Digital Signage Expo Day 2

Day 2 of the expo was even more jam packed than the first day. There were some interesting sessions, and I had several vendors to talk to before the end of the day. My challenge was to meet with as many vendors as possible before the show closed at 5 pm.

As I mentioned on my Day 1 post, I had an appointment to talk about an interactive floor display. The guy didn’t make it, and the booth was down to one guy when I arrived. GestureTek has a variety of products available, the floor display being the one that caught my attention initially. They also do tables, wall displays and more. One of the interesting things about the product, as its name implies, is that touch is not required. I noticed the first day I looked at it that I could just move my foot above the surface to get the program to react. This keeps the screen a little safer as long as the audience knows they don’t actually need to touch it. I had a good talk with them, and might get a chance to throw some business their way in the future.

I met with Sharp and Sony regarding video wall technology as well. Sharp had a series of commercial grade televisions that were pretty crisp, but I was there to look at the display monitors. Sony had a pretty unique video wall display, with screens jutting out in a cube-like shape. I took a video with my Sony Ericsson “dumb phone” (can you tell I’m a Sony fan?) but I am not sure if the quality is good enough to post here. I was pretty impressed with both Sharp and Sony here though. Mitsubishi had some decent screens, but they don’t do direct sales so I wasn’t sure what their goals were.

LG completely ignored me. I was looking at a couple of projectors, but one guy wouldn’t get off the phone, and I made eye contact with 6 others who were huddled together and would not talk to me. So much for giving LG a chance. Sony and Sharp were better anyway, and Casio had a lamp-less projector that I am sure would be better than LG’s lamp-based projector.

I went to a couple sessions on upcoming trends and utilizing mobile interaction, and got some pretty good information. AT&T had the king of “um” talking about their interactive in-store displays. I was so distracted I had to count the ums, getting to 118 on his small segment alone. Add the Q&A to the equation, and the ums rolled on. I generally favor AT&T, but even I couldn’t get past the um problem.

I also got to spend some time with the Digital Signage Association reps. There was a bit of controversy coming into the expo, with the launch of the Digital Signage Federation. I asked the Association guys what their thoughts were about the controversy, and they were very polite. They acknowledged the newcomer, kindly pointed out they had been around for two years, and even suggested that the Federation may go in a parallel path that could allow a peaceable coexistence rather than competition. I had a good conversation, and got a brief recognition for recently joining the Association.

All in all the conference was a bit of a whirlwind. I met with some really big names, including Sony, Sharp, Mistubishi, Scala, Dynasign, X20, and 3M. I have lots of material to go through, and will add some posts after some more review of the various products I found. I am already looking forward to next year’s event.

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