The Perspective 
Wednesday, 29 October 2014

By Jason Shave
Sales Manager
RMG Networks

As a salesperson, I spend a lot of time traveling to the reception areas of numerous companies in various industries. I am constantly amazed at how ‘vanilla’ and unassuming many are – surely a reception area is the place to showcase the company’s attributes and act as the pulse of their professional significance. Should I not expect to be engaged, wowed or learn something during my visitor experience?  Do first impressions no longer count?


Cast your mind back and think about the last 10 reception areas you visited. My guess is that many, if not all, were slightly outdated from a technological perspective.  They probably had a tiny TV mounted in the most ridiculous place possible, showing BBC or CNN or possibly just a blank screen, which even if it was turned on would have given you neck strain anyway. So what did you really learn about those 10 companies whilst sitting in their reception area waiting? Would very little be a safe assumption?

Now visualize the same reception areas with a large, multiscreen intelligent signage video wall installed and split into different zones. This would bring the space up-to-date with color, graphics and information, rendering the reception area in line with brand image, identity and visitor expectations. Companies could display their own real-time data and information, share price, employee engagement messages, social media feeds, green credentials, case studies, customer facing messages and more. All of a sudden, the company goes from being the same old tired and unexciting corporate mogul to a relatable, current and zestful company that people want to work for and/or do business with.


Simply put, it’s a message. Compelling visual signage says this is a company that embraces advancements in technology and other future trends; that they’re an engaging company as seen by their employees’ messages and also by your own engagement as a bystander getting more acquainted with the company. Business decision makers could even perceive the company as being ahead of the curve and want to associate their own business with one like that.

I like to think of a video wall as being a canvas to the possible, a window into real-time information and eye candy, where the viewer is visually engaged through the clever mix of data and content. When done right, the return on investment is instant.

Posted by: Admin AT 10:47 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Tuesday, 21 October 2014

By David McCracken
Livewire Digital

I don’t know about you, but it seems every time I’ve been in a Starbucks over the last few weeks, it seems like everyone is scanning their smartphone instead of paying with cash. The retail world is moving so quickly towards convenient technology solutions like these, and it’s showing no sign of slowing down. Craig W. Smith, founder of the New Channels Department at London retail giant Marks & Spencer, gave his predictions for the five pretty incredible in-store retail technology trends we will see in the next year. (Original source:

 1. First payment by smart watch

Smart Watch

Smart watch payment…because reaching into your pocket or purse is too much effort (not!) Smith predicts we will move beyond paying with cash, credit cards, or even smartphones, to paying with your wrist wear. The smart watch will establish itself as a credible payment instrument.

2. First Google Glass in-store retail applications

Google Glass

Google Glass applications are popping up in the medical and hospitality industries, and retail will soon join them. Retailers will offer applications like customer recognition, personalized concierge services and pick, pack & dispatch.

3. Personalized targeting with beacon technology

Beacon technology

Smith says retailers will start to engage customers with location-based personalized targeting. When customers enter a certain geographic range, retailers can send targeted promotions straight to their mobile phones.

 4. Pay and go using your mobile

Pay as you go

Have you been in a grocery store that allows you to scan your items as you put them into your cart? Picture the same thing…but with your smartphone. In the next 12 months, retail stores will trial software that allows customers to scan items as they shop and pay on their phones before exiting the store.

 5. Payment on shop floor will move from trial to full-scale rollout

Shop Floor payment

Some retailers are currently taking payments on devices like iPads, but mobile payment is definitely not without its challenges. Over the next 12 months, Smith predicts that hardware and solution providers will fix these problems, which will lead to more and more retailers adopting them. Mobile payments will move from proof-of-concept ideas into fully-fledged rollouts.

In which of these trends do you see the most potential? What other tech predictions do you have for the next 12 months?

Posted by: Admin AT 03:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Ryan Lepianka
Creative Director
Frank Mayer and Associates, Inc.

There is a fascination with studying Millennials since they are a cradle-to-grave digital generation and the heirs to vast purchasing power as their Baby Boomer parents pass the consumer torch. There are some noteworthy contrasts, and marketers should be asking what they need to do to change their stores and products.  

Because Millennials have grown up with a variety of mobile devices like smartphones, tablets and laptops, they are considered by some researchers to be more adept at task switching than older generations. Nielsen’s 2012 State of the Media Report identifies characteristics like multi-sensory processing power and response to intense color palettes when comparing Millennials to their Boomer parents.

In planning for marketing to Millennials at retail, younger people may respond positively to more vibrant graphics and interactivity, but there is still a commonality of experience that requires in-store merchandising not to lose sight of the fundamentals.

In the end, the human animal doesn’t change much. We are all looking for a path to an ideal, especially when we’re young. On one level or another we are often searching for a way to become what we perceive to be ‘more than we currently are’.

For example, I’m going to purchase the pair of headphones that costs $100 more than the next pair if it has been effectively communicated to me, that if I purchase THIS product, in some way, I am receiving some of that famous rapper’s DNA. In making this purchase, I am now ‘more’. This purchase is a step on the journey to actualizing my ideal in a real, tactile way.

As designers, we’re most successful when we design a retail piece that sets the stage for that kind of transference. We utilize the most appropriate technology available to extend that offer in a way that breaks through the noise, to make that offer to ‘become’ heard and understood.

I’m curious what you think. Perhaps we’re turning up certain tactical elements of marketing and merchandising to appeal to a younger, purely digital generation while acknowledging some universal common aspirations.

Posted by: Admin AT 10:06 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 08 October 2014

By Christopher Hall

The aesthetics of digital signage and design — and the intermarriage of the two — are in flux. The idea behind digital signage is now in many cases as much about providing a digital experience as about advertising a sale or delivering a message. And design, specifically the design of a physical space, is becoming more and more about connecting people to place with experiences — experiences that can be provided or enhanced by digital signage.

A look at how the two can work, and in some cases already are working, together brought Justin Molloy, the director of education for The Society for Experiential Graphic Design, together with Matt Schmitt, the president and co-founder of in-store digital media solutions provider Reflect, at the recent Digital Screenmedia Association Symposium in Dallas.

"We don't want to just throw technology at the wall," Schmitt said during the duo's presentation, "Connecting People to Place Through Digital Experiences," that looked at how digital signage can help create the built space as an integrated design element as much as bricks or mortar are. "[Designers] want to understand how it complements the environment."

Digital signage and screen media have changed, as have the perceptions of them by outsiders, Molloy said. They are becoming viewed by architects and designers as a key part of a tool kit for creating branded experiences, and have moved beyond being seen as useful primarily for wayfinding or dynamic messaging, he said.

"Where does the screen end and where does the drywall begin?" he asked. "The traditional silos that have existed for so long have blurred."

The SEGD is a collective that bills itself as a "global, multidisciplinary community of professionals who plan, design and build experiences that connect people to place," according to its website, and it includes a range of "graphic and information designers, fabricators, architects, exhibition designers, technology integrators, interaction designers, brand strategists, students, wayfinding specialists, teachers and others who have a hand in shaping content-rich, experiential spaces."

"People are creating experiences that connect people to place," Molloy said. "They're creating that relationship between content and space."

Molloy provided captivating visual evidence of that with several video case studies — including one from the Yale School of Management in Connecticut and another from the lobby of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Both showed digital signage technology as an architectural and experiential medium that had more to do with how people experienced the built space.

At the Cosmopolitan, the digital signage is part and parcel of the built space, it seems, covering lobby pillars and creating a sensualized experience for visitors.

And at the Yale School of Management, not only did digital signage become a key component of the building and the experience of the space, data itself became a key element of the signage and the experience.

Still, despite the changes, one key thing remains the same, and that is that the merger of design and digital signage or experiential technologies still needs to have and achieve a defined objective, Schmitt said.

Schmitt started off the talk by going over a project his firm did for upscale jewelry chain James Avery in which digital signage was a key component of the new store design from the start. The process "really drove home" the value of having designers take part in the same discussions with marketers and technology providers, he said. The designers too often work in parallel with, or in isolation from, the other two, according to Schmitt.

"They need to be at the table," he said, rather than just being told they have to fit a screen in somewhere. "So they can make it seamless and still achieve the objective."

Posted by: Admin AT 09:40 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  
Wednesday, 01 October 2014

By Julie Rasco
RMG Networks

Isaac Newton once said, “We build too many walls and not enough bridges.” Nowhere is that truer than in corporate environments.

Departments often operate in silos, even in small companies. From different procedures and policies to different software and working hours, organizational silos are part of today’s working culture. The problem with silos is when customers notice. A seamless transition between departments is a critical part of the customer experience.

One area where silos can impact customers is from back-of-house to front-of-house operations. Hotels, convention centers and large corporate campuses have to update their meeting room signage daily to make sure guests know where they are supposed to go. Imagine if this signage was not only automated, but the signs themselves were intelligent enough that a guest could walk up to one and search on it to see where they are supposed to be not only today, but also tomorrow?

This smooth flow of information doesn’t just impact external customers, but has implications for internal communications as well.  Have you ever scheduled a meeting room and found that when your meeting was supposed to start, another group was already there? Or, how about when you’re in the middle of an important presentation and there is a technical glitch and no IT person to be found? An intelligent door display would solve both of these issues by showing who had reserved the room and offering an audio dialing option for room help (more coffee needed STAT!).  

The new era of digital door displays is the perfect bridge for a seamless - internal and external - customer experience. With display sizes up to 21”, you don’t have to pull out your glasses to view the messages, and power over Ethernet designs make for easy installations that don’t require expensive electrical upgrades.

Where am I going? How do I get there? What’s going on today? To find the answers to these questions, today’s cutting-edge companies don’t rely exclusively on concierges, static displays or receptionists – they use the latest in digital door display signage!

Posted by: Admin AT 08:40 am   |  Permalink   |  
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