Signage Solutions November/December 2012 The Technology and Solutions Magazine for Digital Signage, DOOH, Mobile and Place-based Digital Media
TARGETING THE FUTURE WELLS FARGO REACHES CUSTOMERS WITH REGION-SPECIFIC DIGITAL SIGNAGE EFFORTS
WORKING IN TANDEM
The benefits of integrating digital signage and emergency notification systems
THE NEXT BIG THING
NFC will change the real-world shopping experience
Jason Carey In-store advertising retail digital signage director and brand and advertising program manager. Wells Fargo
HISTORIC MEETS HIGH TECH
The Hotel del Coronado keeps guests informed and on the right path with digital wayfinding
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SOLUTIONS FOR PRO DISPLAY
Change Is Good We were very excited with the launch of the new and improved Signage Solutions website this month. Our goal with the new site is to allow easier access to news, feature editorial, new products and solutions and provide more key industry whitepapers and videos. We want to continually improve our tools to bring you relevant and timely content, which will help you do your job better. Please let us know what you think about the new site and what improvements we can still make. Thanks to everyone who responded to my column in the last issue. Last month we asked our readers why they thought the digital signage industry was slow to take off, and we received a number of great comments. The overwhelming theme was that people felt there were too many options for digital signage software, and people were afraid to make a decision because they were worried that the software provider may not be around the following year for support and updates. This is a great concern of many. Are there too many software providers in the market? What is the standard? With the new standard committees being created within the digital signage associations, has any progress been made? And if so, is it driving healthy competition? This is something we hope to cover more in our next issue. One thing I do know is that, as I write this, the holiday season is upon us, and the stores are alive with shoppers looking for just the right bargain. Retailers everywhere are promoting tirelessly, trying to make this holiday season a profitable one. Digital signage is helping to drive sales in stores around the country. Most of the “big box” retailers have their networks in full swing with ads and promotions to help increase the amount people spend while in store. Mobile is also playing a big role, as we see the smartphone impact our shopping habits more each year. New technologies and trends continue to emerge on a regular basis, and consumers seem to be pretty open to experimenting with these options in order to help them find more information or get a better bargain on something they are purchasing. You can read about one growing technology in this month's article by Steve Gurley, “The Next Big Thing: NFC will change the real-world shopping experience” on page 39. One thing is for sure: Things are always changing. I happen to like change, and I think it’s good for our industry. So whether it’s a new website, a new shopping technology or a new standard in digital signage software, be ready to try it. You’ll never know if the next big thing is here if you don’t try it. Until next issue,
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Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
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The Technology and Solutions Magazine for Digital Signage, DOOH, Mobile and Place-based Digital Media
Technology @ Work A brief look at company/industry news within the digital signage industry.
For Your Consideration: ePaper Smart Displays
Digital Signage and the Existing Infrastructure Convergence onto a common network is a cost-efficient strategy, but there are physical and network-centric hurdles to jump.
Vertical Views 10 Hospitality Historic Meets High Tech The Hotel del Coronado keeps guests informed and on the right path with digital wayfinding.
Vertical Views - Transportation The Airport That Never Sleeps
McCarran Airport invests in more than 900 displays to launch state-of-theart terminal.
Targeting The Future
Laying the Groundwork for Sucess
Digital signage products and solutions, along with the technology which runs them, make the industry what it is today. Every issue of Signage Solutions magazine features new products and solutions.
The benefits of integrating digital signage and emergency notification systems.
Clear requirements and established acceptance criteria are the cornerstones of a successful digital signage pilot program.
Wells Fargo reaches customers with region-specific digital signage efforts.
Signage Solutions & Products
Working in Tandem
By The Way
The Next Big Thing NFC will change the real-world shopping experience.
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Visit the NEW
EDITORIAL ADVISORY BOARD Lyle Bunn Principal & Strategy Architect BUNN Company
Vice President, Retail Digital Signage Network Director Wells Fargo
Andreas Claus Director, Production Services Vanderbilt University
Linda Hofflander Chief Strategy Officer The Handa Group
Garry McGuire Chief Executive Officer
Stephen Nesbit Managing Director
Hot New Products
Prestonwood Trail Holdings
Judd Norris General Manager, Legends Entertainment District, Phoenix Suns / Arizona Diamondbacks
Patrick Quinn President & CEO PQ Media
Hugh Sinnock Director, Customer Experience Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority
Dave Taylor Audio Visual Engineer American Eagle Outfitters
Daniel Trigub Vice President, Business Development Chief Financial Officer Blue Bite
Donald Van Buren Director, Interactive Media Torrance Memorial Medical Center
Downloads/ White Papers
Brian Gorg Executive Director Digital Signage Federation
Interactive innovation. Find it at Peerless-AV.
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Technology @ Work
Go to www.signagesolutionsmag.com to read full version of articles found in the Industry News & Updates section of Signage Solutions Magazine.
Digital Clinic Brings Facebook to its Dental Digital Signage Digital Clinic recently announced Facebook integration for its digital signage system for dental practices. With Facebook integration, Digital Clinic creates a powerful, comprehensive social engagement platform dentists can use to build social media presence and reach customers. Social media and word of mouth has a proven influence over consumers, many of whom turn to social media and reviews sites before making product or service purchase decisions. Digital Clinic’s digital signage system with Facebook integration offers dental practices a unique way to take advantage of social media interaction for major and long-lasting benefits. By showcasing positive comments, feedback, customer reviews and testimonials from Facebook onscreen in the waiting area or lobby, dentists can build and enhance their reputation and encourage patients to connect. Digital Clinic customers are excited about Facebook integration, in addition to the overall value the digital signage has added to their practice. Dr. Edward Zuckerberg D.D.S., F.A.G.D. is especially pleased. “We’ve had Digital Clinic playing in the reception area for several months now and the response has been very positive,” Dr. Zuckerberg said. “Patients love the local news and events, we love the integration and promotion with our Facebook page and the patients are asking more about the promoted services we offer that are featured on Digital Clinic.”
DOOHgood Launches Effort For Hurricane Sandy Relief DOOHgood, an all-volunteer effort to use the promotional muscle of digital signage to do
good, has ramped up efforts to help victims of this week's super-storm in the northeast. The organization is already making a Twitter app available at no cost to ad-based, retail and private digital signage networks, and is looking for help in developing video creative that will drive donations to the American Red Cross and its Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Long Beach, California-based Insteo, which specializes in interactive tools and content for digital signage networks, has developed and released a Twitter visualization app that networks can use to run at no cost in their schedules. The app is HTML5-based and queries and filters keywords to maintain high quality messaging. "What we don't have, and need as soon as possible, is a 15-second piece of video with a basic call to action to make a text donation to the Red Cross, which will be funnelled to the Sandy relief effort," explains Dave Haynes, an industry consultant and one of DOOHgood's founders. "If we had multiple, and some in Hispanic, even better." Haynes says the Red Cross has B-roll video and images available for media companies, and expects developing a solid spot would only take a matter of a few hours at most.
Interactive Exhibit Showcases Destination Yellowstone As part of Destination Yellowstone, an interactive, educational exhibit housing museumquality displays, Savant Ltd was commissioned
to develop an interactive multi-media kiosk loaded with fun facts, Yellowstone photographs by renowned photographer Tom Murphy, and information about how to get involved with the Yellowstone Park Foundation. In addition, two 22-inch interactive video kiosks that include a video narrated by Tom Brokaw and numerous Ranger-led Park videos are part of the display. “We want Destination Yellowstone to welcome visitors to our area with entertaining and educational information that will help them have a trip of a lifetime to one of the world’s most treasured places, Yellowstone National Park,” said Karen Bates Kress, Yellowstone Park Foundation president.
Bismarck Civic Center Chooses Daktronics for Display and Scoring System The Bismarck Civic Center of Bismarck, N.D., has selected Daktronics to design, manufacture and install an integrated display and scoring system in their arena. The video system will be a centerhung solution consisting of four LED displays measuring more than 7.5 feet tall by nearly 14 feet wide and featuring 6 millimeter line spacing. A ring display featuring 15 millimeter line spacing and measuring 2 feet tall by more than 46.5 feet wide will sit just under the other video displays in the centerhung configuration. “We look forward to enhancing our arena with this new system,” said Charlie Jeske, General Manager of Bismarck Civic Center. “Our customers will feel more engaged because of the increased clarity and size of the displays. This will only improve their experience at the Bismarck Civic Center.” The main video displays are capable of showing one large image to highlight live video and instant replays. They can also be divided into separate windows to show a variety of vivid graphics, colorful animations, up-to-the-minute statistics, scoring information and sponsor advertisements with outstanding brightness and wide-angle visibility. Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
GE Showcases Prysm Video Wall Prysm Inc., a video-display provider offering brilliant life-like and life-size displays for truly immersive experiences, announced a Laser Phosphor Display (LPD) installation at GE’s new Grid IQTM Innovation Center in Markham, Ontario. Established more than 130 years ago, GE’s commitment to quality and innovation has helped it become one of the premier energy management providers in the world. Prysm’s highest-resolution LPD technology serves as the centerpiece of the Customer Experience Center at the facility and features display technology that delivers stunning life-size images at the lowest possible cost of ownership and environmental impact, which underscores GE’s commitment to both technological excellence and energy savings. The Customer Experience Center uses Prysm’s immersive user experience to connect with its key constituents to drive product awareness and educate customers. The Markham installation features a 180-degree curved interactive video wall with content and imagery showcasing GE’s full suite of energy management products through an unforgettable digital experience. Prysm’s LPD technology gives designers the freedom to create video content in any shape, size or format. GE’s video display consists of hundreds of integrated tiles providing a seamless, rounded interactive experience measuring 40 feet wide by 10 feet tall. Prysm’s award-winning LPDs inherently deliver a uniform picture quality over life and offer contrast, fill factors and the fast response time required to deliver brilliant video solutions. Prysm displays are also the world’s greenest, designed to decrease energy costs while simultaneously providing an unparalleled viewing experience for customers. NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2012
Technology @ Work Titan Wins John Wayne Airport Advertising Contract Titan has been awarded a five-year contract for advertising within John Wayne Airport, Southern California’s second largest airport. The new contract, won competitively, could run through to 2022, if a five-year extension term is granted. Titan will begin working with John Wayne Airport immediately to build and install media. All previous media has been removed, allowing Titan the opportunity to create a wholly new advertising and communications environment that will add to the passenger experience and enable advertisers to reach their audiences in new and interesting ways, while maintaining the aesthetics of the airport. With the John Wayne Airport’s nearly 9 million passengers per year, Titan is now a onestop shop for advertisers in the Orange County and Los Angeles area. “We are excited to add a new Airport to Titan Air, our growing Airport Division,” said Don Allman, Titan’s President and CEO. “Our already strong presence and passion for Southern California is reinforced with this addition, allowing us to deliver comprehensive solutions to our advertising partners.” Titan will make a significant capital investment in new signage as part of the association. There will be an initial build of new displays including digital displays. New displays will include banners, jet bridge wraps and backlit displays. The digital build will include displays in areas that have high dwell times, such as baggage claim areas. Titan will manage the content of the digital displays.
Hershey’s® Shares Happiness Through a Unique and Immersive Digital Experience Hershey’s Chocolate World attraction is sharing happiness, spreading love and sending smiles with a brand new visitor experience at their Hershey, Pa. location. The newly designed and deployed interactive Hershey’s Kisses Brand wall is a full integration of gesture-based interactivity with 3D high definition media in an exciting, brand-centric and message appropriate visitor experience. The digital experience, which serves as an entrance to the newly redesigned Hershey’s Kisses Brand retail space, invites visitors to approach the wall, access the Hershey’s Kisses Brand factory virtually with a hand gesture and then interact with the highly-regarded Hershey’s Kisses Brand factory commercial. The user gestures to control a catapult that then directs an animated Hershey’s Kisses Brand Chocolate through the air and into one of three possible openings. Upon a successful toss, the user is congratulated and rewarded with one of three affirmations based on the accuracy of their throw. Then, an onscreen celebration ensues! The experience has been wildly popular with visitors and a focal point of the retail environment at Hershey’s Chocolate World Attraction. The application was designed to delight and entertain visitors of all ages, and to reinforce the whimsical nature of the brand. To bring the experience to life, The Hershey Company chose Nanonation™, a Lincoln, Neb. based enterprise software and solutions developer.
Nanolumens Displays are Centerpiece of Latin America's Public Transportation Line Latin America’s newest and most advanced subway line, São Paulo Metro Line 4, will soon be the location of the world’s largest-ever digital out-of-home installation, when Terra® Latin America installs nearly 2,000 digital displays throughout the line’s 11 stations. The centerpiece of the project will be the multi-million dollar installation of eight large-format LED displays designed and manufactured by NanoLumens®. The state-of-the-art displays will provide advertisers an unforgettable medium to reach the line’s nearly 1 million expected daily commuters. According to NanoLumens Director of Marketing, Josh Byrd, the São Paulo Metro Line 4 installation is the largest project undertaken to date by the pioneering Georgia-based company that introduced the world to flexible LED displays in 2010. “São Paulo’s Metro Line 4 is full of next generation technologies, and NanoLumens is proud to provide the most dazzling digital displays in the world to give advertisers a powerful medium to share their messages. We designed seven wall-mounted 6mm pixel pitch displays, ranging from 145 inches to 224 inches diagonal, to be installed throughout the line’s stations, plus one incredible 360-degree display that is actually made up of four 173-inch curved 6mm pixel pitch displays joined end-to-end to form a cylinder that is viewable from literally every angle in the atrium of the Luz station, Line 4’s busiest station.” NanoLumens has partnered with Brazilian digital signage engineering company NC4U (Narrowcasting For You) to oversee the installation of the eight NanoLumens LED displays. NC4U is NanoLumens’ first officially certified service and sales partner in South America.
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Vertical View Hospitality
Historic Meets High Tech
The Hotel del Coronado keeps guests informed and on the right path with digital wayfinding By Gina Petrone
Next year will mark the 125th anniversary of the Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, Calif. For such a milestone, hotel management wanted to celebrate with a technological upgrade to the beach resort: one that would blend the hotelâ€™s rich history with modern digital communication. Management decided to incorporate digital signage screens to provide guests with wayfinding and information on the property, hotel amenities, local attractions and real-time promotions. To create the digital signage network, they turned to Arizonabased Audio Visual Source (AVS) and X2O Mediaâ€™s Xpresenter platform.
Finding Their Way The project had a number of requirements. First, each wayfinding display needed to show a large, detailed map of the resort at all times, while still maintaining interactivity and space for other content. The property is very expansive, consisting of 28 oceanfront acres. Large detailed maps were needed to provide guests with a complete view of the resort for wayfinding. AVS and X2O Media devised an innovative solution to this issue: dual-screen touch wayfinders. Each wayfinder consists of two sideby-side displays that are driven by one Dell PC: one touch monitor for interactivity and one non-touch monitor for a constant detailed map. AVS installed six dual-screen touch wayfinder screens across the property: in the Ocean Towers, the California Cabana, the Main Lobby, the Babcock & Story bar and the Grande Hall and on the north side of the property near the Garden Patio. An additional 38 meeting room signs were installed outside the entrances to all conference spaces, and one of the guestroom television channels is dedicated to digital signage content. Each dual-screen touch wayfinder screen
Vertical View Hospitality
The interactive wayfinders, meeting room displays and in-room TV channel are all driven by X2O Media’s Xpresenter digital signage platform.
provides information on current conferences and meeting spaces; videos about dining, recreation, shopping, the spa and salon, and guestrooms; and concierge services such as local attraction tickets, transportation, and childcare. 3-D wayfinding directional maps guide visitors to their destinations and can be emailed to their smartphones for convenience. Live-data feeds provide access to real-time weather and flight information, while PowerPoint slides keep guests informed of daily resort events. Each screen also includes a customizable ticker featuring promotions, resort highlights and announcements. The meeting room signs provide a listing of current hotel groups/conferences, meeting times and locations, and “now and next” usage information for each room. Customizable tickers display news feeds and information on the resort’s amenities. The dedicated guestroom channel offers event start and end times, in addition to real-time weather conditions with animated graphics.
Additional requirements for the digital signage network included providing visitors and guests with a simple and easy way to access additional information on hotel amenities—such as spa treatment and dining menus—by using their smartphones. Management also needed to be able to update content quickly on the screens in the event of a change to a group meeting. This ability to provide real-time information would not only let the staff avoid the time-consuming process of reprinting and distributing paper signs, but it would increase visitor satisfaction by ensuring they always have the most current information. The interactive wayfinders, meeting room displays and in-room TV channel are all driven by X2O Media’s Xpresenter digital signage platform. Having only one platform to manage all these different types of displays saves the staff time and effort. Xpresenter integrates seamlessly with the Delphi hospitality software, ensuring that displays are always up to date with the latest meeting information. It also allows guests to access more information on hotel services by dynamically displaying QR codes. Guests simply scan the QR codes on the displays with their smartphones to access digital content, which they can take with them.
The digital signage network went live in April 2012, and it has quickly proven to be a valuable tool in relaying meeting, property and amenities information in a dynamic visual format, and in a more efficient manner. Hotel staff can track the use of specific QR codes, the results of special offers placed in the customizable ticker and other regions of the screen, and the number of maps emailed to users’ smartphones. The data shows that a very large percent of guests are not only using the wayfinding screens, but are emailing maps to their phones. In the future, the hotel will push the capabilities of the network even further by incorporating even more interactivity. In particular, near field communication will allow the hotel to communicate and receive consumer information for marketing and promotional purposes. In addition, the hotel will be able to display real-time social media content on the wayfinder screens. For guests, this will take the high-tech experience at the Hotel del Coronado to the next level. SSM
Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
Gina Petrone is the marketing communications coordinator for the Hotel del Coronado.
Vertical View Transportation
The Airport That Never Sleeps
McCarran Airport invests in more than 900 displays to launch state-of-the-art terminal
McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas can trace its roots to the 1940s, when it shuttled roughly 1.5 million passengers in and out of Sin City each year. Over the years, the airport has grown along with Las Vegas and the airline industry, building new terminals and conducting renovations to cater to the needs of the more than 41 million travelers that now pass through the airport each year. In 2007, McCarran embarked upon its most ambitious project to date: the construction of a new 1.9-million-square-foot, $2.4 billion terminal that would host international and domestic flights. After five years of construction, McCarran’s Terminal 3 opened earlier this year. T3 includes 14 gates, seven of which are dedicated to international flights. “Employing 1,800 people at its peak, the McCarran T3 project positions Las
Vegas for the demanding growth in international and domestic travel and our region as the premier tourism destination,” said David Bourgon, manager of airport IT services at McCarran Airport. Unlike many other destination cities, Las Vegas is a year-round attraction for visitors from all over the world. McCarran welcomes an average of more than 114,000 passengers a day, who bring with them more than 500 tons of cargo.
Digital Signage Lights the Way With such a large number of travelers filling McCarran Airport each day, getting people to the right place at the right time can be a daunting task. In addition to flight arrival and departure times, the airport needs to provide visitors information on
baggage and gates, how to get from one section of the airport to another (wayfinding) and directories with information on local businesses and points of interest. Bourgon said the best way to streamline this process is with digital signage. The main function for digital signage at McCarran is to provide wayfinding information and gain as much flexibility as possible for IT staff who constantly convey information updates to travelers. The ability to make changes as needed at a moment’s notice is vital to an airport environment, and Bourgon saw digital signage as a strong contender to solve McCarran’s issues. “Dynamic signage is instrumental in letting passengers know where they need to be and at what time,” Bourgon said. “T3 is home to a number of airlines, but not all airlines
Vertical View Transportation use the terminal every day. For example, United Airlines might not have any flights scheduled to arrive in or depart from T3 today, but they will have a number of flights tomorrow. Using digital signage, we can easily change information on the fly to keep our guests informed. With static signage, that becomes a laborious task.” While digital signage was a key consideration, Bourgon also had to take into account the rigorous demands an airport puts on displays. Just like the casinos the city of Las Vegas is known for, McCarran is operating 24/7. “It’s not like you can go out and buy consumer TVs to handle the job. Running 24 hours a day, it is very likely that they would reach the end of their useful life within a year. You have to have commercial-grade signage that is durable and can be depended on for the long haul,” Bourgon said.
A Winning Solution Through previous experience with NEC displays that were installed in Terminals 1 and 2 at McCarran, Bourgon knew that NEC products would be up to the task. After discussing the various display sizes needed for T3, he listened to NEC’s recommendations for various units that would best suit the airport’s needs. The final deployment called for more than 900 NEC large-screen displays, which included 182 46-inch P461s and 723 40-inch P401s. These models are specifically designed for demanding 24/7 environments like McCarran. Digital content management company Four Winds Interac-
Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
Vertical View Transportation tive provided the software for the NEC displays, creating interactive airport directories and dynamic gate information displays on double-sided video walls outside each arrival and departure gate. Randall H. Walker, the director of aviation for Clark County who oversees McCarran in his role, said one of their goals with the digital signage was to ensure that modern, helpful amenities were in place for travelers. “Four Winds Interactive’s software allows us to do just that by offering a wide variety of useful information via any single interactive sign. This helps patrons better navigate the airport and become aware of factors affecting their travel,” Walker said. Using Four Winds’ software, NEC displays at each gate shows real-time flight information, weather forecasts and iconic photo backgrounds of travel destinations. To remind travelers of the excitement of Las Vegas, synchronized advertising videos, which include video of falling dice and slot machines in action, are set to play at the top and bottom of the hour on video walls at every gate in T3. Wayfinding signs were also enhanced through the use of custom floor maps, providing more than 1,500 path-finding directions that are plotted to help guide visitors to various destinations inside McCarran. “Digital signage is instrumental in guiding our visitors through our new facility and creating lasting positive experiences and memories,” Bourgon said. Through the digital wayfinding displays, travelers are able to easily find information about shopping, dining, airport clubs and other airport amenities. A “map it” feature enables travelers to see an animated visual route from their current location to their destination, as well as turn-by-turn directions. The directions can then be easily sent from the interactive display to the travelers’ smartphones using a QR code. “Interactive digital signage was essential to this project,” Walker said. “Four Winds’ works were already widely displayed in Las Vegas, and its new contributions will further improve visitors’ and locals’ travel experiences with flying in and out of McCarran.” In addition to the more than 900 displays, McCarran also installed more than 800 NEC-SBC-03 single-board computers, which reside in the expansion slot of the P Series displays. Having the ability to place the SBCs in the displays
themselves helps to reduce labor costs and improve on the aesthetics of the install. Ordinarily, the source computers for flight information displays are mounted high on walls or in the air on pedestals. NEC’s solution eliminates the need for an external PC, cabling, mounting and power supply because RS-232 control, DVI video, stereo audio and power are all passed internally from the display to the device. Typically, the only cable necessary is the power cable. From a maintenance standpoint, the compact device is entirely removable, which means the entire display no longer needs to be removed. IT administra-
tors can now handle diagnostic tests, install upgrades, and view and control digital display content remotely.
A Simple Choice McCarran’s T3 opened its doors on June 27, 2012, and while there is not much history to this point, Bourgon said he is very satisfied with the NEC installation. “The decision to use NEC displays in our new terminal turned out to be an easy one,” Bourgon said. “Since we began using NEC products in 2006, we have been extremely satisfied with their performance and durability.” SSM
For Your Consideration:
EPAPER SMART DISPLAYS By Sriram K. Peruvemba
Although it sounds futuristic, electronic ink is actually a straightforward fusion of chemistry, physics and electronics to create a new material. It's so much like paper, it actually utilizes the same pigments used in the printing industry. Electronic ink is made up of millions of tiny microcapsules, about the diameter of a human hair. Each microcapsule contains positively charged white particles and negatively charged black particles suspended in a clear fluid. When a positive or negative electric field is applied, corresponding particles move to the top of the microcapsule, where they become visible. This makes the surface appear white or black.
Smart Ink Displays Electronic ink can be used to make smart ink displays. The ink is coated onto a sheet of plastic film that is laminated to a layer of circuitry. The circuitry forms a pattern of pixels that can then be controlled by a display driver. The microcapsules are suspended in a liquid "carrier medium," allowing them to be coated using existing coating processes. The final laminate can be applied onto virtually any surface, including glass, plastic, fabric and even paper. Ultimately electronic ink will permit most any surface to become a display, bringing information out of the confines of traditional devices and into the world around us.
E Ink Indoor animated sign designed by Motion Display of Sweden. Currently installed in hundreds of Walmart stores in their Optical section
When electronic ink is applied to paper, it creates ePaper technology, which has several benefits over conventional display technologies. ePaper consumes much less power (up to 1/80th the power of backlit LCD), is readable in sunlight without any increase in power, and is rugged, paper white and feather light.
ePaper and Electronic Signage When electronic ink is applied to paper, it creates ePaper technology, which has several benefits over conventional display technologies. ePaper consumes much less power (up to 1/80th the power of backlit LCD), is readable in sunlight without any increase in power, and is rugged, paper white and feather light. As such, it is well suited for indoor and outdoor signage applications. In signage applications, where information is not constantly updated, ePaper displays benefit from their image-persistence feature: ePaper consumes zero power once the image is applied to it and does not need power until the image is refreshed. This makes for a very low power consuming electronic display that is eco-friendly. In outdoor applications, most traditional displays require additional power to increase brightness and combat the sun. Sometimes, expensive enhancement films and surface treatments are required. Because ePaper displays are reflective, they use the sun rather than attempt to overpower it, and the result is a gorgeous-looking
outdoor display that does not require additional power. In addition, ePaper displays use much less material and are battery powered. They are thin and lightweight, and they don’t require heavy-duty stands and fixtures to mount them. They are designed to be easy to handle and to be easily mounted on products, shelves and checkout counters.
ePaper and Retail In retail point-of-sale environments, traditional paper-based signage is no longer sufficient. To draw customers’ attention or highlight a product or brand, ePaper displays can show full-color moving pictures and messages. With almost a 180-degree viewing angle, high resolution and vivid colors, these displays have been proven to draw customers’ attention. SSM Sriram Peruvemba is the chief marketing officer of E Ink.
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Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
11/20/2012 1:41:25 PM
Digital Signage and the
Existing Infrastructure Convergence onto a common network is a cost-efficient strategy, but there are physical and network-centric hurdles to jump By Denise MacDonell Retrofit is a word that invokes spirited discussions in the systems integration world. The ratio of seamless projects to headache-inducers unfortunately skews toward the latter. Those headaches can be significantly reduced, however, with the appropriate strategy. The overarching trend of the A/V and IT marriage touches many who work in technology today, with many businesses working to migrate multiple operations onto a common network. Digital signage is one such example. As with other A/V technologies, the integration of digital signage into an existing network infrastructure starts with the supporting â€œnuts and bolts,â€? from wiring and cabling to power management and availability. Network capacity is also crucial, as traffic overload from newly integrated components will cause frustration across multiple departments. However, it is reasonable to say that digital signage requires a far more in-depth study in advance of integration than, for example, an audio stream. There are significant challenges to cleanly pushing video around facilities, while retaining exceptional quality that consumers will want to watch.
Furthermore, the presence of digital signage content on an existing network requires significant thought depending on the vertical application. For example, how can you effectively share bandwidth with business transactions and other data-centric traffic in a retail store or entertainment venue? And how do you prioritize for “on the fly” content changes, especially when advertising is in the mix? Collectively, the strategy also requires intensive planning to accurately gauge deployment costs and timelines, especially for projects that span multiple facilities and geographical locations. Put simply, there is a lot to consider.
In the Facility It may seem obvious to state the importance of physical architecture, but the reliable transport of high-quality digital signage content is impossible without the proper support. At present, Harris, an installer of digital out-of-home solutions, is hard at work on a retail network upgrade that spans hundreds of locations. The previous architecture primarily focused on audio, with overhead radio delivering music and advertising to shoppers. The migration to video required a comprehensive cabling and wiring upgrade to push four channels of HD content to many screens. The decision to add HDMI cabling was easy enough to provide the quality needed; however, distance to the screens proved challenging. HDMI cables have no official transport distance limit, though signal degradation begins at approximately 30 feet. This is fine if you co-locate the media player at the screen, but in most cases only single-channel players are installed in this manner. This particular project required a series of quad-channel players—pushing three video channels and one audio channel, from a central equipment space. While the strategy reduced media player costs, it also created player-to-screen distances of between 400 to 600 feet—far greater than what a straight HDMI connection can
reasonably carry. The technical solution in this case is quite simple: Add a series of extenders and/or repeaters to push high-quality signals over long lengths. However, building structure can and usually does impede on sightlines for cable runs, requiring extensive drilling and trenching to run wires from the back office to the screens. This can quickly escalate project expenses for the client. In such cases, a change in strategy regarding player distribution— one per screen—is perhaps the better decision for cost-containment. This puts the player closer to an IT network drop, simplifying cable runs and eliminating the logistical headaches of chiseling through floors, walls and ceilings—and simultaneously keeping integration costs in check.
Network Traffic No one likes a traffic jam, whether stuck on the Washington, D.C., beltway or fighting through a congested IT network. In the digital signage universe, the majority of content is transported via IP networks. Satellite remains an option, though satellite distribution is increasingly converging with IP to create a more efficient hybrid network. There is one common mistake among the various transport methods: lack of knowledge regarding capacity and how to best utilize available bandwidth. And perhaps the most bandwidth-challenged projects Harris comes across are in the retail environment. Harris currently operates a large retail network where digital signage is assigned a priority level below point of sale traffic, including credit card transactions. This makes pushing HD content to multiple locations especially challenging on heavy transactional days. For example, content in the 4 to 5 GB range can take up to 24 hours to arrive. This is extremely problematic in situations where content is often refreshed. Content scheduled a day or more in advance is typically unaffected, but dynamic networks that require on-the-fly
As with other A/V technologies, the integration of digital signage into an existing network infrastructure starts with the supporting “nuts and bolts,” from wiring and cabling to power management and availability. changes for news and day-parting activities can be adversely distressed. The risk of showing outdated content escalates if new updates are stuck in traffic from bandwidth constraints. And the challenges intensify for adsupported networks, as insertion orders often arrive with little notice. How do you ensure that new advertisements appear on the network on short notice if the network is congested? Installation of a separate private network is one alternative, but the costs of this usually outweigh reality. Most businesses will choose to integrate digital signage traffic into the existing network, which means the vendor and, when relevant, systems integrator must be prepared for the consequences. Harris is introducing new bandwidth and content management analysis tools to determine how much bandwidth is required to push HD content to screens across multiple buildings and geographical locations. These tools produce calculations to provide upfront analysis on content, file sizes, downloads and delivery times, among other concerns. Understanding these variables will paint a clear picture on amount of content and how it affects bandwidth usage. Ultimately, tools such as these help businesses with digital signage networks better manage expectations and understand how traffic is flowing across their pipes. SSM Denise MacDonell is director and general manager of Harris Digital Out-Of-Home.
To learn more, attend the 2013 Digital Signage Expo, Seminar 32, which is more broadly entitled: "Integrating Digital Signage Into an Existing Global Infrastructure". Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
The benefits of integrating digital signage and emergency notification systems
Tandem By Mike White
with proactive strategic creation of content to react to the most likely emergency scenarios.
The Big Picture
The digital signage industry continues to see double-digit growth driven mostly by ad-based network systems. However, one should not overlook the accelerating double-digit growth of non-ad supported digital signage networks that are being deployed in manufacturing, commercial and higher education markets. With these deployments, purchase decisions are driven by integration with emergency notification systems. It must be understood that a digital signage network is not an emergency notification system; it is a powerful and dynamic supplement to an emergency notification system. When combining these elements, the operator must ensure the integration does not compromise any elements of the emergency notifications system’s ability to function at its highest level. This requires integration skills at the highest level, complemented
Those charged with developing and implementing these systems need to understand that there are components required of both digital signage and emergency notification systems, as well as laws and codes that both systems must adhere to and support. Operators also need to understand how to evaluate and then choose from the available digital signage packages. In addition, they must ensure that the digital signage application software will integrate seamlessly with the emergency notification system. Recently, there has been a strong push from executive-level offices to increase the focus on safety in the workplace and on campuses. This trend began with an increase of safety and security staff. Now these departments are driving their organizations to embrace digital signage to support and enhance their emergency notification systems so they can react to emergencies ranging from severe weather to those created by human events. It is no longer considered acceptable to rely on blinking lights, horns and text/email programs to support an emergency situation. It is not only expected but also now required that companies and institutions provide the best systems to support their on-premise constituencies and stakeholders and ensure the safety of their teams.
Improved Functionality Integrating digital signage and emergency notification systems in a manner that can actually help saves lives requires an enterpriselevel digital signage system that can ingest and integrate (even trigger) information from emergency notification systems. This allows the digital signage system to seamlessly become part of the emergency response without burden-
Driving factors of growth: • There is greater focus on safety and security at education sites and commercial and manufacturing facilities. • Organizations are looking for ways to alleviate employee stress and enhance both the reality and perception of workplace safety. • Digital signage is an affordable solution that can be integrated with, and be activated by, emergency notification systems. • Weather patterns have been shifting and producing greater frequency of severe weather events, increasing concern about workplace and campus safety. • People now expect clear and concise communication, particularly during emergencies, and today’s technology can provide an affordable solution.
ing the response team. With the use of digital signage networks, we can do more than let someone know there is an emergency. We can use pictures and videos to show people exactly what is going on and how to avoid danger. Remember, a dependable system that is not a burden on the network will continue to display the most recent valid content, even if the server connection is lost. SSM Mike White is president and CEO of Multi-Media Solutions Inc., a commercial audio/visual systems integration company based in Knoxville, Tenn.
To learn more, attend the 2013 Digital Signage Expo, Seminar 29, which is more broadly entitled: "10 Essentials for Digital Signage and Emergency Management System Integration".
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LAYING THE GROUNDWORK FOR
Clear requirements and established acceptance criteria are the cornerstones of a successful digital signage pilot program 22
Embarking on a new digital signage initiative can sometimes feel like a daunting task. In order to avoid many sleepless nights or even a partially implemented solution, it is best to develop your new initiative following a focused path, all the way from the initial business case to successful pilot and full deployment. Once the enterprise has developed a clear business case and effective digital signage content and strategy, the project manager can develop a pilot program that leads to a full-scale deployment. Any mistake or miscalculation discovered during the pilot program will cost a lot less than one found during deployment. An effective pilot program will
By Adam Kroft
ensure that your digital signage implementation takes off gracefully.
Staying Focused The cornerstones of a successful digital signage pilot program are clear requirements and established acceptance criteria. The answers to the questions “What needs to be done?” and “What defines the goal achievement?” must be clear. Project managers have a number of tools at their disposal to flush out requirements and ensure that the project’s sponsors and stakeholder’s needs are being met. During the planning stage of the pilot, conducting surveys and reviewing lessons
everyone is working together and towards a common goal, the pilot program will surely get off the ground. Developing strong vendor and partner relationships will aid in the success of the pilot program. Panel, mount and player manufacturers can be challenged to deliver a tailored solution that is on time and designed to meet the project's performance needs. During the pilot program, vendors can be readily contacted to perform any corrective action, bug fixes or customizations. It will certainly be easier and much less costly for your vendors and your enterprise to modify five players instead of 500.
Location, Location, Location
learned from previous projects can help to establish the scope of work and ensure that your pilot reflects the needs of your enterprise.
The Pilot Phase In an enterprise with multiple locations, the use of a survey will help to discover site-specific nuances. Typical information requested on a survey may include photos, ceiling heights, measurements
and the number of point of sale terminals. For example, after the survey process it might become apparent that some of the locations require a special layout design for menu boards due to obstructions, such as structural columns or low ceilings. Locations presenting unique challenges can be an excellent pilot site to test the solution, as specific challenges may reappear in other locations during the deployment phase. Another tool for choosing a pilot site is to review the lessons learned from previous digital signage projects. Reviewing any notes or files from previous projects can help a project manager understand the challenges faced and how they were resolved. For example, a previous project may have required two digital signage media players. By pushing the media player’s hardware or software, it may be possible to eliminate the need for the additional player and lower the overall cost of the current project. The framework of the pilot program can be established by meeting with stakeholders and project sponsors to determine the requirements, establish the scope and define success or acceptance criteria. Clearly documenting the scope of the pilot helps to produce a workflow or process for the installation that can be reproduced, distributed and crafted for a future full-scale rollout. These documents can then be sent to the installation team for the deployment phase of the project. By defining acceptance or success criteria from the outset, this will eliminate a potential disagreement between a stakeholder who just wants to get the job done and one who wants the job done well. It is advisable to document the agreed-upon success criteria to ensure that once the pilot site is installed, all stakeholders can agree that the site has been properly completed. Once
We have all heard the phrase in regard to real estate, but it is just as important for your digital signage pilot. Stakeholders and project sponsors will likely need to make multiple visits to the pilot sites to evaluate the quality of the pilot, its success and opportunities for improvement. While a new location may have the latest and greatest infrastructure and technology or be a showpiece for your brand, it may be impractical in other ways. Pilot sites should always be selected to suit your enterprise’s needs and the goals of the project. For example, branches or store locations may have varied product offerings, hours of operation, languages or same-store sales. These factors can result in challenges during the larger deployment if they are not tested and explored during the pilot program. By carefully planning, executing and achieving the success criteria of your pilot, you will be able to build support and enthusiasm for your project. Deploying your project across the enterprise will become easier once the usual growing pains have been exposed, corrected and resolved in the pilot phase. By developing a pilot program, an enterprise will be able to explore new opportunities and refine a solution before a full-scale deployment. Once momentum builds behind the completed pilot, the rollout will seem much less daunting—even if you have completed only five of 500 sites. SSM Adam Kroft is a certified project management professional at the Project Management Institute with several years of experience in project management and IT infrastructure.
To learn more, attend the 2013 Digital Signage Expo, Seminar 13, which is more broadly entitled: "The Whole Nine Yards of Digital Signage Success: From Pilot to Operational Management". Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
Targeting THE Future
Jason Carey In-store Advertising Retail Digital Signage Director and Brand and Advertising Program Manager, Wells Fargo.
Wells Fargo reaches customers with region-specific digital signage efforts By Jenna R. Frosch
In the hustle and bustle that defines an urban setting like New York City, you can’t help but notice the bright lights and flashing messages. But, for Wells Fargo, going digital wasn't just about being noticed. It was the key to their East Coast success. In 2008, Wells Fargo bought the failing Wachovia Corp. in an eastmeets-west venture, bringing the Wells Fargo store number to more than 6,000 nationwide. With the acquisition came the opportunity to introduce the iconic red, stagecoach-clad Wells Fargo brand to customers in the east who were used to Wachovia’s signature green and blue. “The biggest changes were the color palette; red is more dynamic and the stores look completely different from each other,” said Jason Carey, Wells Fargo’s in-store advertising retail digital signage director and brand and advertising program manager. In New York City, Carey and his team worked with a group called Bluewater Technologies to implement a digital signage program. Bluewater installed 46- to 60-inch Samsung and Sharp monitors in new Wells Fargo locations, while the Gilmore Group created messaging geared toward educating both customers and the world outside about the brand. “Wells Fargo really made the big
investment in monitors that were high quality and large enough so people walking along the street could see the messages we produced,” Carey said. When the team was developing the program, they looked at what other retailers were doing and incorporated that knowledge. “In New York City, Wells Fargo was a completely unknown brand, and I feel that we’ve accomplished the objective of becoming recognizable with digital signage,” Carey said. Behind the tellers inside the New York City branches are one-by-two displays running customer-specific messaging, but two-by-two display monitors expose those passing by to a different kind of digital messaging. The project certainly wasn't Wells Fargo's first foray into the world of digital signage— but it would prove to set the tone for their future relationship with the technology. “In New York City, it’s important to deliver messaging that reaches those passersby on the street,” Carey said. “It was here that we saw the vision and future of digital signage.”
Piloting a Program Carey started his career with Wachovia in 2002 as a copywriter, but he saw his opportunity for advancement in relationship management. That led him
“The imagery that’s on the screen in Duluth will be different than in New York City, so we’re trying to capture those differences and make them work for us,” Carey said. Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
to a position in print merchandising. “Looking back, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but it was great exposure and my creative background, along with my ability to see what needed to be done in the retail environment, helped,” he said. Wachovia had installed digital signage that helped to reduce customers' perceived wait time. The displays ran content from the Bloomberg network, and Wachovia was able to insert their own messaging during commercial breaks. However, Carey said the program was expensive and didn’t resonate well with customers. “To help reduce costs, we started producing all of our own content in-house; this cut the cost in half,” he said. The company did a lot of research, talked with vendors and proposed a pilot digital signage program. Around the same time, Wells Fargo also was considering a pilot program in their stores, so when the two companies fell under one roof, they grew the program together.
“There was a lot of synchronicity, and both companies were thinking along the same lines,” Carey said. This was a good development for Wells Fargo. “When you think of the evolution of this, it was because of Wells Fargo and their desire to move this forward that we’ve become so successful today with this aspect of our marketing,” Carey said. “Now, we’re messaging on a national level in more than 5,000 stores.”
Hitting the Target Wells Fargo already provides region-specific marketing to large markets such as Miami; Washington, D.C.; Charlotte, N.C.; and New York City, plus 10 stores in Minnesota and many more locations. But the next step in their digital signage journey is providing more stores with localization capabilities. “The imagery that’s on the screen in Duluth will be different than in New York City, so we’re trying to capture those differences
and make them work for us,” Carey said. A recent example of region-specific marketing that impacted Wells Fargo customers was the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. New York City Wells Fargo stores were able to localize their messages to thank customers for their support of the relief efforts through their digital signage. “We tailored our message to thank our customers for helping donate money to the relief fund, and were able to update the amount in real time,” Carey said. “That’s the kind of flexibility we’re going for across all of our stores.” In Minnesota, stores are able to create their own messaging, including live rate fees for CDs, auto and home equity rates, which lends well to the Wells Fargo idea of being regionally driven. “So far, testing this kind of messaging in the area is going really well,” Carey said. Another real-world example of the power of digital signage came while Carey was on vacation in Florida over the Fourth of July.
He needed a check deposited and usually took care of it by using the ATM, but instead he decided to explore the region’s Wells Fargo stores. As he stood in line, Carey watched as the customer in front of him glanced at the screen that gave information about stamps available for purchase in the ATM. As the customer took care of business with the teller, Carey overheard the customer ask the teller about stamps. “The digital messaging did exactly what we wanted it to do,” Carey said. “As marketers, we always wonder whether our messages really work, and I can say with conviction that yes, it completely works.” Carey’s continued role allows him to wear many different hats—working with the advertising team, handling signage in any of the stores nationwide, working with digital and print options, targeting messaging, and leading a team comprised of a creative group, video network specialists and a marketing team. He also leads the way in brainstorming evergreen topics for the digital messaging program—topics such as debit cards, checking accounts, building a savings and many more that can be used across the Wells Fargo network. “When you go into a Wells Fargo
Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
“Our IT department is constantly re-evaluating hardware and software, and listening to what works and what does not,” Carey said. “They’re looking for ways to provide a better customer experience— for both internal and external customers—and provide that at a reasonable cost.” store, the television monitors should be on our channel, and we produce 100 percent of that content,” Carey said. He is responsible for developing content, including period messaging: messages that are changed quarterly depending on the goals of the company. At present, Wells Fargo has a Hispanic channel in about 650 stores and targeted messaging in nearly 60 stores. They’re constantly looking for ways to make this system more accessible to regional partners and scale out the IP delivery.
The Next Challenge “Our challenge now is, how do we localize the messaging for nearly 6,000 stores nationwide?” Carey said. He’s looking toward what’s next for the digital signage program—how to provide all of the Wells Fargo stores with the ability to create, distribute, manage and afford localized imagery and local news for every market. Carey is leading that effort. The team has built templates that allow regions to create their own messages within certain guidelines that are brand approved. “We’re trying to simplify and expand our
targeting capabilities,” Carey said. Emerging technology plays a major role in Wells Fargo’s future digital messaging, and now, the company uses smaller media players that are more powerful than those that were introduced in their New York City program. This allows the player to be mounted at the monitor instead of in a back-of-house rack. Carey said this makes installation and maintenance much easier, and the cost is significantly less. “Our IT department is constantly re-evaluating hardware and software, and listening to what works and what does not,” Carey said. “They’re looking for ways to provide a better customer experience—for both internal and external customers—and provide that at a reasonable cost.” Carey’s team also looks to answer some key questions: How can we leverage the system we’re building and scale that out to benefit the company and the customer? How can we be more environmentally friendly? How can we look to more mobile and digital signage? “The possibilities are endless,” Carey said. “Stepping into the future, we have realized it’s coming and now we have
to figure out how we embrace it.” Carey also is aware of the differences Wells Fargo sees in the way various generations interact with their money. “We have both baby boomers and millennials and everything in between; unless we can find a way to interact with both, we’re going to lose foot traffic and sales opportunities,” Carey said. “We need to figure out how younger generations want to work with us.” Carey and his team are looking into opportunities such as geocaching, mobile device interaction, QR codes and other ways to add in flexibility for digital messaging. “As a company, Wells Fargo has really embraced this idea of digital signage and messaging, so from a corporate culture perspective, it’s surprising how the company wants to support it in different ways, contribute to it and make it better,” Carey said. “With any luck, we’ll continue delivering messaging that’s engaging and meaningful because this is what our customers really want to hear about.” SSM Jenna R. Frosch is a contributing writer for Signage Solutions.
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Signage Solutions Products Commercial Signage Display The ViewSonic CDE3201LED is a 32" full HD resolution LED panel that can be remotely controlled in multiple display installations from a PC or media player. Internal programmability and USB cloning allows the display to be programed to specific operational requirements, including default input on default input on power up, volume level calibration, front panel and remote control lock out, power on lock, and more. This calibration can then be duplicated through via the automated cloning feature and a USB thumb drive. Viewsonic www.signagemag.com/9463
HDBaseT HDMI 2 x 8 Distribution Amplifier One source, too many displays? The HDCAT-8ED is an HDBaseT technology based HDMI 2 by 8 Distribution Amplifier, which extends one source over a single CAT 5e/6/7 cable to multiple displays up to 330 feet at 1080p. Equipped with PoE, the HDCAT-8ED transmits control and A/V signals, as well as a low voltage signal through a single CAT 5e/6/7 cable to power connected receivers. This unit offers built-in audio loop outs to ensure all audio and video needs are met. Atlona www.signagemag.com/9465
All-in-One Smart Antenna iSign Media's Smart Antenna uses Bluetooth to identify mobile devices including phones and tablets and to push messages to these devices when they are within 300ft (100m). This device also features Wi-Fi to interactively communicate with almost every Smartphone including iPhones within 300ft (100m). Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi communications with devices direct, free and are measured giving broadcasters access to large amounts of data and information all at no cost to the consumer. The Smart Antenna device can be either powered via a battery with wireless Internet connection, or via a 1m -100m (Power Over Ethernet - POE) cable with internet connection through a modem or router. To further simplify installation, the Smart Antenna is capable of outdoor all weather use. iSign Media www.signagemag.com/9466
HDMI® Active Optical Cable (AOC) The TruLink® HDMI® Active Optical Cable (AOC) from C2G distributes high definition A/V from source to display in classrooms, conference rooms, healthcare facilities, and houses of worship. The diameter is smaller than copper and more flexible making it easier to install in tight in-wall spaces. Constructed from fiber strands, it reduces the risk of EMI/RFI so performance is stable when used in typically high interference environments such as data centers, surgical theaters, or manufacturing facilities where high resolution and consistent display are critical. C2G www.signagemag.com/9467
Long Distance HDMI Twisted Pair Extender The Extron DTP HDMI 301 is a transmitter and receiver set for long distance transmission of HDMI video and embedded audio plus bidirectional RS-232 and IR control signals over a single CATx cable. For added flexibility and convenience, separate analog stereo audio signals can also be transmitted on a second twisted pair cable. It is capable of sending 1080p/60 Deep Color and 1920x1200 signals up to 330 feet (100 meters), offers a compact enclosure sizes, and remote powering of either unit. Extron www.signagemag.com/9464
15-Inch Open Frame High Bright LED Monitor Caltron's 15 Inch Open Frame High Bright LED Monitor is perfect for applications that require an energy efficient,higher brightness panel with superior viewing angles. HBT-1503O is great for control panels and various other outdoor or indoor applications. With a 1500 nit LCD panel, legibility is no longer a concern. Caltron www.signagemag.com/9468
Video Transmission Extender The ADDERLink X50-MS2 has been designed for use in applications where computers can have their USB peripherals including keyboards and mice, high quality video and audio control extended up to 150 ft. across CAT5 or higher UTP cable. The X50-MS2 adds a second video and transparent, high speed RS232 extension. This extra functionality adds to the diverse range of solutions for which the X50-MS2 can be utilized including the extension of computers with dual monitors, touch screen and interactive kiosk applications. Adder www.signagemag.com/9469
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Branded iPad POS Enclosure The Premier POS iPad enclosure from Kokley accommodates any magnetic strip card reader that utilizes the iPad’s 30-pin connect, including iDTech’s mobile smart card reader and MagTek’s iDynamo. The enclosure itself has a scratch-proof front panel and steel construction base plus other features that make it truly “retail-ready.” Plus, it’s fully customizable with your branding and graphics. Windows-8 and Android models also available. Kokley www.signagemag.com/9470
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70" Edge Lit LED Monitor Mitsubishi’s new narrow bezel flagship 70-inch MDT701S LED monitors are designed to create a spectacular image in a super-thin design using edge-lit LED technology that is perfect for today’s conference rooms and digital signage applications. These new monitors offer an Intel OPS (Open Pluggable Standard) Card Slot for easy installation and maintenance. They also come with built-in speakers that fire toward the bottom to eliminate sound reverberation, which often occurs with reardirected speakers. Mitsubishi www.signagemag.com/9471
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Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
10/11/12 5:12 PM
Signage Solutions Products Mobile Display Cart Chief’s newest cart design mobilizes the FUSION Series. Flexible cable covers allow access at any point along the column. A turn knob lets a single user smoothly raise and lower the screen to any height between 50 and 70 inches. These carts were created with wider columns to make the cart easy to hold during the moving process. Last but not least, the aesthetic design incorporates rounded edges to give the cart a softer, professional feel for a wide range of applications. Chief www.signagemag.com/9472
QuadCore Mini-ITX Board with DX11 and 3D Support The VIA EPIA-M920 Mini-ITX is available with either a 1.2GHz VIA QuadCore-E processor or a 1.0GHz VIA Eden X2 processor combined with the latest VIA VX11H MSP to offer superior computing performance for digital signage solutions. Supporting up to 16GB of 1333MHz DDR3 memory, HD audio, HDMI, VGA and LVDS display connectivity, it also features a hardware HD video decoder for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC1, WMV9, and H.264 HD formats at screen resolutions of up to 1080p. Viaembedded www.signagemag.com/9473
Video Wall Controller Boards Redefine your video wall experience with Matrox Mura MPX Series output/input boards and dedicated analog video capture cards. Each Mura MPX output/input board provides users with four HD outputs and up to four HD inputs. Combine multiple Mura MPX output/input boards with Mura MPX-V8 and MPX-V16 analog-capture and MPX-SDI video input/output boards to meet the most demanding digital signage requirements, delivering large-scale installations of up to 56 HD outputs and 56 HD inputs from a single video wall controller system. Matrox www.signagemag.com/9474 Managed Media Services Managed Media Services (MMS) is an end to end, interconnected and multi-media solution for marketing and corporate communications. MMS includes the option of a private delivery network, digital posters, and digital signage with location specific content, interactivity and analytical ability. MMS also takes advantage of mobile devices that incorporate trigger events, pulled user desired content, assistive sales, promotion and navigation. We offer turn-key or a la carte services and always provide reliable, high-quality service and support. BRIN www.signagemag.com/9475
8x8 Matrix for HDMI Extension The GefenPRO 8x8 Matrix for HDMI w/4 ELR switches eight sources to eight displays. Four displays can be connected locally using HDMI cables and four displays can be extended up to 330 feet using one CAT-5 cable per display. Gefen’s POL (Power Over Line) technology frees the receiver units from requiring power at the display location. Bidirectional IR, FST (Fast Switching Technology) and HDCP compliance. Gefen www.signagemag.com/9500
5x5 Modular Video Wall Stand The Peerless-AV® PN-PS550 5x5 Modular Video Wall Stand provides a free-standing portable 5x5 video wall solution for any environment. This stand is the ultimate rental and staging video wall mount - keyhole slotted components make for easy set-up/teardown with a hook and hang design and tool-less 8-point adjustment offers seamless display alignment along with the strength to hold 25 – 60” displays. The modular design allows additional sections to be added creating an infinite number of video wall configurations. Peerless-AV www.signagemag.com/9501 Kiosk for Maximum Interactive Fun The Imaginique kiosk is the newest addition to Horizon’s range of interactive design fixtures. Dynamically impact your target audience with a sleek and sophisticated kiosk which comes in a variety of 40-inch, 42-inch or 46-inch touch display sin single-, dual- and multi-touch options. The Imaginique Kiosk’s low profile and angled monitor face encourages users to interact with the content on screen. Plus, you can match your brand by choosing a custom kiosk color and adding your company’s logo. Horizon Display www.signagemag.com/9503 Dual Display Wall Mount with “On the Fly” Landscape to Portrait Rotation Crimson’s new AH55VLP Hydra Dual monitor digital signage wall mount holds 32”-55” digital signage displays 3.5” from the wall when retracted and 27” when fully extended. Each display can be manually rotated from portrait to landscape or landscape to portrait orientation without being removed, and postinstallation leveling without the use of tools provides time and labor saving benefits. Smooth, pre-tensioned tilt adjustments of +15° and -0° with a locking knob, and 6° side-to-side roll facilitates a variety of viewing angles with perfect screen positioning. Includes a 10-year warranty and a 100% satisfaction guarantee. CrimsonAV www.signagemag.com/9504 Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
67-inch Largest Transparent LCD Display ThruVu™ Cooler Display (TCD) is designed for indoor use within Cooler doors at Convenience and Grocery stores. This “high-performance” Digital LCD Display replaces the entire conventional door glass with a transparent display assembly that allows for normal viewing through the glass, but with the ability to run video content in a “seethrough” manner. Single or multiple doors can be retrofitted with the ThruVu product to provide a unique in-store advertising /promotional experience. Custom sizes are available for different door dimensions. MRI www.signagemag.com/9502
Digital Menu System Epicure Digital is a digital menu board company that creates complete digital signage solutions for the food service industry. The Epicure Digital Menu System allows operators to control their digital signage easily and quickly online. Epicure solves ‘the cure for the menu bored™’ by creating visually compelling multimedia menus, uniquely combining food photography, information such as nutritional menu labeling, and motion. Epicure Digital www.signagemag.com/9505
Signage Solutions Products
All-in-One Digital Signage Solution The new Philips Q Series is a simple all-in-one digital signage solution, empowering anyone to easily play back digital signage content via USB Drive. An Edge-lit LED display for natural color and thin design, coupled with a 30-day free trial of Flypaper™ Express content creation software, delivers eye-catching content to your audience. Efficiently and affordably create, manage and maintain full-fledged digital signage applications with ease and simplicity with the new Philips Q Series. The Q Series display is available in 32”, 42”, 46” sizes. Philips www.signagemag.com/9506
Digital Billboards Designed with efficiency and reliability in mind, the Daktronics 4200 Series digital billboards allows outdoor advertisers to promote more than ever with digital outdoor. From its design to its list of moneysaving features, the Daktronics 4K digital billboard series is the ideal LED billboard solution for outdoor advertising locations of any size. Daktronics www.signagemag.com/9508
USB Enabled Projector Casio’s Signature XJ-M255 projector continues to provide Lamp-Free, ecofriendly data projection at a fraction of the cost of traditional projectors with Casio’s state-of-the-art LASER & LED HYBRID Light Source technology. This USB model is equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity so users can display wireless presentations from a laptop or by using MobiShow, a smart phone application, where presentations can be made using a mobile device. The XJ-M255 is DLP 3D Ready and has auto brightness adjustment to save power and reduce eye fatigue. Casio www.signagemag.com/9507
All-in-one digital signage player for touchscreen applications Black Box’s new iCOMPEL™ K Plus Series VESA Mountable Standalone Player Unit for Interactive Kiosks (ICKPVE-IU-N) is an integrated hardware/ software solution optimized for single-screen interactive applications. It’s USB touchscreen-enabled right out of the box, supports HDMI® and DVI-I output, and plays intense >20 fps Flash and >30 fps video for fast, full-motion graphics rendering. Plus, it can show video in up to four zones simultaneously. For wireless player connectivity, an 802.11n version (ICKP-VE-IU-W) is also available. Black Box www.signagemag.com/9509
Direct LED Super Narrow Bezel Video Wall LG’s 55” WV70 Direct LED display Video Wall solution can be arranged in a 15x15 matrix, using up to 225 displays. Each monitor’s 5.3mm super narrow bezel allows it to be connected almost seamlessly with other displays to create a powerful and impactful video wall. Direct LED technology delivers a crisp, clear picture, while Local Dimming offers superior lighting control. IPS panel technology, “Shine Out Film” and High Temperature fluid also aid in helping to ensure great picture quality in any environment. LG www.signagemag.com/9510
Electronic Poster Solution TripleLite Electronic Posters is a non-network reliant digital signage solution designed for anybody looking for a high quality, reliable, cost effective, entry level signage solution. Allowing the combination of static images, text and video content the package provides all the basic functionality needed to create a powerful and impacting message for viewers. TripleLite utilises Tripleplay’s standard playlist and scheduling features allowing simple and effective management, creating messages that are timely and appropriate, all housed on a local USB stick. Tripleplay www.signagemag.com/9511
Design Specific Display Series NanoLumens new Design Specific series of large-format LED displays utilize patented display manufacturing processes to build digital solutions to your unique project design specifications in any size, shape or curvature; opening a whole new world of possibilities for utilizing large-format LED display technology. Like all NanoLumens displays, Design Specific displays are slim, lightweight and eco-friendly with brilliant edge-to-edge image quality to transform any space into the ultimate visual experience. Nanolumens www.signagemag.com/9512
Large 72” Outdoor Touchscreen New InfiniteTouch™ Interactive Touchscreen / Camera provides for Ipad / Iphone type Touchscreen functionality with the additional ability to have multiple Touchscreen “windows” open, running different interactive campaigns. The ultimate in customer interaction and great for engaging Touchscreen campaigns, including WayFinding. Suitable for direct outdoor use in sunlight. MRI www.signagemag.com/9515 Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
Fanless Digital Signage Player with Low Power Consumption The SI-06 is a compact (6.5” x 4” x 1.3”) digital signage player powered by the Intel® Atom™ D2550 processor. With a TDP of 10W, this processor allows for power efficient playback of HD content in a compact system. The SI-06 is equipped with a DVI-I port which supports DVI, Analog CRT and HDMI displays. Built-in gigabit Ethernet, dual USB, serial and analog audio ports round out the I/O set. The SI-06 comes equipped with 2GB of DDR3 main memory and a 320 GB 2.5” Hard Drive. Optional 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capability may also be added as necessary. The SI-06 represents a cost effective and power efficient digital signage playback solution that is ideal for challenging installation environments. iBase www.signagemag.com/9513
22” LED LCD Transparent Display Ideal for product displays and showcases, the Samsung NL22B Transparent Display features a 22” screen with a high transmittance rate of 15% and contrast ratio of 500:1. The display comes complete with everything you need, including a built-in PC, speakers, LED bar, protective glass, security lock and cables. The embedded MagicInfo™ Premium software allows image or video files to play automatically via a USB memory source. Samsung www.signagemag.com/9516 November/December 2012
Signage Solutions Products QSR Digital Signage Solutions Panasonic offers an array of end-to-end digital signage solutions for QSRs, bars, fine dining and more. With high brightness for easy viewing in well-lit spaces, the LF30 Series is ideal for menu boards and entertainment applications, and SLOT2.0 architecture allows you to mount a variety of powerful plug-in PC boards to suit your application in a fully contained digital signage solution. Panasonic www.signagemag.com/9517
Eighteen Screen Video Wall Display UCView can customize a player to support a large eighteen screen video wall, providing all-around entertainment for your viewers. Using only one license, you can easily deliver content to eighteen screens, which can be controlled separately or in full. If you don’t want to feature an entire eighteen screen video wall, you can also split it apart into two 3x3 video walls. With stunning graphics and performance, this video wall is all you need to communicate successfully to your audience. UCView www.signagemag.com/9518
65-inch Digital Signage / Outdoor TV The SunBriteTV 6560HD is designed for superior long-term performance and durability in any commercial or residential application. The exterior casing of all SunBriteTVs is engineered to protect the internal components from rain, snow, humidity, salt air, dust, insects, high reflectivity, and temperature extremes. The design also incorporates a multi-fan airflow system to keep the unit cool and dry in temperatures up to 122 degrees F. SunBriteTV www.signagemag.com/9520
Mobile Digital Signage Cart with 3X3 Video Wall Screen Configuration Premier Mounts' MVWC-3X3 mobile video wall cart provides a mobile platform to support digital content in virtually any space. The cart breaks down into two separate parts for easy shipping, handling, and setup at any event. Heavy-duty, industrial grade casters maneuver the cart effortlessly along any terrain, and support the 9-screen video wall with a weight capacity of 900 lb. Fine-tune adjustment brackets ensure a seamless alignment, with full adjustability for leveling and locking screws to secure in place. Premier Mounts www.signagemag.com/9521
CONTENT MARKETPLACE YOUR DIGITAL SIGNAGE CONTENT STREAM
Visual Communications Platform Built using the HTML5 standard, X2O is the next generation visual communications platform from X2O Media, which features a browser-based, drag-and-drop authoring tool allowing users to quickly create media-rich channels featuring HD video, 3D animations, data-driven graphics, social media content, and QR codes for interactivity with mobile devices. The X2O platform makes it simple for enterprises to publish these channels to one person, one team, or entire departments on any device, including desktops, notebooks, tablets, mobile phones, and digital signage displays. X2O Media www.signagemag.com/9522
Projection Coatings Screen Goo is a specially formatted line of acrylic paint products designed specifically for the Video Projection industry. It allows anyone to transform any smooth paintable surface into a high performance projection screen. Screen Goo paint products are ideal for Home Theater, Commercial, Educational or Industrial Front or Rear Projection applications. Screen Goo is inexpensive. It costs a fraction of other far more expensive yet lower performance alternatives and it can be painted into any size/shape screen. Goo Systems Global www.signagemag.com/9519
GREAT DISPLAYS NEED PREMIUM CONTENT DESIGN | CREATION | SUPPORT FLIXIO.COM
Management System for Digital Signage Networks EnGage Platform is a planning, distribution and management system for digital signage networks. It is entirely web-based and enables users to create, manage and measure highly-targeted networks. EnGage Platform encompasses multiple channels and provides a centralized solution that is capable of targeting content by time, location and demographic and to ensure delivery across all customers touch-points. ComQi www.signagemag.com/9529 Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
Signage Solutions Products
Digital Signage Software DC Media is Digital Signage made easy, providing a refreshing and visually appealing approach to electronic signage. With DC Media you can display scrolling messages, photographs, video, live TV and over 37 content types, including your own content created with the easy to use Digital Sign Creator. DC Media is available as a premise based solution, as well as a cloud solution. A free 15 day trial is available on the website. DC Media www.signagemag.com/9527
Digital Signage Computer Holder Utilizing tamper resistant hardware for safety considerations, the universal DS-CH digital signage computer holder is used to attach a digital signage media player to a wall or ceiling mount, attaching to mounting rails in landscape or portrait positions to better hide behind the flat panel. The 11in. x 7in. x 2.375in. DS-CH works in conjunction with VMP models FP-LDSB, PDS-LC and PDS-LFT, as well as most other manufacturers’ mounts which have sufficient clearance for the box. Videomount www.signagemag.com/9523
55-inch Outdoor Signage Solution The SunBriteTV 5507ESTL Marquee Series outdoor signage solution offers all-weather durability and full 1080p HD image quality with an extra-bright 700 nit LCD panel and high-temperature Extended Solar Tolerance (EST) technology that cools the LCD panel. The result is a high performance commercial grade HD display that delivers bright images and has the ability to perform in direct sunlight without isotropic blackout effects. SunBriteTV www.signagemag.com/9524
LED-backlit Digital Signage Displays The LED-backlit, commercial-grade NEC E Series displays (32”, 42”, 46” and 55”) are ideal for education, corporate and other digital signage applications. With a brilliant panel, full HD resolution and simplified controls, the NEC E Series delivers captivating digital signage. The integrated tuner allow users to enjoy high-definition broadcast capabilities, while the RS-232C networking feature allows the displays to be monitored remotely and the ability to synchronize multiple displays, remotely power on/off and lock out external buttons to prevent unwanted changes in the display’s setting. NEC Display www.signagemag.com/9526
By The Way
The Next Big Thing NFC will change the real-world shopping experience By Steve Gurley Click trails provide online retailers with valuable insight into consumers’ shopping habits. The retailer uses this insight to influence purchase behaviors by making real-time adjustments to product pricing, promotions and information. The online retailer can also measure and influence aggregate shopping patterns, such as cart abandonment rates, in near real-time. Any adjustments can be quickly measured, and if the impact does not meet the desired goals, further adjustments can be made and then re-measured. The brick-and-mortar retailer is not quite so lucky. They lack realtime insight into consumers’ shopping patterns and are forced to create shopping assumptions based upon metrics derived at checkout. Without real-time insight, these retailers cannot influence a shopper’s propensity to buy in real time. This, however, is about to change. Technology is quickly evolving to equip the real-world retailer with the tools to both measure and then influence consumers’ shopping behavior. This shopping revolution will be spearheaded by the growing adoptions of a technology called near field communications (NFC). An Introduction To NFC NFC is a derivative of a 1940s technology called radio frequency identification (RFID). Both RFID and NFC are communications technologies that can transmit information wirelessly over very limited distances. RFID chips can transmit information over a few meters, while NFC chips can transmit information to only a few centimeters. While both NFC and RFID share the same conceptual beginnings, each technology has evolved to serve different needs. RFID has evolved into a technology that can transmit information to products with an attached microchip. NFC has evolved into a technology that delivers information pertaining to, or of interest to, an individual. RFID is used in commercial applications, such as inventory tracking, toll tags, luggage tracking, meter reading and inventory warehousing. NFC is used in end-user applications, such as building access cards, credit cards, personal identification cards, health cards, transportation ticketing and marketing promotions. Commercial readers, such as warehouse inventory scanners and turnpike gantries, have traditionally been used to read
Digital Signage Technology for Today’s Applications
RFID tags. Fixed readers, such as building access pads and credit card payment terminals, have traditionally been used to read NFC tags. This, however, is rapidly changing. A rapidly growing number of smartphones are now being built with NFC readers. This is creating applications for NFC that were not practical a few years ago. NFC tags can now be attached to physical objects to transmit information to NFC-equipped smartphones. Once on the smartphone, the NFC-delivered information can be used for a broad range of purposes, which includes, but is not limited to, marketing, commerce, payments, influence and entertainment. As more NFC-equipped smartphones are sold, more NFC tags are being deployed.
The State of Deployment The advertising industry has been at the forefront of deploying NFC tags. In fact, the out-of-home (OOH) advertising industry has been one of the early adopters of NFC. Earlier this year, JCDecaux placed smartposters (print posters with embedded NFC tags) in bus stops located throughout the British town of Reading. The smartposters were designed to allow viewers to tap their NFC-enabled smartphones on these posters to receive additional information about the advertised product or service. JCDecaux found that consumer engagement was very strong. Since the Reading deployments, other OOH advertisers have followed suit with their own smartposters. Magazine advertisers were another early adopter of NFC. Last spring, Lexus ran an NFC-enabled ad within the pages Wired magazine. Readers could simply tap their smartphone on the ad to receive interactive information highlighting Lexus products. Today, Marie Claire magazine is running an NFCenabled print campaign to promote a free gym membership.
Kraft foods recently worked with Safeway to advertise its cheese and cookie products via NFC-enabled shelf tags. Kraft and Safeway found that customer engagement with the tags was strong and that tag engagement significantly exceeded that of a complementary QR code promotion.
The Impact on Retail As NFC begins to extend its reach, brick-and-mortar retailers will be able to develop online-like insight into customers shopping patterns. Every tap on a tag will provide the retailer with information about what their customers are viewing, when they’re viewing it and what they tend to do after viewing it. Tag-enabled content will dynamically change as tap-centric trends emerge. Marketing campaigns and promotions will morph to accommodate changing consumer preferences. But where will brick-andmortar deployments of NFC first appear, and how will they be used? The initial deployments will be targeted at enhancing the value of in-venue signage. Traditional print signs and posters will be enhanced to include NFC tags. Static signs will become digitally enabled with dynamic messaging. Retailers will likely spend less on refreshing their print signage
since the underlying electronic message will change, but they will spend more on deploying more printed signs. As the number of signs increase, the scope and degree of consumer insight will increase. As the price of NFC tags (currently about 50 cents) drops, the use-cases for tags will grow. The reach of NFC will broaden from print signage into shelf tags. As the price drops further, tags will ultimately be integrated into everyday products. With each evolution, the retailers’ insight will grow. Today’s brick and mortar retailer has little insight into their customers’ shopping habits and patterns. This weakens their ability to influence basketshare. NFC stands to increase retailers’ ability to acquire greater insight and influence consumers’ shopping patterns. Retailers will initially focus NFC deployments at enhancing the value of print signage, but the deployments will eventually evolve to include everyday products. With each deployment, the retailers’ ability to influence basket-share will grow. SSM Steve Gurley is the president of Pyrim Technologies Inc and regular contributor to Signage Solutions magazine. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advertiser Index PANASONIC www.panasonic.com/proled.................................................................................................................................IFC PRYSM www.prysm.com/facts....................................................................................................................................... back cover MITSUBISHI www.mitsubishi-presentations.com.......................................................................................................................... 3 PEERLESS-AV www.peerless-av.com .......................................................................................................................................... 5 VIDEO MOUNT PRODUCTS www.chooseamount.com .............................................................................................................. 7 CHIEF www.chiefmfg.com.............................................................................................................................................................. 9 UCVIEW www.ucview.com .......................................................................................................................................................... 13 DYNASCAN www.dynascanusa.com ......................................................................................................................................... 15 SENECA www.senecadata.com ................................................................................................................................................. 17 AVALAN www.avalanwireless.com.............................................................................................................................................. 21 MICROSPACE www.microspace.com.......................................................................................................................................... 27 DSE-DIGITAL SIGNAGE EXPO www.dse2013.com..................................................................................................................... 29 ITS ENCLOSURES www.viewstation.com ................................................................................................................................. 31 FLIXIO www.flixio.com.................................................................................................................................................................. 37 ACCU WEATHER www.accuweather.com/digitalsignage .......................................................................................................... 37
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