DSE 2012 Pre-Show Observations

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Although the 2012 version of the Digital Signage Expo floor hasn’t opened yet this morning, one clear trend has already emerged for me: Applications.

Just two years ago, this show was chalk-full of hundreds of manufacturers showing off the gear that makes digital signage systems work. Literally hundreds of media player manufacturers took 10×10 or even 20×20 booths to show their tiny, Windows-based players that all seemed, well, alike. And, of course, there were the plethora of display manufacturers.

But this year, the show’s all about applications – what you can do with this stuff and how cool and creative you can make messaging.

Multi-touch bus stops, vending machines, retail holograms that talk to you and LCDs that recognize who you are will be what people see when the show floor opens in about 30 minutes.

Don’t get me wrong, there are still a ton of hardware manufacturers here, but even they are showing – not just the box – but what the box can do for the SYSTEM.

And one other note: while interviewing some of the attendees hanging out at the entrance awaiting entry into the DSE show, I noticed something that I hadn’t seen before at a previous event: badges with ad agencies’ names of them. This year’s show will see dozens of major ad agencies looking at how the DS market can and will transform marketing and advertising in the future.

More to come…

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