animations and video clips to be shown simultaneously or a single media image in native format to be displayed over the entire wall.

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Interactive features are integrated, with RFID tracking systems and sensors on the escalators located just in front of The Big Picture. With these integrated sensory systems, The Big Picture can be adapted to display welcome messages, or show specialised content alongside riders on the escalator from Levels 1 to 3.

SPECTACULAR SHOWCASE Mr Oh, Chief Research Engineer, LGE Commercial Display Marketing explains: “The Big Picture is controlled and operated by three major subsystems which are the video wall, playback, integration and control. Playback manages content and the principle of the design is to support ultra-high definition (UHD) media including 4K video clips and still images being managed by 21 Watchout display servers, serving 84 full HD outputs. “The integration and control system acts to control The Big Picture and servers, turning them on or off as required and scheduled. It also manages playback where a part of a show at a specific time can be selected or it can be used to manage interactive content.”


Image: courtesy of Suntec Singapore

DYNAMIC CONTENT Content for the system can be updated according to the exhibition taking place. It also uses a variety of ultra-high resolution content from Suntec Singapore and its advertisers. Lasanthi Bandara, Manager, Audio-visual Technology & Content at Suntec Singapore explains: “Watchout is being used to primarily display content on all 664 screens seamlessly. Content is also designed, animated, and produced within the Watchout system itself. There was no other feasible and scalable technology available in the market that could enable us to create such high definition display. Watchout was selected because of its primary capability to display synchronised content on multiple screens.” Bernard Ng, Digital Creative Curator at Suntec Singapore elaborates: “Audio, video and graphic content are used together to create spectacular showcases and presentations on The Big Picture. The design challenge here is simply the immense size of our entire screen. Producing and rendering videos and animations at this scale is incredible but potentially time consuming. However,

production time is greatly reduced by maximising Watchout’s ability in allowing us to create amazing content directly within the system itself. For content management, Watchout allows content to be stored and managed in media containers with auxiliary timelines. This allows my team to manually organise and manage content according to scheduling and requirements.”

ALL ABOUT THE WOW Operationally there are benefits to Suntec, such as reduced costs and increased advertising revenue that assist the centre’s bottom line. But let’s not kid ourselves, The Big Picture is all about the ‘wow’. Indeed, Suntec Singapore is delighted with its reception on multiple social media platforms (tagging Suntec Singapore as their check-in location), along with the newspaper and media coverage, as well as interest from filmmakers. 

Digital Place-Based Media & Technology

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3D CARRY ON

HARD-EARNED SCOREBOARD

Heathrow Airport has deployed Exceptional 3D’s patented auto-stereoscopic 3D display technology as part of a trial for assisting passengers through designated security areas. The project has introduced the glasses-free 3D solution to increase the eye-catching interest of travellers who pass through hand luggage security checkpoints prior to entering the boarding terminals. The 3D technology acts as a part of the security checkpoint process in an effort to reduce the amount of items that travellers have inadvertently packed in their ‘carry on’ which should be disposed of prior to boarding. Exceptional 3D hardware and software solutions enable flat-panel displays to show high-definition 3D content without the need for any eyewear or 3D glasses, while still being capable of supporting playback of standard 2D content.

You may have spotted the VB ‘live score’ promotion over the summer. As a tie-in, three super-sized displays were positioned in key locations in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and linked into the Live Ashes Scoreboards competition. LED-Signs supplied three 7.2m by 0.7m and three 3.2m x 0.7m, 31mm-pitch, outdoor, single-colour LED screens to display the live scores. The three billboard displays are an impressive 6m high by 15m wide and have been inspired by Adelaide Oval’s 100-year-old scoreboard. Critical to this project was the custom software development and an online hosting solution by LED-Signs. This system allows live scores from the Cricket Australia data feed to be displayed simultaneously on the three scoreboards. LED-Signs worked on this complex project with multiple stakeholders APN Outdoor, oOh! Media, MediaCom, Buzz Connected, Clemenger Group, Liquid Ideas and Carlton & United Breweries.

Exceptional 3D: www.exceptional3d.com

LED Signs: 1300 553 555 or led-signs.com.au

79% of smartphone owners are ‘smartphone shoppers’ — Google 2013 (USA)

AESTHETIC TOUCH: Advantech’s UTC-520 Interactive Signage Terminal come with a 21.5-inch TFT LCD display, looks great and fits comfortably on shelves and countertops for in-store display. The multi-functional terminal serves a wide variety of applications including retail and hospitality, selfservice, public services, healthcare, education, entertainment and corporate use. Interactive technology gives customers access to dynamic, realtime information, serving them better and keeping businesses competitive by allowing them to present branded content 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Full HD capability motivates and increases customer awareness. UTC520 is slim with a pure-flat display and

NEWS:

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a noise-free, fanless design; it is customisable to meet specific needs and it supports a choice of embedded Linux or embedded Windows 7/8 operating systems. Advantech: (03) 9797 0100 or www.advantech.net.au HAIVISION 4K PLAYER: has recently showcased 4K display support powered by the CoolSign digital signage system. Haivision demonstrated the new CoolSign Display Engine with support for ultra high 4K resolution, as well as its latest solutions for digital signage and integrated live video. The CoolSign Display Engine appliance is a faster, smaller and more powerful digital

signage player for Haivision’s CoolSign digital signage system. Designed for corporate communications and large public facilities, such as stadiums and universities, the new signage player has the power to support up to four 1080p regions with a ticker simultaneously or a single 4k (3840x2160) region, and can drive two independent HDMI outputs. IDT: 1300 666 099 or www.idt.com.au TRIPLEPLAY & PHILIPS IP HOSPITALITY: Tripleplay has become one of the first hospitality TV solution developers to implement a stable and high quality hotel user portal solution without a set top box (STB) onto Philips’


BOWLED OVER BY SIGNAGE

CAREERING UNDER CONTROL

St Johns Park Bowling Club in Sydney’s outer west have just completed a major transformation including a modern refurbishment and the installation of a digital touchscreen. While overseeing the Club’s transformation, CEO David Marsh needed to devise a solution that provided access to all the information necessary to the bowling community, yet didn’t call for the unsightly noticeboards which no longer suited the Club’s new look and feel. The solution was a large interactive touchscreen where all relevant notices, fixtures, photos and forms are available at the touch of a button from a single location. The digital information system even allows visitors to print on demand and email or share information directly from the screen. Club Marketing Manager, Debbie Marsden worked closely with digital marketing specialist Instorevision, which provided the software integration and assisted in designing the touchscreen interface. “Our CEO, board, staff and players are delighted with the large touchscreen in our new Bowls and Sports Lounge. Everything about bowls is available at the touch of a button. Players can even print off tournament information and entry forms or email them to friends”, says Debbie. In addition to the club’s visitors being able to operate the screen, the bowls office and marketing department is also able to update the screen’s content internally on demand. “Not only does it look fantastic, but having all information in one place reduces paper and clutter in our new lounge as well as in our offices”, Debbie says.

Swinburne University and agency Hello I’m Venus joined with oOh! to develop a campaign which sees consumers themselves become the ‘star of the ad’ in a move to promote the wide range of courses Swinburne has on offer. Swinburne’s ‘star in an ad’ campaign was a first in Australia — using digital technology to invite consumers to have their photo taken from an in-centre activation, which is digitally overlaid onto their chosen ‘career background’ and then broadcast across all portrait digital panels in Westfield Doncaster and Chadstone shopping centres. oOh!’s Commercial Director Sales — Retail, Blair Hamilford said the campaign makes the most of digital technology, engaging with shoppers one-on-one while impacting thousands within the retail environment. “Everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame and by offering people the chance to become a star in their own ad, we are creating a deeper connection with the target audience” Mr Hamilford said. “This connection is then broadcast to thousands of shoppers and has the ability to be shared virally on social media, with participants wanting to show their friends. “This campaign is a fun, eye-catching way to build awareness and familiarity of Swinburne and the courses it offers.” The ‘star in an ad’ campaign will be seen by over half a million shoppers at each shopping centre in close proximity to the University catchment area, during the key time for university preference selection.

oOH! Media: www.oohmedia.com.au

Instorevision: 0421 960 182 or craig_burnard@instorevision.com.au

76% of shopping decisions are made in store — POPAI

range of hospitality smart TVs as an IP-only system. Already implemented in several sites across the world, the Tripleplay TripleChoice Portal for Philips Smart Hospitality TVs was demonstrated at the 2013 Philips Partner Conference in Budapest late 2013. Combining Tripleplay’s world renowned reliability and exceptional user experience with the modern and stylish Philips TV design, the solution gives hoteliers around the world another option and the chance to adopt a STB-less environment without losing any quality of TV service. Tripleplay: www.tripleplay-services.com

YCD RETAIL PLAYER: YCD Multimedia has a new player aimed at in-store marketing. YCD|LivePlayer allows retailers to deploy in-store digital signage by leveraging the latest Android-based players and tablets and smart displays. YCD|LivePlayer 1.0 will be available in two editions: an Android application available, and as a downloadable player for Samsung Displays with SMART Signage Platform (SSP), the latter operating on the display’s built-in SSP engine without the need for any player hardware. Both editions are managed by YCD|RAMP – YCD’s browser-based Retail Advertising and Merchandising Platform –

which uses smart templates to create effective call-for-action content. YCD: www.ycdmultimedia.com BARIX GIVES SCREEN A VOICE: Barix has launched a nifty solution that combines a proprietary smartphone app (called Barix Audio Point) that prompts consumers to scan a QR Code for stream access, which provides relevant audio content in sync with on-screen video. The Barix solution can work with any digital signage player, with Barix encoding and streaming highquality audio through access points near each screen. Those access points enable the Wi-Fi connection

that delivers audio to mobile devices in perfect harmony with video playing out on screens. Multichannel audio capacity additionally supports multiple streams, allowing retailers to provide audio signage content in several languages. Barix: www.barix.com

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WHO’S WHO:

YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR DIGITAL SIGNAGE

3M AUSTRALIA 136 136 www.3M.com/touch AERIS SOLUTIONS - Just Digital Signage (03) 9544 6902 www.justdigitalsignage.com.au ADVANTECH AUSTRALIA (03) 9797 0100 www.advantech.com

AMBER TECHNOLOGY (02) 9452 8600 www.ambertech.com.au

AMX Australia (07) 5531 3103 5 Commercial Drive Southport, Qld 4215 info@amxaustralia.com.au www.amxaustralia.com.au AMX is synonymous with networking and control systems. Not surprisingly AMX has entered the digital signage industry in its own right (after all, AMX supply a huge amount of gear for everyone else’s DOOH) and have on offer two products. Inspired Xpress is for smaller or simpler installations with a ‘tiny’ media player called the Is-Xpress-1000. The integrated software is comprehensive, yet straightforward and intuitive enough to cater to clients to get their screens up and running quickly with a minimum of servicing the message afterwards. Inspired Xpert is – as you might guess – a more serious DOOH product with better options like HD broadcasting that, among many other extras, takes advantage of those system command and control devices that AMX has in other corners of the warehouse to provide fully-blown large networks. Plus with Inspired XPert customers have access to custom content development and content management services from AMX.

AVICO (02) 9624 7977 www.avico.com.au

sales@commandaustralia.com.au www.commandaustralia.com.au Command is a specialist digital signage and wayfinding supplier, installer and technology partner. Command is the distributor of the successful Navori digital signage software, a multi-user, multi-site management and screen display software, now including the low cost Android hardware player. Navori is a technically advanced solution suitable for all types of installations from Small Business to Enterprise as either a self-hosted or SAAS system. As a technical partner, Command can provide full supply, project management and installation for the deployment of digital signage systems for corporate, government, hospital, education, small business, retail, stadium and specialist requirements. Command’s product range includes Wayfinding, GlassVu projection films, RoomManager software, kiosks, video extenders, LED displays, media players and a range of mini computers. With 11 years specialising in digital signage, Command’s experience is guaranteed to leave their customers satisfied and productive. In summary, Command is your one stop shop for digital signage solutions and interactive displays.

COMMUNITECH (07) 3205 6188 www.communitech.com.au

COMMAND DIGITAL SIGNAGE Unit 2, 30 Park Road Mulgrave, NSW, 2756 Level 2, 22 Township Drive Burleigh Heads, QLD, 4213 1300 780 204

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DYNAMIC VISUAL SOLUTIONS (02) 9431 6070 www.dynamicvisualsystems.com.au ESCENTIA 1300 729 866 www.escientia.com.au FUJITSU DIGITAL MEDIA SOLUTIONS (03) 9924 3468 www.fujitsu.com.au

GENCOM (AUSTRALIA) (02) 9888 8208 www.gencom.com

Daktronics Australia Pty Ltd LED display manufacturer Suite 108, Ground Floor, 18 Rodborough Rd Frenchs Forest, NSW 2087 +61 2 9453 4600 Blair.robertson@daktronics.com www.daktronics.com Since 1968, Daktronics has been reinventing the way you display. We are the world’s industry leader in designing and manufacturing electronic scoreboards, programmable display systems and large screen video displays. It’s our passion to continuously provide the highest quality standard display products as well as custom-designed and integrated systems.

BAYVIEW TECHNOLOGIES 03 9462 4077 www.bayviewtech.com.au CISCO SYSTEMS (02) 8446 5000 www.cisco.com/go/dms

DAT Media creating a complete digital media network for BIG W that now includes in-store radio, digital signage, register Point Of Sale (POS) and a customer queuing solution that reduces the frustration of being caught in a long – or even wrong – queue. DAT Media expanded rapidly as they claimed some serious scalps for clients – among them Coles, Target and ABC Shops. DAT Media offer a comprehensive Content Management System and can assist new clients in broadcasting material across existing networks such as those mentioned above or will help you create a complete digital signage network from the ground up. They also have a Creative Services department that can take the hassle out of putting everything together.

DAT MEDIA (07) 5575 7798 Ground Floor, 183 Varsity Parade Varsity Lakes Qld 4227 sales@datmedia.com.au www.datmedia.com.au DAT Media was established in 2003 to manage BIG W’s national in-store radio network. With over 15 years experience within the in-store media industry, Managing Director Andrew Becker was quick to notice the emergence of digital signage advertising within the retail sector. He began focusing on creating a visual media solution for current and future clients to harness the power of what was still back then a developing media. The strategy resulted in

HARRIS CORPORATION (02) 9975 9700 www.harris.com HERMA TECHNOLOGIES (03) 9480 6233 www.herma.com.au HEWLETT-PACKARD 1300 305 017 www.hp.com.au

IMAGE DESIGN TECHNOLOGY (IDT) 1300 666 099 Unit 2, 33-35 Alleyne Street, Chatswood Nsw 2057 Sales@idt.com.au www.idt.com.au Image Design Technology (IDT) is based in Chatswood, NSW and operates primarily as a wholesale supplier of signal distribution equipment and commercial video displays including, of course, digital signage devices. Among a long list of products IDT is the distributor of Brightsign solid state digital signage devices and Magenta signal distribution solutions. Displays include NEC and Samsung screens. IDT doesn’t have any one particular digital signage service or software application to which they align themselves to – it doesn’t have its ‘own’ complete digital signage solution aside from the Brightsign products – instead, IDT’s specialty is in providing from its catalogue of preferred manu-


facturers of display and monitor screens, media players, streaming video over IP, matrix and signal distribution boxes – you name it, to get the job done. Have a look at the credits for any major project undertaken in Australia during the last few years and you’ll probably find IDT has been involved somewhere along the line.

INNOVATEQ (03) 9465 5055 www.innovateq.com.au INSTOREVISION 0412 960182 www.instorevision.com.au/digital-signage/

interactive controls

pty ltd

INTERACTIVE CONTROLS (02) 9436 3022 www.interactivecontrols.com.au Interactive Controls (IC) offers a variety of services to customers from consultation to sales, hire and installation of display and control system equipment and software. They also design and develop media and hardware control systems for specific events, installations, film and commercial shoots, exhibitions, museums... okay, you get the picture. Medialon and Dataton hardware and software products get the nod from Interactive Controls and for digital signage in particular IC offers the Medialon show and media control software and embedded controllers along with Dataton Watchout and Medialon MIP HD Interactive Media Player. There is also the Medialon Scheduler application, which allows control of multiple venues and screens from a central server. Given Interactive Controls’ wide experience in installing innovative display systems it can help you choose the best way to deliver your vision and with Medialon’s strong history in show control systems, IC will no doubt have a neat trick or two to suggest

JEA Technologies Pty Ltd 03 9757 5060 44-48 Rocco Drive Scoresby, Vic 3179 sales@jeatech.com.au www.jeatech.com.au JEA Technologies has partnered with leading manufacturers of electronic peripherals and display products from around the globe and supplies these products to customers in Australia and New Zealand. Our customers can rely on JEA to work with them to carefully select and supply the most appropriate products for their needs, ensuring that these products meet our customer’s technical and commercial requirements, and to support these products over their life span.  JEA’s Display products include Very High Brightness LCD’s, in sizes up to 72in and 5000cd/m² ( nits),  Stretched LCD’s, Multi-Touch Tables and Multi-Touch application software, Touch screen sensors and touch screen monitors, with particular emphasis on Projected Capacitive Touch technologies, Panel PC’s, Digital Signage PC’s and Industrial Grade Wireless modems.  JEA customers are mainly systems integrators and re-sellers. JEA supplies these customers with high levels of technical support, pre-and post-sales, as well as warranty and non-warranty support and service from our Melbourne offices and workshop. JEA also stocks in depth allowing customers to source products at short notice.

ISIGNPAK (02) 9457 6945 www.isignpak.com

for impressing your audience. KVM AUSTRALIA (08) 9411 6333 www.kvm.com.au

LED-SIGNS 1300 553 555 www.led-signs.com.su INTERACTIVITY 1300 797 199 Level 1, 1268 - 1270 High Street Armadale, VIC, 3143 sales@interactivity.com.au www.interactivity.com.au In 2004 Interactivity was set up as a result of a partnership between F1 Software to develop the Interactivity foil which enables any window to become fully interactive ‘through the glass’ by allowing anyone, using their finger, to interact with a rear projected image or screen behind the glass. Interactivity is now embedded in this emerging popular industry of Interactive and Digital Signage and associated products. Its products and services are known for reliability, functionality and most importantly our ability to future proof the technology we deliver.

LG ELECTRONICS (02) 8805 4409 www.lg.com.au

more than 16 years of market experience, an extensive product range and a national team of over 100 staff, Madison Technologies is a company providing complete communications solutions. Madison’s main expertise lies in its massive catalogue of electronic goods, from enormous rolls of cabling to the smallest bits and pieces. Madison is the Australian agent for a wide range of products that are used in the digital signage business; names such as SpinetiX and 3M to mention just a few. Australian owned and operated, recently Madison Technologies was awarded a $1 million contract to provide custom manufactured low voltage copper cable and fibre optic cable for Airport Link in Queensland, the second largest infrastructure project the city of Brisbane has seen. It doesn’t mean they won’t help you out finding a 0.99 cent fuse though.

MITSUBISHI ELECTRIC (02) 9684 7777 www.mitsubishielectric.com.au

MOOD MEDIA AUSTRALIA 1800 808 368 www.moodmedia.com.au

NEC AUSTRALIA 131 632 Level 14, 141 Walker Street North Sydney, NSW  2060 displays@nec.com.au www.nec.com.au NEC Live is NEC’s leading digital signage solution that lets you distribute dynamic video, images, text and more to display screens anywhere, anytime. With NEC Live you are empowered to dynamically display digital content across your network on NEC Commercial LCD panels based upon the individual schedules for each panel. The NEC Live user interface is easy to use, yet with the power and flexibility that is only limited by your imagination to achieve your communication objectives with your target audience. The NEC Live solution includes a range of commercial grade LCD panels offering full high definition performance and many supporting technologies to address the most demanding digital signage applications. Whether it be reliability over an operating cycle of 24 hours x 7 days, or an ultra narrow bezel for a video wall or ensuring that content is visible when an LCD panel is in an location heavy with sunlight, NEC has the LCD commercial panel to ensure you maximise your communications to your target audience.

PANASONIC AUSTRALIA 02 9491 740 www.panasonic.com.au MADISON TECHNOLOGIES Specialist AV Division 1800 00 77 80 Australia wide avexperts@madisontech.com.au www.madisonthech.com.au Madison Technologies specialises in the supply of communications infrastructure products for the Professional Broadcast, Audio Visual, Building Services and Telecommunications Industries. With Digital Place-Based Media & Technology

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WHO’S WHO:

YOUR GO-TO GUIDE FOR DIGITAL SIGNAGE as well as customised hardware and data integration development, there is an abundance of local knowledge to tap into.

PLAYCOM (02) 8815 6600 22/89 Jones Street, Ultimo info@playcom.com.au www.playcom.com.au Today Playcom operates throughout Australia and beyond with hundreds of commercial sites connected to its services. Playcom has moved beyond just music but the vision is unchanged: to provide top quality digital media entertainment solutions to businesses. In achieving this vision, Playcom has developed enormous content libraries, unique customisation techniques, unrivalled delivery technology and super-reliable hardware.

QUINTO COMMUNICATIONS (02) 9894 4244 www.quinto.com.au

SALIENT INFORMATION SYSTEMS (02) 93135111 www.salient.com.au

SONY AUSTRALIA 33-39 Talavera Road North Ryde NSW 2113 1800 017 669 sales@sony.com.au Sony Professional Solutions meet an increasing demand from customers to provide a fully integrated solution. Sony understands your requirements and high standards. With an eye for the finest detail, we can deliver the latest digital technologies, professional consulting and a wealth of valuable experience. It’s this complete product and market understanding that has made the Sony brand a trusted and recognised force in today’s competitive environment. Sony’s range of solutions and technologies allow organisations to meet the challenges of both today and into the future. We help businesses leverage the latest digital technologies to solve problems, take advantage of opportunities and enhance enterprise workflow by improving efficiencies and productivity across a wide variety of market areas. Each solution follows a consistent workflow from conception to completion.

THE SCREENMEDIA GROUP (02) 8090 6565 www.thescreenmediagroup.com SHARP AUSTRALIA 1300 13 55 30 www.sharp.net.au

SAMSUNG 1300 362603 8 Parkview Drive Homebush, NSW 2127 sales@samsung.com www.samsung.com Samsung’s digital signage is centred on its Large Format Display (LFD) range, a screen with chameleon characteristics in its role as the basis for all Samsung’s DOOH products. There is a straightforward model that can be used either stand-alone in portrait or landscape mode or as a part of a limited multi-screen display. A slightly different UD model can be linked with up to 250 units for a wall of vision. There is a Touchscreen version including an outdoor type with features to withstand the elements and a specialised uVending model for installing in the front of vending machines. MagicInfo is Samsung’s proprietary software for content control and creations. Samsung’s PROM system is already taking DOOH solutions along the fast-developing path of providing audience statistics to tailor the signage content. A wide dynamic range (WDR) camera embedded discreetly somewhere in the installation captures and recognises faces to determine who is actually watching the screen. PROM can either just collate the information for market analysis or actively change the display according to who is viewing it. It’s both clever and almost scary ‘big brother’ stuff. We’re assured these systems are completely anonymous. Still, maybe keep one hand on your wallet.

SONY AUSTRALIA 1800 017669 www.sony.com.au STREAMING MEDIA (02) 9460 0877 www.streamingmedia.net.au

STREAMVISION PTY LTD 1300 300 407 www.streamvision.com.au

SUMO VISUAL GROUP (03) 8290 0500 sales@sumovisualgroup.com.au www.sumovisualgroup.com.au

Digital Place-Based Media & Technology

TECHTEL (02) 9906 1488 www.techtel.tv

TELSTRA 1300 835 782 www.telstraenterprise.com

VISION2WATCH (02) 9502 4800 www.vision2watch.com.au sales@vision2watch.com.au As part of Vision2Watch global, Vision2Watch Australia is locally owned and operated. We deliver a range of out-of-home (OOH) Interactive and Digital Solutions to transform ordinary spaces and surfaces into touch and motion-activated displays. We’re also excited to be involved with Augmented Reality (AR) technology — specialising in the development of customised AR applications to help our clients achieve a cutting-edge promotional campaign.

WILSON & GILKES (02) 9914 0900 www.gilkon.com.au

Visual technologies (03) 8692 6644 www.visualtechnologies.com.au

VIZI NEW MEDIA (02) 9357 3999 www.vizinewmedia.com.au

Should your business be included in our Who’s Who section? Listing is free. Contact Chris Holder at chris@dsmag.com.au TECHMEDIA DIGITAL SYSTEMS (SCALA) (02) 9526 7880 Unit 7 / 65 Captain Cook Drive Taren Point NSW 2229 info@techmedia.com.au www.connectedsignage.com.au TechMedia is one of Australia’s premier digital visual communications companies. TechMedia’s expertise is centered around the digital platforms, content and services driving the growth in Connected Signage and DOOH. With over 17 years of experience with Scala-based network deployment and management

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Scala boasts an impressive list of clientele and is responsible for over 200,000 screens worldwide. Scala’s experience shows in its product; the comprehensive content creation and distribution software goes one step further with Scala Ad Manager, an accounting add-on that handles the financial side of your DOOH business such as generating invoices. In the hardware department, Scala has its own Scala Player for linking with the Content Manager software. From there Techmedia will source display screens and networks best suited to the job.


ISSUE 2 OUT NOW! Tablet • Desktop • Mobile

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Comment:

Instant Replay, Constant Exposure

Story: Mug Punter

“W

hen too much sport is never enough.” That should probably be our national motto. “Come on Aussie, C’mon,” should definitely replace our current, stand-in, uptight/girt-by anthem, no question. In recent months we’ve stayed glued to plenty of sport, and, for our purposes, it’s telling to see just how far the ‘electronic scoreboard’ has come.

Remember the Sony Jumbotron? Bless its cotton socks. Yes, at the time it was probably the size of an elephant, but a pachyderm-proportioned screen these days is on the tiddly sized. The sporting venue vision board is now higher def than your brand-new telly, and bigger than the side of a barn. KEEPING SCORE?

Where would we be without the big screen? Easy, we wouldn’t have a clue.

Back in the previous heyday of handlebar mo’s and swinging gold medallions, I attended an international one-day cricket match at the WACA. Back then, the scoreboard employed bits of tin with numbers written on them, handmassaged by grumpy old has-been sportsmen with a big stick. The useless sods fell asleep half the time. This was in the day when Channel 9’s TV coverage was leading the world and not to have instant replay at the ground felt disconcerting — I had to actually concentrate and watch the game, because you didn’t get a second chance to see the action. That was, until I discovered the bar and the closed circuit televisions. Yes, I went to the cricket and watched it mostly from the bar. At least I got to see it. First of all we had the Ashes series, which we won after having lost the fabled urn only last week... or was it last year? Through some bewildering anomaly of global sports scheduling a competition that normally takes place every two years is now run every two weeks. Lucky us! What struck me about the cricket games was the sheer quantity of digital signage around the ground and in the stadiums, and the timing of the displays to erupt into frenzied, sponsored activity at the slightest provocation. What a contrast for a game that used to be the preserve of university educated, well-spoken chaps dressed in creased, white flannels and munching on watercress sandwiches during luncheon. Back then, putting two lumps of sugar in one’s tea was considered ‘performanceenhancing’. Genteel times, no doubt. 34

Digital Place-Based Media & Technology

Next we had the Super Bowl. This is just plain weird – forget replays, it’s the one day in the year when people watch the commercials. How bizarre is that? Every other day we’re channel surfing, muting and sticking fingers in our ears to avoid the dreaded television advertisements, but on Super Bowl day it’s like, get the damned players out of the way, tell Red Hot Chili Peppers to bugger off and stop miming, because I’m trying to see the commercials for Pete’s sake! The enormous screens at the stadium and all over America get their 15 minutes of fame — actually it’s more like 30 minutes with annoying interruptions from the likes of the aforementioned Chilis and some Mars Bar bloke. Regular half-time is only 12 minutes, by the way. So, a 30-minute advert break? Sounds awful. Pfft, they should try watching Australian telly. BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST

When it comes to digital signage, commercials, advertising and sneaking in a sponsor’s message you can’t beat a good scoreboard and slowmotion replay, because we can turn away from a television anytime, but we’re incapable of not watching a scoreboard.

Not surprisingly, most of the top 50 largest video displays in the world are in sporting venues, but just for the record (and to annoyingly ruin a perfectly good story here) the largest isn’t. That goes to Phoenix Island, which is a man-made luxury island off the Chinese coast and LED walls on the tallest structures amount to a staggering

33,000 linear metres of signage. Good thing it’s a communist state otherwise they might be tempted into largesse. Otherwise, obviously the key to a guaranteed, captive audience for your digital signage is to embed it into a scoreboard somehow. Scoreboards around the world are getting bigger, and bigger… and bigger. Live action replays are getting slower, and slower… and slower (best watched to the strains of Carmin Burana). And they give you roughly 400 different camera angles to view, too. In fact, there’s hardly enough time to finish the game by the time the scoreboard has cycled through its myriad replays. But it’s not just a replay, right? It’s the ‘Cooked Chook Replay’ or the ‘Burger Dude Replay’, and while one part of your brain rages at being bombarded with less-than-subliminal messaging, another part – a stronger part – has to know the score and has to see the replay. We can’t help ourselves. If you want your message seen on a really big screen, you should be thinking bouncers, halfbacks and being impaled on your own ski pole. That’s the stuff of countless replays and endless exposure. It’s where all the action is, not the bit of grass or snow in the middle. 

DigitalSignage magazine wants to know what you’re up to. Share your plans and opinions with Chris Holder on chris@dsmag.com.au


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DigitalSignage Issue 11  

Issue 11 of DigitalSignage Magazine