The Perspective 
Tuesday, 18 June 2013

InfoComm 2013 wrapped up on Friday in Orlando. The record-breaking show drew over 35,000 attendees, serving up a plethora of products for the audio-visual industry. Included in the massive 470,000-square-foot exhibit space were a number of digital signage and interactive screenmedia offerings.

The show floor is big on the wow factor, especially among the display and projector manufacturers. Hot this year was 4K, also known as Ultra HD.

There were many great displays, but if I had to pick one, I'd choose Christie's Interactive Design Studio. It used a model Audi as a canvas for projection mapping and MicroTiles for the background and "road." The car's color and options changed along with the background with controls from a tablet.

The event was well covered by the industry media. Here is a collection of some of the articles and blog posts:


  • InfoComm Impressions: Day 1
  • InfoComm Impressions: Day 2

Digital Signage Today

  • InfoComm13: The art of digital signage in pictures, Pt. I
  • InfoComm13: How to avoid 'digital signage disasters'
  • InfoComm13: Taking digital signage out to eat

InfoComm Show Website

  • Photos, news and social media feed

rAVe Publications

  • InfoComm13 On Demand (digital signage videos)

Commerial Integrator

  • Mid-Year Report: Where Are Integrators Finding New Business?
  • 10 Amazing Video Walls at InfoComm 2013
  • 7 Innovative Digital Signage Solutions at InfoComm

AV Network

  • InfoComm Settled a Massive Debate Last Week and Nobody Even Noticed

If you attended, what was your favorite new product or big take away?


Posted by: David Drain AT 09:32 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 11 June 2013

About six months ago, the DSA Digital Signage Council established a sub-group for education. Led by Josh Saiz of the University of New Mexico (pictured) and Thomas Kunka of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the group meets by conference call on a monthly basis in a no-vendor environment. We asked Josh Saiz to write a post summarizing some of the discussions:

The digital signage University-Colleges-Education group (aka UCE) has been meeting for a few months.  We’ve been discussing how digital signage applies to the education/higher-ed market, which is different than your retail store or your train stop. We aren’t selling something; we’re not just promoting events – we’re informing students, faculty and staff. Over the last few months, we’ve chatted about a variety of things, including content, emergency notices & alerts, that good ol’ return on investment term (ROI), and most recently, displays.  
In our most recent call, May 2013, we discussed how displays are used in different educational environments. We also touched on the ins & outs of the different types displays (including video walls) and why bigger isn’t always better. We touched on the fact that smaller displays do have a use and can potentially provide a more intimate experience for the viewer. Can you see yourself “swiping” across the large video wall display in the Las Vegas airport to find your way to the Strip?  

Choosing the right type of display may depend on the location and function – know what you want to do before you do it. That will save you time and, of course, money. What sizes and types of displays are you using?
Although it varied from institution to institution, paying for the displays and digital signage system may differ: departmental, central IT, or even a mix and match of the previous items plus the added component of advertisement revenue. Not all systems are equal and handled the same. Each institution is different and that’s probably good.  

As funds in an educational environment are spread among many, sometimes justifying the investment in a system that doesn’t generate revenue can be very difficult. A couple of colleges are incorporating the “greenness” of an area by displaying and reiterating the value of saving energy. How do you justify your digital signage system?
In other discussions, we touched on the types of content used in a higher-ed digital signage system. It seems most of the attendees had the same thing in common – content is driven mostly by the department rather than one central entity in the institution. Is your institution doing it differently?
Mostly importantly, our group discussed the importance of emergency notification and how it fits (or doesn’t fit) within each institution. Surprisingly, each institution handles emergencies differently and only a handful effectively utilizes signage as a way to alert the masses. How do you inform your students about an issue on your campus?
We devote an hour each month to discuss digital signage and associated applications. If you’re interested in joining us on our next conference call, contact to be included. We meet the third Tuesday of each month (June 18 is our next call). Would you like to join us?
As an hour may not be enough in our monthly calls, we can’t cover a ton of things, but we would like to continue and extend the conversation. How are you using digital signage and related technologies? What you like to talk about? We’d love to hear from you!


Posted by: David Drain AT 11:00 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 04 June 2013

For six months now, DSA network operator members have been meeting by conference call on a monthly basis to discuss issues of interest and concern to them.

Also known as digital out-of-home (DOOH) or digital place-based networks, these members serve different markets – ranging from convenience stores to doctors’ offices to hair salons – but all have one goal: to offer compelling content to targeted audiences by which they can sell advertising.

Joe Matriss, Park Cast NetworkThe idea for the calls spun out of a DSA Digital Signage Council meeting. Joe Matriss, managing director of Park Cast Network in New York City, offered to lead the charge.

“This is a great opportunity to share best practices, facilitate cooperation, and help each other navigate through difficulties and challenges,” Joe wrote in an email to network operator members back in November. “There is a lack of collaboration going on and I believe that we have a lot to gain by talking together.”

His initial plan included discussing topics such as advertising sales, venues, content and integration. While the thought behind restricting the calls to network operators only had been to allow these members to talk openly in a vendor-free environment, outside experts have been invited to join the calls and speak to the group.

The first such guest was Patrick Quinn of PQ Media, whose firm produces an annual research report on the DOOH industry. Patrick presented high-level data, made observations based on the networks his firm has spoken with and then asked the participants about the challenges they faced.

Paul Lindstrom, senior vice president of custom research at Nielsen Media Research made a presentation in April on measurement in the DOOH marketplace and where it is headed.

Last month’s guest was Lucas Peltonen, digital out-of-home director for PITCH, which describes itself as “a boutique media agency dedicated to the creation and execution of customized out-of-home advertising programs.” Lucas gave his perspective on the industry, what he’s heard from agencies and what he thought it took to be successful in this marketplace.

"The monthly calls are beneficial in many ways," says Perry Kirk, president of Gloss Media. "I enjoy connecting with similar sized operators and exchanging advice and contacts in the industry. The calls are run efficiently, yet also allow candid conversation and creative exchanges."

Here's an email from another one of the participants:

The DSA Network Operator calls have been highly engaging since the launch. The ability for C-level executives to have this monthly open symposium and exchange of ideas has truly helped all of us clarify the direction of the industry as well as gain insight through each other. The inclusion of guest speakers brings outside perspectives and learnings to this format and allows us to view what other stake holders, such as clients, media agencies and research firms find most attractive, as well as the perceived hurdles to all of our growth. This is not merely an exercise in intellectual curiosity, but more so a series of cogent discussions on what drives our businesses and the DOOH Industry as a whole.  

A unifying theme that has developed over the course of our sessions is that as this industry matures, we must realize that we are an integral piece of the consumer engagement pathway and learn how to better integrate into, and take our rightful place within, the mobile engagement ecosystem that the end consumer (and viewer of our DOOH content) connects and interacts through.

Sheldon Silverman
SmartBomb Media Group / The iCASHtv Network  

The next call is scheduled for June 25. If your company is a digital place-based advertising network and would like to participate in the monthly calls, contact for more information.

Posted by: David Drain AT 10:17 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
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