Volume 10, Issue 4 — April 17, 2018
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|Toys R’ Us and Missed Opportunity|
By Mark Coxon
Just in case you were hiding under a rock this month, the big news in the business world was that Toys “R” Us will close or sell all of its 735 stores in the U.S., ending a 70 year legacy for the retailer and also putting 31,000 workers back in the market for a job. Of course, analysts are all pointing toward Amazon as the main reason for the collapse, and rightly so.
However, eCommerce in itself is not the main reason that Amazon is starting to wreak more havoc in the retail world. Amazon launched in 1995 and it took 8 years for them to turn a profit. As it expanded through acquisitions like that of Zappos in 2009, they widened their net and began to gain steam. However, despite an ever-growing mix of products and great customer service, retailers still maintained an advantage:
Consumers can be impatient and many were willing to pay more to get things right away. Retailers enjoyed a stay of execution, as brick and mortar was still the fastest way to acquire what their hearts desired. Amazon knew this was inhibiting their growth and so Bezos did something that no one else in eCommerce had ever done. He turned the corner on logistics and same-day shipping and did so in a way that leveraged reasonable subscription services to eliminate large additional shipping costs on each individual purchase. Now the curve has again accelerated and retailers have been on the run. Amazon shoppers can get the best price and get items right away, it’s a deadly combination.
In fact, many think that brick and mortar may continue to crumble under the weight of the web until it is almost non-existent, but I believe that retailers have one last stand to make if they want to survive.
I’m 6’5 and about 220 pounds, which in itself, makes it hard enough to buy clothes. However, I have an even larger challenge as well. I don’t have overly long legs, but I have a really long torso. This means I’m not wide enough for extra large shirts, but I’m too tall for large ones. If I’m going to buy a shirt of any kind, I 99 percent of the time have to try it on and I can’t do that if I’m shopping online.
At one time I also belonged to a co-op for produce. It was an amazing deal. I would get 20 pounds of local fruits and vegetables for about $15. However, I like my apples extremely crisp and my bananas slightly on the green side. I like avocados when they’re firm. I quickly found that although the co-op was extremely convenient and priced well below supermarket prices, I still liked picking out my own produce.
I have two Nespresso machines at home. One is especially for espresso and has a milk frother. The other is more focused on coffee. I’m in a coffee club that delivers the highest quality coffee and I get to pick the ones that have the flavor profile and intensity that I personally like the best. I could easily have a cup of coffee at home on my days off and sit in the comfort of my own home enjoying a leisurely morning. Yet on Sundays, I find myself getting up and driving to Bear Coast Coffee in San Clemente or at my favorite Peet’s, paying five times what it cost me to have coffee at home.
What do all my anecdotes above have in common? One thing.
Each of the scenarios above provides an experience that goes above and beyond price savings and convenience. In fact, you could say that each of them takes MORE effort on my part and costs me MORE to get what I want. However, the experience, either with the product or with the environment surrounding the product, is what makes the difference.
If you’re out there rolling your eyes, underestimating the power of experience, you’d be wrong. What is the best evidence that experience actually matters in a post-Amazon world and that brick and mortar still have value? The fact that Amazon itself is building physical stores. The strategy behind this move and its potential advantages were laid out by Fortune magazine just last year. The strategy boiled down to one thing:
Coming full circle, when Toys “R” Us found itself on the ropes with its behemoth warehouse-style stores getting beaten handily by the Amazon in the war of price, it should have leveraged experience instead. In the face of Amazon’s new logistics capabilities rendering the “I want it now” argument moot, experience was the unseen solution.
Toys “R” Us should have leveraged its footprint to host LEGOS Brick Masters clinics, STEM learning labs utilizing the newest coding kits and circuit building toys, or even eSports tournaments, just like movie theaters are doing as they see a continued shift toward home-based entertainment.
If Toys “R” Us had created a place to not only buy products, but also to create a community, to engage creativity, and to help kids develop skills around their passions through interactive play, they would have been providing something Amazon could never dream of providing online with a Prime membership.
People visit public spaces like retail outlets and malls for a variety of reasons, only one of which is to complete a task like making a purchase. There are several human motivations for visiting these types of spaces (I’ll be blogging about these reasons soon). Retailers with brick and mortar should be looking at how they address those other motivations to create a physical destination people are drawn to, to create something impossible to replicate on the Internet because it’s not a task-driven exercise. It’s an experience.
Perhaps, just like in the modern day stories of Blockbuster and Netflix, there are some lessons for our industry in the fall of Toys “R” Us. We also face an invasion of commoditized hardware through online vendors and through non-traditional AV channels that have been eroding our margins. The solution may be to move from our traditional role as hardware integrators to a new one dealing with overall experience.
Sure, as integrators and manufacturers, we have always delivered an experience with our product or service. However, the experience with our hardware and services has always been a by-product of the hardware plan we developed and services we sold. The experience was therefore arrived at by accident. Maybe it turned out well, and maybe it didn’t.
The model needs to be flipped on its head, with experience being the end-goal and not an accidental by-product.
Experience needs to be discussed and agreed upon with the end user, and then the hardware, systems, services, etc. provided need to be tailored in a way that they meet the end goal. There must be some flexibility and headroom built in to accommodate the customer in the case that he or she decides they subjectively don’t like the current performance. After all, if the customer says the system is a failure and not what they expected, then they’re right and we failed. If we fail consistently over time, our market loses confidence in us in more ways than one.
For those who keep arguing that experience is not a relevant part of their AV business because they don’t build theme parks or museums, think again. Experiences are not limited to large AV jobs with a “wow” factor. Experiences are also about consistency, ease of use, relevance, social connection, etc.
Experience is not a fad. It is a new reality.
Creating experiences not only sets you apart from the turn-and-burn box movers, it may just save your business in the long run as well.
Toys “R” Us had the opportunity to embrace experiences and potentially change their destiny. They missed it. What will we do?Leave a Comment
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|Digital Signage Expo Announces 2018 APEX Award Winners
Digital Signage Expo (DSE) announced the independently judged winners of its APEX Awards for 2018 at the 14th Annual APEX Awards Ceremony, Wednesday, March 28.
McCann Systems and bluemedia took home the top honors of the night, winning the APEX Installation of the Year and APEX Content of the Year awards, respectively. The two overall winners were selected from the nine Gold award winners.
This year Gold, Silver and Bronze DSE 2018 APEX Awards were presented to winners in nine categories from a field of 116 entrants:
Arts, Entertainment & Recreation (13 entries)
- Gold – McCann Systems for 150 Media Stream
- Silver – Potion Design for Cleveland Museum of Art/ArtLENS Exhibition
- Bronze – Christie for TCL Chinese Theatre “Hollywood Lights”
Business & Government Services (13 entries)
- Gold – Dreambox Visual Communications for 22nd World Petroleum Congress Official Opening Ceremony
- Silver – Four Winds Interactive for Daimler Trucks North America Headquarters
- Bronze – Cineplex Digital Media for Scotiabank Solutions Branch
Education & Healthcare (8 entries)
- Gold – Forge Media + Design for Holomodor Mobile Classroom
- Silver – Dimensional Innovations for University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital/ Nick’s Theater
- Bronze – Visix, Inc for Georgia State University – Enterprise Digital Signage
Event Venues & Hospitality (14 entries)
- Gold – Daktronics for Mercedes-Benz Stadium
- Silver – DCL for “As We Are” Interactive Digital Sculpture
- Bronze – StandardVison for “Convergence” at Metropolis Los Angeles
Food – Beverage (1 entry)
- Gold – Shikatani Lacroix Design for Boston Pizza Digital Experience
Immersive Environments (10 entries)
- Gold – bluemedia for Super Bowl LIVE Water and Building Projection Show
- Silver– Go2 Productions for Mirage at Metropolis
- Bronze – Colours and Shapes Design, Inc. for Uninterrupted: A Cinematic Spectacle
Public Spaces (29 entries)
- Gold – Colours and Shapes Design, Inc. for Uninterrupted: A Cinematic Spectacle
- Silver – Cineplex Digital Media for Cars 3, Digital Experiential Campaign
- Bronze – LG Electronics USA Business Solutions for LG OLED Video Wall at the Dubai Aquarium
Retail (18 entries)
- Gold – ICON Media for Fume Scent Lounge
- Silver – The Kroger Co. for EDGE (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment)
- Bronze – Stingray Business for Sportes Experts – Downtown Montreal
Transportation (10 entries)
- Gold – NanoLumens for Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4
- Silver – Eventscape for Pearson International Airport (GTAA Passenger Information Zone)
- Bronze– MTA Arts & Design for The Fluid
Digital Signage Expo winner details are here. Leave a Comment
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|Leyard and Planar Acquire eyevisToday Leyard and Planar announced the intent to acquire eyevis, a manufacturer of visual display solutions.
Through this geographic expansion, the companies will better serve customers in EMEA with combined marketing, sales, installation support and customer service.
eyevis, a German manufacturer of large screen systems, is a provider and integrator of visualization systems for professional applications in control rooms, broadcast, virtual reality and simulation. eyevis solutions include displays, graphics controllers, software and accessories. Teracue, a manufacturer and supplier of professional IPTV and video-networking systems, is included in the intent to acquire eyevis. Teracue was acquired by eyevis in 2014.
“This acquisition demonstrates our ongoing commitment to further geographic expansion and investment, specifically in Western Europe,” said Marco Bruines, CEO of Leyard EMEA.
Leyard is here and Planar is here. eyevis is here.Leave a Comment
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|DSE’s 15th Year Doesn’t Set Attendance Records, But Has Highest Percentage of BuyersThe Digital Signage Expo (DSE) announced today that while DSE 2018 did not set an all-time attendance record, it did deliver the highest buyer attendance percentage in its 15-year show history, with 93.3 percent of total attendance comprised of end-users, system integrators and advertising/brand executives.|
End-users alone accounted for nearly 45 percent of the audience, which was a higher percentage than 2017.
Verified attendance was 4,032 and was on par with DSE’s attendance performance over the past five years, with the exception of 2017. In 2017 the show was co-located with three other events (GlobalShop, Cinamacon and Pizza Marketplace), which gave DSE a significant one-year attendance boost.
International attendees were 17.5 percent of the overall attendance, coming from 60 countries.
Mark your calendar for DSE 2019, March 26-28 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.Leave a Comment
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|Wainhouse Releases Evaluation of Zoom Rooms for Touch, Digital Signage and Scheduling Display|
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Considering adding video-enabled collaboration spaces to your enterprise for conference rooms, huddle rooms, or other areas? Check out this Wainhouse Research Report, authored by Wainhouse senior analyst and partner Ira M. Weinstein
This report focuses on Zoom Rooms, Zoom’s all-in-one conference room solution, and covers Zoom Rooms’ specifications, uses and off-the-shelf hardware compatibility. Weinstein also gives an in-depth evaluation based on extensive testing of three Zoom Rooms features: Touch/Whiteboarding, Digital Signage and Scheduling Display.
Zoom Rooms for Touch allows users to easily interact with the Zoom Rooms user interface and each other. “Throughout our testing, Zoom Rooms’ touch UI worked perfectly… the whiteboarding and annotation features offer customers a cost-effective alternative to dedicated ideation/digital whiteboarding solutions,” says Weinstein.
Zoom Rooms Digital Signage comes free to customers with at least one Zoom Rooms license and offers a cost-effective method to create dynamic workplace signage. Fully customizable with the ability to display images or URLs and even join meetings, Zoom Rooms Digital Signage is perfect for all workspaces including lobbies, cafeterias and conference rooms.
“The digital signage functionality was quick and easy to configure… the ability to use this same system to join meetings and for wireless content sharing is a major plus,” says Weinstein.
Zoom Rooms Scheduling Display is a convenient way to check the status and schedule of any Zoom Room or any other meeting space. Scheduling Display works through a simple app and can be installed outside the room on an iPad with a housing case. The intuitive app clearly shows if a room is available or busy, and allows users to reserve a room in seconds.
The entire report is here.
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|advoli Launches Two HDBaseT-Certified Graphics Cardsadvoli Limited (advoli) just announced two additional HDBaseT-certified PCIe 16x graphics cards. The graphics cards are powered by AMD Embedded Radeon E8860 Series GPU and deliver six HDBaseT channels with independent 1080p resolution videos for up to 150 meters over CAT cables.
The already released TA6, has been renamed “TA6 Performance,” delivering six independent channels of 4K UHD content for up to 100 meters, powered by the AMD Embedded Radeon E9550 series GPU. The newly announced graphics cards are named “TB6 Standard” and “TA6 Distance.”
The TA6 Distance utilizes the same HDBaseT technology as the TA6 Performance graphics card, but with a GPU processor that allows lower power consumption at reduced cost, but with the computational capability necessary for most digital signage, control rooms and information displays. The TA6 Distance enables up to 150 meters at 1080p across six independent HDBaseT channels, ensuring extra reach across multiple rooms.
The TB6 Standard is designed for distances of less than 70 meters and can power six independent 1080p displays. The graphics card is suitable for installations that require shorter reach such as menu boards, in-room displays and projectors.
All three graphics cards, the TB6 Standard, TA6 Distance and TA6 Performance, include diagnostic tools to determine cable tampering, cable distance and signal integrity, for easy troubleshooting of installations. In addition, emulated controls for IR, RS232 and CEC allow for remote management and compatibility with virtually any industry display or projector. EDID information can be passed through or emulated, meaning hot swapping of displays and projectors can be done without affecting the display order.
All the HDBaseT cards are here.Leave a Comment
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|Campsite Integrates with Signagelive|
Campsite has integrated with Signagelive to provide new revenue opportunities for Digital Out-of-Home network owners and operators. This integration means that Signagelive’s clients can now connect to buyers through their access to Campsite’s supply-side platform (SSP). This represents the first full integration of a large-scale CMS with an established buying platform specialising in digital out-of-home media available in Canada .
Launched in 2016, Campsite’s products include an SSP for sellers, an exchange marketplace and a DSP for buyers. With over 8000 digital screens across an array of suppliers and environments already connected, Campsite has the largest selection of DOOH in a single platform in Canada.
Buyers using the DSP can build campaigns using various targeting tools, including mobile audience data. These audience insights are also shared with Signagelive clients, the media sellers, within the Campsite SSP.
By enabling the integration with Campsite, Signagelive can now offer their clients the option of tapping into a new revenue stream through programmatic sales. The media sellers decide how much advertising time they wish to ‘offer up’ to Campsite and control the type of content they wish to allow to be shown on their displays.
This option is available to all Signagelive clients starting with Canada and will roll out to other markets throughout 2018 and beyond. The first Signagelive client launching with Campsite is IDS Canada who are making their digital poster network in doctor’s office waiting rooms available to Campsite buyers.
Campsite is here and Signagelive is here.Leave a Comment
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|NEC and BrightSign Partner to Offer Digital Signage Packages|
NEC Display Solutions of America and BrightSign today announced that the companies will be offering bundled signage solutions consisting of an NEC commercial grade display with an integrated BrightSign digital media player. These bundles, one of the first promotions from NEC’s Alliance Partnership Program, will offer deep discounts to the channel.
NEC’s new C Series and award-winning V series displays — when sold with a BrightSign Series 3 LS, HD or OPS-compatible HD media player (HO523) — will have a promotional rebate available through Ingram Micro, Stampede, Almo and BlueStar. These bundles are designed for a large percentage of digital signage needs, and business clients can expect full support from NEC Display Solutions and BrightSign throughout the life of the project to ensure the best possible outcome.
NEC is here and BrightSign is here.Leave a Comment
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|AdMobilize Debuts Its Vehicle Recognition Engine at Digital Signage Expo|
AdMobilize today unveiled to the digital signage community its all-new Vehicle Recognition Engine through a live demo taking place in downtown Las Vegas. Throughout DSE 2018 and the weeks following, the Vehicle Recognition Engine, integrated with a downtown digital billboard, will be collecting key vehicle data that’s increasingly demanded by media companies, advertising agencies and brand marketers — those responsible for the purchasing of digital signage-based media.
According to AdMobilize co-founder and CEO Rodolfo Saccoman, the captured data is being streamed to the company’s DSE Booth #2369, where attendees can learn how the platform’s AI and machine learning algorithms anonymously convert raw data into decision-making insights.
AdMobilize says its Vehicle Recognition Engine is the culmination of three years and tens of thousands of collective engineering hours invested in developing proprietary AI and machine learning algorithms sufficiently sophisticated to both detect and recognize vehicles in motion, in real-time, day and night, with remarkable accuracy. The secret sauce of the platform is that AdMobilize’s AI is optimized for low processing-power devices, enabling massive adoption as hardware costs are drastically minimized.
The engine can count cars, assess peak traffic periods, gauge vehicle speed and identify vehicle type — e.g. sedan, SUV, bus, van, minivan, or motorcycle — and upcoming, vehicle brands. All data is fed in real-time — within 10 milliseconds — to an intuitive dashboard for end-user analysis and consumption. Using the information gleaned from the Vehicle Recognition Engine, OOH advertisers and media companies can more effectively target their billboard ads based on captured vehicle analytics, allows them to sell by audiences and optimize the yielding of rate cards.
Here are all the details.Leave a Comment
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|GeoBox VNS Debuts Three New Video Wall Controllers for Signage|
VNS has unveiled a new series DCi/UHD 60fps 4 CH-8 CH video wall controllers. Three models in G400 series incorporate HDMI 2.0 input and HDMI 2.0 loop-through port for daisy chain connection with HDCP 2.2 as well as synchronized FHD outputs. Each output has independent color adjustment, image 90 / 180 / 270 rotation, scaling and cropping for irregular video walls. There are no limitations in multiple unit cascades.
- G406 (4x inputs, 4x CH out) – 2x HDMI 2.0 + 2x DP 1.2 inputs ports with matrix switcher function to display one, two, three or four independent pieces of content on four LCD video wall. Two HDMI 2.0 loop-through ports allows user to select different display contents while cascade with multiple units.
- G406Lite (1x input, 4x CH out) – Simplified model of G406 with 1x HDMI 2.0 input and 1x loop through port. Lower cost and easy setup but still with their top video performance and irregular video wall capability.
- G408 (2x inputs, 8x CH out) – Eight screen model with 2x HDMI 2.0 input and 2x loop through ports. It can serve as one eight-screen or two four-screen video wall controller with their top video quality and irregular video wall capability. Two units with 16 monitors can easily achieve 8k/4k video wall display.
- G400 series is a pure hardware, standalone 4K/60 system. All operations can be easily implemented through IR remote controller, USB or Ethernet.
All the specs are here.Leave a Comment
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|Flexitive Adds Content Creation Capabilities to Signagelive|
Signagelive and Flexitive have collaborated to bring animated HTML5 content to Signagelive. Flexitive connects to the ecosystem, so the thousands of organizations using Signagelive can take their content from design to sign without the need for programming knowledge or expensive development. Organizations can serve Flexitive designs to the Signagelive platform directly or through an optimized experience developed using Signagelive’s Widget Development Framework, enabling offline playback of Flexitive content on Signagelive supported players and System on Chip (SoC) Displays. Those designs served directly to Signagelive can easily be edited, changed or updated instantly, from anywhere with an internet connection.
Signagelive’s Widget Development Framework enabled Flexitive to optimize and export their animations so that they work offline on Signagelive supported players and SoC Displays from the major hardware vendors. This feature is critical to ensuring Flexitive content continues playing in the event of a loss of Internet connectivity.
Signagelive is here and Flexitive is here.Leave a Comment
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|Magewell to Debut Standalone Streaming Encoder
Expanding beyond its video capture and playout cards, Magewell will show company’s first standalone, hardware-based streaming encoder at the 2018 NAB Show next month. Dubbed the Ultra Stream HDMI, it’s capable of recording or streaming video and audio from a variety of sources with one-click using on-device buttons or a smartphone app. Designed for users who want to stream but may have very little technical knowledge, the encoder is aimed at church volunteers, teachers and gamers to corporate marketers and live event organizers.
The initial configuration is performed over network or Bluetooth connectivity with the free iOS or Android app. Once encoding and destination parameters have been set (e.g., entering Facebook or YouTube keys), recording and live streaming can be started and stopped directly with physical buttons on the Ultra Stream unit or via virtual buttons in the app. It can natively stream to Twitch, YouTube and Facebook Live or to a custom-specified RTMP server. Streams can be output to multiple target services simultaneously, while real-time video preview in the smartphone app allows for monitoring.
The first of multiple planned models in the Ultra Stream family, the Ultra Stream HDMI captures, encodes and streams video up to 1080p60 via an HDMI input interface from sources such as video cameras, players and game consoles. The encoder also supports 4K HDMI inputs at 60fps with 4:2:0 color subsampling, down-converting them automatically to HD (H.264) for recording and streaming. Embedded HDMI audio is done by an analog microphone input and a headphone output for monitoring. HDMI loop-through connectivity enables source signals to be simultaneously sent to a monitor or projector without the need for an HDMI splitter.
In addition to outputting live streams, the Ultra Stream HDMI can record video as MP4 files to a directly-connected USB drive or the associated smartphone. Footage can also be recorded in a loop on embedded storage within the unit for subsequent previewing and downloading. The device supports H.264 video compression and AAC audio, with HEVC encoding and recording planned for a future update. Two distinct combinations of resolution, frame rate and bitrate can be specified, enabling simultaneous recording and streaming with different parameters. Still frames can also be captured with the app.
The compact Ultra Stream HDMI measures just 3.7 inches (94.2 mm) square with a height of 1.1 inches (28.5 mm). The flexible unit offers both wireless and wired network connectivity, with built-in Wi-Fi as well as an RJ45 Gigabit Ethernet port. Here are the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Epson Introduces LightScene – a New Category of Laser Projection for Digital Art, Spatial Design and SignageEpson today announced LightScene — a new category of accent lighting laser projectors for digital art and signage. LightScene is designed to simultaneously illuminate and project dynamic content on virtually any surface or material to engage audiences and provide an immersive experience for commercial signage applications in markets such as retail, hospitality, showrooms and museums.
With two models available in a spotlight form factor — LightScene EV-100 in white and LightScene EV-105 in black — the laser projectors blend in discreetly and offers an array of configuration, mounting and programming options. Specs include:
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- 3LCD laser technology — Epson laser technology is spec’d up to 20,000 hours in a sealed optical engine
- Built-in content management — Includes templates, effects, color filters and customizable options
- Scalable — Daisy-chain multiple LightScene projectors and utilize Edge Blending technology
- Easily programmable — Playlist and playback functions allow for content management for single or multiple LightScene projectors
- Flexible positioning — Includes vertical and horizontal rotation with 360-degree mounting on tracks, floors, walls or ceilings; 1.58x powered optical zoom and powered focus allows for installation in both large and small spaces
- Connectivity includes HDMI, RJ-45, wired and wireless LAN and SD card slot for direct content storage
- Up to 2,000 lumens of color brightness and 2,000 lumens of white brightness
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|Reflect and BrightSign Bring Ad-Trafficking Solution to Growing Digital Signage Market
AdLogic from Reflect Systems is a new ad-trafficking platform that allows for campaign management with an ad scheduling and delivery — and it now runs on BrightSign media players.
Using AdLogic, clients can set objectives based on target metrics such as frequency of plays and audience impressions for a particular advertisement. The algorithmic engine at the center of AdLogic balances ad playback to ensure clients achieve particular goals. AdLogic ad deployments on BrightSign media players mean content managers no longer have to worry about a given advertisement’s delivery. Content is displayed automatically based on a store’s location, time of day or even the types of visitors a location generally gets.
With this combination of technologies, digital signage networks can now deliver advertising based on impressions, frequency, and intended audiences. Packaged with an easy-to-interpret, easy-to-use report with verified playback data, AdLogic running on BrightSign media players is an extremely powerful platform.
Reflect Systems is here and BrightSign is here.Leave a Comment
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|Bitvu Launches Spark Digital Signage Player|
To complement its Wi-Fi-only Freedom player, Bitvu just announced its latest digital signage player, called Spark. Integrated with all the features of the Freedom, Spark targets a more professional user and environment. Spark can be used both wirelessly — using dual band Wi-Fi — or wired via ethernet (later models also feature Bluetooth capability). If the screen is in an offline environment, Spark enables you to edit ads and playlists right in front of the screen using the Screenspace App. It outputs an HDMI 1080p signal.
List price is USD$250. Here are all the specs.Leave a Comment
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|Optoma Unveils the ZH420UST Laser Projector at Digital Signage Expo
Optoma today at DSE 2018 debuted the ZH420UST 1080p HD laser projector — an ultra short throw projector with built-in edge blending and warping. They are aiming it at digital signage applications where you need projection in a large format. And since it’s laser, it can be mounted in any configuration.
The ZH420UST is a single-chip DLP projector that’s spec’d at 4,000 ANSI lumens, a 100,000:1 contrast and 0.25:1 throw ratio so it can project a 100-inch image from just 13 inches away. Inputs include HDBaseT and two HDMI. It’s available in two colors — ZH420UST-B (black) and ZH420UST-W (white) and will list for $2,799.
Here are the detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|STRATACACHE Buys X2O Media From Barco|
Barco announced the sale of Montréal-based X2O Media to STRATACACHE. STRATACACHE will offer an enhanced focus and new growth opportunities for X2O. After its acquisition in 2014, X2O became part of Barco’s Enterprise division, which focuses on solutions for meeting and control rooms. Over the years, X2O secured top tier customers including John Deere, Verizon, FoxNews and Accenture. All customer agreements will continue to be managed by X2O to ensure continued support and service for current customers.
“The decision to divest X2O Media comes after a careful evaluation of its profitability and growth opportunities,” says Jan De Witte, Barco’s CEO. “As digital signage is no longer a strategic focus for Barco, we are convinced that selling X2O to a major player like STRATACACHE will provide the company with the focus and contacts it needs to reach the next level of scale and success.”
“With the acquisition of X2O Media, we will expand our portfolio with a complete solution for dynamic content display based on real-time data, plus great new tools in the E-Learning and Broadcast Markets,” says Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE. “The X2O software platform versatility, and its capability to address any display – be it fixed or mobile – will prove to be an important asset. This complementary technology will help us to further build on our core competences in the ever expanding digital display and data visualization marketplace.”
X2O Media employs about 45 people and will continue to operate from Montréal, Canada. Today, the company reports annual sales of 5 million euro with EBITDA close to break-even. Final closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected in the coming weeks.
STRATACACHE is here and X2O Media is here.Leave a Comment
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|Gefen Ships Six New AV-Over-IP Products|
Gefen is now shipping six new models from their Gen 2.0 AV-over-IP product line including the DVI KVM, VGA KVM and audio-only input and output formats. The Gen 2.0 KVM line claims 4K Ultra HD with HDR support, built-in scalers, video-wall control, independent USB, RS232, IR, audio routing and backward-compatibility with first-generation products.
The new Gefen AV-over-IP line-up includes a new KM Emulation feature which facilitates real-time, simultaneous keyboard and mouse control of each source from all connected workstations, eliminating the inherent limitations of earlier systems. HDMI and DisplayPort products feature maximum input resolution of 4K 60 Hz 4:2:0, and maximum output resolution of 4K 30 Hz 4:4:4. HDCP 2.2 and 1.4 are also supported. The DVI and VGA models support VESA and CEA resolutions up to WUXGA (1920×1200 at 60 Hz) and 1080p Full HD (1920×1080 at 60 Hz).
The Sender units (except DisplayPort) feature a video output for local monitoring of the source. USB, RS232 two-way IR and audio can be routed independently between any sender and receiver unit, allowing end users to control any of the sources and the displays within their network.
The new digital and analog audio over IP units allow integrators to add audio-only nodes to an installation. Each receiver can play back audio from any of the Gefen AV-over-IP sender units, including audio de-embedded from HDMI inputs. These senders and receivers can be used for multi-room music, conferencing, public announcement and live venue audio projects.
All KVM and AV Receivers feature a built-in scaler as well as a video wall controller that accommodates any screen configuration up to 16×16 in sizing and manipulating live and signage content. Digital and analog audio break-out on HDMI, DVI and DisplayPort receivers allow audio that is embedded into the video to be sent to a separate audio system, enhancing the impact of presentations in large venues. HDMI models pass 7.1 channels of HBR (High Bit Rate) and LPCM digital audio from source to display.
The Receivers’ integrated USB hub with two USB 2.0 and two USB 1.1 ports accommodate touch panels, keyboard and mouse, and a variety of supported devices.
A built in two-port Gigabit switch on each receiver allows the daisy-chaining of additional receivers or other IP-enabled devices. In applications such as digital signage, where content is often replicated on multiple displays throughout the installation, the ability to cascade the receivers removes the requirement for each cable to be run directly to the main network switch.
You can see the entire line here.Leave a Comment
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|New Holosonics Audio Spotlight Technology Debuts|
Holosonics unveiled newest Audio Spotlight technology — a directional audio technology. Aimed at the digital signage and out-of-home advertising communities it’s designed to place audio precisely and unobtrusively. Audio Spotlight technology creates a tight, narrow beam of audio, similar to the beam of light produced by a flashlight, which is designed for adding sound to any digital signage installation, without disturbing the surrounding area. Holosonics claims that this spotlight effect reduces sound levels by over 90 percent just a single step outside the narrow beam of coverage.
Here are all the tech specs.Leave a Comment
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|IC Realtime Focuses on AI, Analytics in New Surveillance Solutions at ISC West|
IC Realtime is introducing a new surveillance camera with on-board analytics to provide traffic metrics for business owners. The new 3 Mega Pixel, IP-based surveillance camera (Model: ICIP-3128-3D) is designed for retail installations and features a dual lens, dual camera design to differentiate between flat 2D objects and 3D people. When mounted towards the entrance of a retail environment, the ICIP-3128-3D leverages advanced stereo vision algorithms to provide people counting metrics back to the business owner that can influence important decisions on store layout and products displays.
Metrics available to business owners through the installation of the ICIP-3128-3D by an IC Realtime dealer include heat mapping which provides an immediate visual summary of information collected by the camera on the most popular or heavily trafficked areas of the retail environment. Additionally, the ICIP-3128-3D surveillance camera can be used to provide metrics on how many patrons entered or exited a certain boundary within a certain amount of time with 98 percent accuracy.
Here are detailed specs.Leave a Comment
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|DPAA to Hold First Canada SummitDPAA announced today that it will hold its first-ever Canada Summit – Video Everywhere Canada on May 14 in Toronto.
The Summit will be held at Cineplex’s Rec Room, a new state of the art entertainment and conference facility, and will feature an agenda covering important issues and developments in the video everywhere ecosystem, including programmatic, multi-screen engagement, mobile/location data and case studies illustrating digital out-of-home’s impact on consumer behavior. In addition, DPAA will announce findings from its first survey of Canadian media planners.
The event is targeted to executives representing brands, agencies, digital out-of-home networks, ad tech, mobile/location companies, data firms and others from the full spectrum of multi-screen advertising.
A preliminary list of speakers includes Stephanie Binette, chief marketing officer, L’Oreal Canada; Devon MacDonald, chief strategy officer, Mindshare Canada; Michael Oliver, national manager, brand communications, BMW Group Canada; and Ari Elkouby, VP, creative director, J.Walter Thompson Worldwide. Full details can be found here.
Barry Frey, DPAA president & CEO, will host Video Everywhere Canada. He said, “The Canadian DOOH market is a vibrant one, with innovation at its forefront. We are excited to put together an agenda of thought leadership and DOOH cases with actionable insights for this inaugural event.”
You can register here.Leave a Comment
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|NanoLumens And Float4 Make Waiting in Line Fun With Interactive Installation at Vancouver International Airport|
Passengers traversing through Vancouver International Airport (YVR) have a new way to pass the time in line, thanks to a dazzling new interactive digital signage installation by the experts at NanoLumens, award-winning creators of uniquely compelling interactive LED visualization solutions.
Where a printed map of select flight paths from YVR used to hang, there now sits a vibrant 12.5’x 7.8’ NanoLumens LED display playing custom content created by the renowned digital experience artists at Montreal-based Float4. According to Lynette DuJohn, Vice President, IT & Chief Digital Officer, Vancouver Airport Authority, the new display is delighting passengers.
“Digital is a key way we evolve the airport, making it more perceptive for passengers and customers by creating interactive environments,” DuJohn said. “We’ve partnered with NanoLumens on a number of projects both in our public areas and our Customs Hall that provide wayfinding, information in sign language, flight information – and now with our latest project in partnership with Float4, we have this new incredible interactive airport experience. Passengers and employees are loving the new installation, we are seeing a lot of smiles on people’s faces and that’s the ultimate goal – to provide exceptional experiences for passengers and the community.”
Float4 took the best-in-class NanoLumens display and made it even more captivating by creating interactive content that reacts to passengers as they walk by. The initial launch included two interactive pieces, one called ‘The Reveal” that present destination videos and changes when people pass by, and another that features four different backgrounds from Vancouver that have actions occur when people walk by.
Using a Microsoft Kinect and a UI camera, the system covers a large area and can detect movement either from people walking by or people standing in line, then reacts accordingly. One of the non-interactive pieces replicates the flight path map that used to hang on the wall, with a few digital flourishes added on.
“This installation took the familiar flight path map that had hung for years and turned it into something truly head-turning,” said Alexandre Simionescu, Co-Founder and Principal of Float4. “With the airport’s first interactive digital installation comes new opportunities for passenger engagement and advertising, and we are thrilled to provide the system hardware and content to keep waiting passengers engaged and excited about their travels and their time at the airport.”
According to Martin LeClerc, NanoLumens International Sales Director, NanoLumens became the airport’s official LED supplier in 2015 and has since completed three separate installations as the airport grows its overall digital infrastructure.
“Airports and transit centers all around the world are taking part in the digital display revolution, and this latest installation at Vancouver International Airport ups the ante for competitors looking to impress their passengers,” LeClerc said. “Novel ideas, new technologies and incredible visuals from creators like Float4 have the power to truly engage even the most distracted passersby and turn drab spaces into inviting, exciting experiences. Our success in this arena is why more than half our sales come from repeat customers that appreciate all the benefits of our LED technology.”
NanoLumens displays are lighter, brighter, more colorful, easier to install and maintain, and more easily viewable from all angles than LCD videowalls. Perhaps most importantly for an interactive and enveloping experience, NanoLumens LED displays completely eliminate the need for grid lines that are apparent in LCD videowalls.
The new display at YVR’s Gate C features a 1.67mm pixel pitch, among the smallest in the industry, to present HD-quality graphics on a wall-sized display. The result is a unique format of 2304 pixels by 1440 pixels, which further separates it from an average 16:9 aspect ratio display. The airport already has plans for the next NanoLumens installation, and may utilize the display makers’ flexible LED options that can bend to fit curved walls and columns.Leave a Comment
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For all you REGULAR readers of rAVe DS [Digital Signage] out there, hopefully you enjoyed another opinion-packed issue!
For those of you NEW to rAVe, you just read how we are — we are 100 percent opinionated. We not only report the news and new product stories of the ProAV industry, but we stuff the articles full of our opinions. That may include (but is not limited to) whether or not the product is even worth looking at, challenging the manufacturers on their specifications, calling a marketing-spec bluff and suggesting ways integrators market their products better. But, one thing is for sure, we are NOT a trade publication that gets paid for running editorial or product stories. Traditional trade publications get paid to run product stories — that’s why you see what you see in most of the pubs out there. We are different: we run what we want to run and NO ONE is going to pay us to write anything good (or bad).
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