Posts Tagged ‘DS’

Digital Signage Expo Day 2

Friday, February 26th, 2010

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.

Digital Signage Expo Day 1

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

I am at the Digital Signage Expo and Out of Home Networking event in Las Vegas. I have seen a lot of interesting things, and some familiar faces so far. The classes have been good, and the vendors have had lots of fun things to look at, from video walls to screen goo, to interactive digital signs. I enjoy coming to this show each year. It is no CES, but I’ll take what I can get.

Digital Signage Expo

Photo Courtesy of Digital Signage Expo

One of the fun things I found was a convenient “Blogger’s Lounge” with Free Wi-Fi, courtesy of Muzak. As I sat there working (and blogging), the music being played was really enjoyable. Looking at their website I can’t find too much information, so hopefully they have a booth I can check out while I’m here.

Here are some highlights from today. I met with Samsung regarding a video wall idea we are pursuing, and will be meeting with LG, Sharp and Sony tomorrow hopefully. They were understandably pretty busy. Casio has a pretty cool LED projector that will be hitting Best Buy in April. Only $799, not bad for a projector. It seems that lamp free projectors are going to be hitting the mainstream this year. Casio’s rep was pretty defensive when I mentioned I saw Samsung’s first. He went from denying they had one to admitting that the last he had heard (at CES) was that they didn’t have a price or release date.

I met with other familiar faces is signage, Dynasign among them. I actually ended up meeting its President at a luncheon. There are a couple of newcomers this year, or at least new to me. Some of them have really fun products. I am going to talk to a guy tomorrow about an interactive floor display. It looks pretty cool and was fun to play with. I can see it being a great stress reducer in most settings.

One thing that bothered me a little today was the promise of a free book since I was one of the first 50 full conference registrants. The ticket said what booth to go to and when, and even mentioned when the author would be there to sign it. I don’t know what the book is about, so the autograph would be superfluous. The problem was that the books were nowhere to be found. I was told that the author was bringing them at a time later than the program suggested he would have been leaving by. I finally had to move on to other things. Like I said, I don’t know what the book is about, but a free book is a free book, right?

I had an interesting session regarding mobile communication. Most of the conversation dealt with specific reasons to add SMS or MMS to a digital sign, but there were a lot of alternative uses discussed as well. One of the speakers was from LiveNation, and he talked a lot about how they use SMS now in their concerts and events. The last concert I went to had a raffle based on text messaging, so I had experienced first-hand what this guy was talking about.

All in all, today was a pretty productive day. I was able to look at a lot of the up-and-coming technologies available in the digital signage industry, as well as some interesting software. I am looking forward to tomorrow’s events.