LAVNCH WEEK 4.0: Digital Signage Day Recap

Happy LAVNCH WEEK 4.0, AV pros and fans! This is my first time writing (and experiencing) a LAVNCH WEEK, and it’s been exciting, informative and FUN! In Leah’s words, LAVNCH WEEK events are “part digital-event experience, part virtual product-launch stage and part networking hub,” where we take a deep dive into the now and next of all things AV.

Wednesday’s Digital Signage Day flowed smoothly, and we got to learn about winning solutions, new products, the future of AV and much more. If you missed UCC Day and DS Day, don’t panic! You can go to the archives, and you can register for ProAV Day on Thursday. Without further ado, let’s recap Digital Signage Day.

Schedule & Lineup

Here’s a look at how our DS Day went on Wednesday, May 26. 

Keynote: How Design Thinking and Developing True Empathy Can Generate Winning Solutions

Our Digital Signage Day keynote speaker, Susan Greene, kicked the day off with a discussion on design thinking. She covered what design thinking is, gave us pointers on empathy work for the solutions we develop and explained two case studies that used design thinking.

greenDesign thinking refers to the act of exploring alternatives for solutions to our problems. It focuses on the context and culture that users face, using direct observation and qualitative data to find real problems and solutions. Susan recommends a website called Interaction Design for learning about design thinking solutions and their implementation.

Susan also gave a few pointers on how to practice empathy while we work on solutions in our design thinking. As solution and product designers, we can gain a deeper understanding from the perspective of the user. This allows us to see patterns and themes in our challenges.

Case studies mentioned:

  • MRI scans on children: Design thinking allows hospitals to make MRIs more fun and engaging for children who usually fear medical testing and procedures.
  • Project Re:form: Man uses design thinking to make DHHS applications more user-friendly.

The Future of Digital Signage

Rich Ventura, vice president of B2B at Sony Professional Solutions Americas, has been in the digital signage industry for 20-plus years. He and Gary discussed current trends in digital signage and the tools needed to deliver content, products and services.

A concern in the industry is having … wait … too much digital signage? The key is to not saturate an audience and focus on locations and content for our DS placement. Another concern is the chip shortage in the AV industry. Rich and Gary agreed the shortage will impact everyone in our industry, and advised those in AV to stay in contact with and to trust partners.

“Nobody is immune from the impact,” Ventura said.

Also in this session: direct-view LED displays, a need for touch signage, QR Codes, Microsoft and Zoom Room software for Androids, and much more.

rAVe [TV]

Steph Beckett and Gary Kayye held their typical Wednesday rAVe [TV] session during our DS Day for LAVNCH WEEK 4.0. They dove into the latest and greatest in all things AV.


The pair discussed personal travel, industry news and in-person shows coming back this fall! Keep watch for information on THE rAVe Agency coming to CEDIA in September and InfoComm in October.

In the news, Comprehensive Connectivity released new workspace kits, Logitech AI-powered whiteboard cameras, ScreenBeam’s software update to the 1100 Plus, XTEN-AV’s upgraded platform and Gary’s favorite story of the week, Google’s Project Starline. Don’t miss their discussion on other blogs and case studies published this past week.

Tune in to future rAVe [TV] shows every Wednesday at noon on the rAVe [TV] site, or watch live on YouTube and LinkedIn.

Product Demo: SpinetiX ARYA Enterprise

Gary Kayye introduced Mariana MacLean and George Preston, both of SpinetiX. Mariana introduced the SpinetiX ARYA Enterprise, a cloud-based visual communication solution for your business. ARYA is designed with ready-to-use templates for your digital signage messaging.

spineSome key features of ARYA Enterprise include:

  • Change and update templates, logos, colors and images whenever desired
  • Guided user experience with easy content creation
  • Free tier service for hands-on experience with cloud application
  • Nine templates with pre-built animations
  • Access to live chat help and feedback

George Preston answered questions about ARYA’s abilities and accessibility. George clarified that users can create, store and share their own templates in ARYA. He also said that ARYA can transfer content between accounts with the end user having control of permissions.

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“You have a superstar product here,” Kayye said. “This is the simplest cloud-based system I’ve seen.”

Case Study with Samsung

Thomas Mckibben from Samsung and Shawn Budiac from Batteries Plus also hopped on our LAVNCH platform to chat with Gary. They discussed their partnership as a case study in how updated digital signage created a better customer experience for Batteries Plus customers. Batteries Plus partnered with Samsung to use their Tizen DS displays for faster and more updated signage in their stores.

Batteries Plus is in a unique spot in the industry. They wanted to modernize their retail space, but static signage did not allow for the full ability to tell a story. Independent to Shawn’s Batteries Plus location is the need to update customers to weather emergencies. Real-time and non-latent updates to digital signage allow for better, faster and clearer communication to customers.

Shawn said the install took a few days, but mostly because the TVs were a part of a rebranding of the store. The Samsung displays were quick and straightforward. Gary added that this system is approachable and relatable, and businesses such as hospitals would love to know about this. He called this a “real-life” case study.

Hey Kramer, What’s New

Clint Hoffman joined us for DS Day with Gary to give an update on what Kramer Electronics has been up to. The business has a diverse AV product line, and Clint gave us some updates about current and future plans.

Kramer Electronics has a new CEO, Gilad Yron, who has only been with the business for a little over a month. Kramer Electronics could be looking at some future acquisitions, the development of new products and the expansion of existing lines.

For the future of Kramer (and perhaps the entire industry), Clint says growth in the AV market lies in the UCC and Digital Signage areas. Development for Kramer Electronics will focus on these areas….but Clint couldn’t give too many details. In short, there has been a lot of work done inside Kramer Electronics, and future growth is imminent through the rest of 2021 and into 2022.

Oh, and Clint’s favorite Kramer Electronics product is the VP440X: Find it here.

GARY: Unscripted 

  • Brenda Brown and Pat Brown (SynAudCon) — Brenda and Pat discussed what Synergetic Audio Concepts does, and where it started. The company gives training on why and how audio works and has been in business for about 25 years. Pat and Brenda have taught audio at many places around the world (including the Kennedy Space Center, Grand Ole Opry, Disney World and Disneyland, just to name a few). Pat discussed the evolution of where audio was and where it is going. He said interfaces and gear have changed, but much of audio is timeless. “It’s the peas and carrots of our business,” Pat Brown said. We can have meetings without video … but not audio!
  • Alexis La Broi (AVIXA, PRG) — Alexis’s side of the industry took a particularly large hit when COVID-19 began. Live events were canceled almost completely, and Alexis discussed how PRG Gear adjusted. She is passionate about increasing diversity in the AV industry. Alexis also discussed fall events — such as Infocomm — returning to in-person, but said attendance will be impacted by how comfortable people feel being out. She will be at InfoComm — so come on out and meet her! 
  • Hope Roth (Riordan Brothers Integration) with STEPH: Unscripted — Hope is the lead programmer at Riordan Brothers Integration. Hope discussed her journey through the AV industry and how she now teaches others because of those who taught her. She holds a deep love for teachers and encourages those that are in AV to learn how to teach it (and it’s not as simple as you think). Hope and Steph also discussed how we can aim the spotlight on women in technical roles of AV. For now, Hope encourages women to get into all aspects of AV and to feel comfortable sticking around in the industry.

That’s A Wrap

Did you miss UCC or DS Day? Head over to the archives to find a recorded version of each full day. Find a recording of Digital Signage Day here, and don’t forget to register for Thursday’s ProAV Day! It begins on May 27 at 11:00 a.m. EDT.

Thank you to our presenters, panelists and event registrants for your time and participation in today’s event. A special thank you to the Digital Signage Day sponsors — Samsung, Sony, Kramer and SpinetiX — for your support and presentations. Many thanks to our overall LAVNCH WEEK 4.0 sponsors — Kramer, Mersive, Vestel, Planar, Samsung, ScreenBeam, Sharp/NEC, SnapAV, Sony, SpinetiX and XTEN-AV — who made this week possible.


See you Thursday, #AVtweeps!