Friday, July 29, 2005

Digital signage titan PRN acquired by Thompson for $285M

The big kahuna of the digital signage industry, PRN, has announced (just after pulling its IPO), that it will be acquired by French firm Thompson. From the PR:

"Out-of-home video networks are attracting a growing share of US advertising spend with a projected annual growth of over 25%. The growth of this market segment has been accelerated by advertisers' demand for alternative media reaching more engaged audiences compared to traditional TV advertising. In addition, this segment has benefited by the improving quality of data measuring the effectiveness of such out-of-home networks, and by the falling prices of networking infrastructure and flat-panel displays."
" The purchase price is approximately $285 million payable in cash, including a normalized level of working capital. Bearing in mind PRN's strong growth and profitability, the business meets Thomson's return and price criteria. The acquisition is subject to the usual regulatory requirements and is expected to close during the fourth quarter. PRN is expected to be accretive to earnings in 2006."

Read the rest of the article right now! Go here.

Digital signage firm changes name

Not particularly interesting digital signage company has decided to change it's name to StrandVision, because:

"StrandVision is a digital signage company and that is better reflected in our new name," explained Mike Strand, founder and CEO. "StrandVision continues the brand equity that was built over ten years in the bar code industry with my last company, StrandWare. StrandVision is a unique hosted digital signage offering with low startup costs, and we needed the company name to clearly explain the concept to the market." (from their PR)

Yeah. The first thing that I think of when I hear "StrandVision" is digital signage.

Toronto subway narrowcasting network expands

From BroadcastEngineering:

"The OneStop Network offers travelers a dynamic mix of news sports, transit information, and advertising, as well as community service information including Child Find announcements, emergency override messaging, and transit updates. With BroadView's software, the network is able to manage schedules that will include advertising that runs on all screens within the network as well as station-specific messaging.

"The use of smart ad technology enables effective targeting of content to the subway network’s large captive audience, according to Michael Girgis, president of OneStop Media Group. Using rich demographic data on subway riders provided by the TTC’s research department, signage advertising and other content can be tagged based on audience and other characteristics. An ad can be station-specific, based on retailers located in the vicinity, or language-specific — for station stops in Toronto’s Chinatown. Even current weather conditions can trigger programming – such as ice cream ads on a hot summer day."

Read the full article here.

Danish retailer conducts successful digital signage trial


"Danish retailer Matas recently completed a pilot program that replaced its static backlit in-store signage with LCD displays and a video projector powered by 10 MediaXtreme MX5 digital signage controller/players provided by Keywest Technology. The digital signage was deployed in late 2004 by systems integrator Dansk Data Display at a Matas retail store in Copenhagen.

"Matas ringed the top of its store with LCD displays and strategically stationed smaller LCD panels as end caps on shelves. The digital signage pilot included displays with video, overlay text announcing specials, and blend in graphics, including digital still images and digital merchandising posters. The video projector was trained on a translucent screen at the front of the store to attract traffic from outside.

"Based on the success of the pilot, Matas plans to deploy digital signage to two more stores in Copenhagen."

Here's the link.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

WireSpring blog: Big news in digital signage acquisitions and IPOs

It's been a busy week over at WireSpring's weblog for digital signage and interactive kiosk projects:

"So once again the digital ink has barely had time to dry on my last blog article when along comes some news that changes my perspective. When I mentioned a few days ago that "the digital signage industry still lacks a presence on the public markets" (in "Digital signage firm Focus Media doing well on the public market"), I was thinking mostly about pure-play digital signage firms going public, like PRN was supposed to do all that time ago (see "PRN: A Digital Signage IPO Story" from May 2004). However, I neglected to mention the possibility that a larger, already publicly-traded company would acquire a digital signage firm, as has just happened today with 3M's acquisition of Mercury Online."

Check out the rest of the article, called "Big news in digital signage acquisitions and IPOs".

Telstra to launch digital signage network

Australian telecom provider Telstra is ramping up its digital signage activities, according to DC News:

"Research shows that 70% of purchase decisions are made after a consumer has walked into a retail location and stores like Circuit City and Best Buy in the USA are reporting big sales increases after installing a retail TV system. In the UK Tesco has been running a network for more than 18 months with major advertisers like Proctor and Gamble and Nestle cutting back free to air TV budgets in favour of in store TV systems. Among the companies set to trial the Retail. TV network in Australia are Woolworths in their Big W stores.

"The current state of the digital signage industry is strong and getting stronger. While the industry is still in early development mode, indications are that it will become a tremendously significant market in terms of revenues. Depending upon which market research firm you prefer, and how you slice the pie, digital signage is expected to surpass $2 billion in overall revenues by 2009 (see figure 1). The hardware and integration segment of this is somewhere around $500 million. By comparison, the data projector market, which has been developing for more than 15 years, is also around $2 billion.

Digital signage can be segmented into several different markets and categories. Cap Ventures in the US recently did a global study of the market. They estimate there are approximately 2.7 million potential sites for digital signage or “narrowcasting,” as they call it. Samples of this market total include more than 45,000 shopping malls, 794 airports, 1.12 million retail sites, 545,000 hospitality and entertainment locations, and 739,000 service-oriented locations such as financial and health service locations as well as service stations. The number of these locations that are currently using digital signage is infinitesimal compared to the total number of opportunities. The take-away message here is that there is tremendous opportunity in your geographic market, and probably among the customers you already serve."

This is a nice article, so you should read the rest of it here (free registration required).

InFocus Corporation acquires assets of The University Network narrowcasting provider

From BusinessWire:

InFocus(R) Corporation (Nasdaq: INFS), a worldwide leader in digital projection technology and services, today announced the acquisition of assets of TUN (The University Network), a leading provider of on-campus narrowcasting solutions. The transaction brings to InFocus a display footprint and network operating in over 75 major U.S. universities.

TUN's presence in the U.S. higher education market complements InFocus' brand leadership in education and development expertise in large display hardware and networking products. "Acquiring the assets of TUN marks a milestone in broadening our business model to include big picture solutions surrounding large format displays," said Kyle Ranson, President and CEO of InFocus Corporation. "We welcome TUN to the InFocus family, and are excited about the opportunities in the emerging narrowcasting industry."

Read the rest of the press release here.

FOCUS enhances digital signage player line

While not truly digital signage in my book (since that would require network-based remote management), FOCUS has added some new players that can be updated via smart card:

"FOCUS Enhancements, Inc. (NASDAQ SC: FCSE), continues to expand its technology portfolio for digital signage solutions with the introduction of its Visual Circuits Mantis line of multi-channel high-definition (HD) and standard-definition (SD) media players. The Mantis MC™ and Mantis MG™ provide on demand video playback for audience-driven applications including retail, museums, healthcare, malls, education, in-store broadcast networks, events, hospitality, banking and finance. The new Mantis media players are now available through FOCUS Enhancements’ network of authorized dealers.

"The Mantis MC Multi-Channel HD Media Player is designed to deploy cutting-edge communications, providing two channels of HD or SD video and 32-bit accelerated graphics. It is also available in a single-channel configuration that can be upgraded to two channels by adding a Smartcard. Mantis MC is a simple network 1U rack-mount player that takes all the worry out of loading HD and/or SD video through standard IT networks."

Read the rest of the press release here.

New WireSpring blog article: Digital signage firm Focus Media doing well on the public market

I recently added a post to WireSpring's Dynamic Digital Signage and Interactive Kiosks Weblog about Focus Media's success (so far) on the NASDAQ public exchange. Here's a snip from the article:

It's hard to tell whether US investors were more excited about the digital signage industry, or their ability to invest in a Chinese-owned firm, since that's becoming all the rage now. While I can understand investors' enthusiasm over getting involved in the world's most rapidly growing economic market, I personally would be even more excited by the company's claim that, "Focus Media has a presence in more than 10,000 commercial locations and over 400 retail stores in 44 cities throughout China. Since it commenced commercial operations in May 2003, Focus Media has placed 21,021 flat-panel television displays in high traffic areas, such as elevator lobbies of commercial buildings, retail chain stores, beauty parlors, karaoke parlors and golf country clubs" (Focus Media Announces Pricing of Initial Public Offering of American Depositary Shares).

That's over 21,000 screens, already bought and paid for, showing advertising in about 70% of the top commercial buildings in China. Their most recent SEC filings (PDF format) suggest they're on track to do about $32-36M in ad sales this year. While this is only a fraction of PRN's revenues, the breadth and depth of Focus Media's coverage, plus the fact that they've only been around since 2003, makes them a serious contender in the digital signage space.

Read the rest of the article, entitled "Digital signage firm Focus Media doing well on the public market."

Friday, July 22, 2005

WPP consolidates Mediaedge, MindShare into single out-of-home advertising firm

This news from the UK suggests that the out-of-home market is really heating up:

[O]ut-of-home [advertising] - whether it's on billboards, in cinema, elevators or even retail-based media networks - is looking like a surer bet for reaching "captive" audiences. That fact has not escaped the major agency holding companies, which have been reinvesting and restructuring their outdoor media assets in an effort to grab share in what is projected to be a rapidly rising market.

Those facts apparently have not escaped WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell, who has been talking up the value and role of out-of-home, and who on Monday announced a restructuring that would combine the outdoor media operations of Mediaedge:cia and MindShare with leading out-of-home media company Poster Publicity to form a new entity: Kinetic.

Meanwhile, Miller estimates Kinetics global media billings to be about $2 billion, and projects it will grow by another $1 billion within a year, through a combination of "organic growth," acquisitions and consolidation with other WPP units. That, he says, would make Kinetic the world's largest out-of-home media buyer, surpassing Aegis Group's Posterscope, Omnicom's Outdoor Media Group, Interpublic's Outdoor Services unit, and Publicis' outdoor media operations.

Read the whole (very informative) article here.

Watchit Media to Pursue Future In Dynamic Narrowcasting Market

Cotelligent, now known as Watchit Media, has been in the business of rolling out their own digital signage networks for some time. But I guess the cash crunch has gotten to them, as they're divesting non-core businesses for cash now:

Cotelligent, Inc. (OTCBB:CGZT) today announced it has sold its sales force automation software and services solutions business to Fastech Integrated Solutions, LLC, an affiliate of Beverly Hills based private investment firm, Skyview Capital, LLC. The transaction, which closed Friday July 15, 2005, provided Cotelligent with $2.3 million in cash at closing and the potential to earn up to an additional $1.45 million over the next three years.

The divestiture required approval of Cotelligent's stockholders. A special meeting of the stockholders was held on Wednesday July 13, 2005. 15,849,909 shares, or approximately 56%, of Cotelligent's issued and outstanding shares of common stock, were voted at the special meeting with 15,538,079 shares, or approximately 98% of the shares voted at the meeting (approximately 54% of the shares outstanding and entitled to vote), voted in favor of the divestiture, 293,790 shares, or approximately 2% of the shares voted at the meeting (approximately 1% of the shares outstanding and entitled to vote), voted against the divestiture and 18,040 shares which abstained from voting.

The kinds of narrowcasting networks that Watchit focused on are notoriously hard to prove a ROI on, so that might have had something to do with it. Read the full press release here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Military makes money from digital signage


"Private Display Network (PDN) offers the hardware, software and content management free of charge, and the revenue generated from sponsorship and advertising is split between PDN and the venue. The displays and digital menu boards, ranging from 20-inch to 100-inch, can show multiple content streams in separate panes, including national broadcasts, local information and commercial messages.

"'The system that we designed costs the military nothing and provides revenue back to the armed services almost immediately,' said Andrew Young, managing partner of PDN."

Read the rest of the article here.

Yet another digital signage ROI article has a nice introductory article about the necessities of quantifying the return on investment (ROI) for digital signage networks. While not as in-depth as my own analysis of digital signage ROI (links below), it makes some good points. For example:

[Beth] Corbett, whose New Media Services Group at Nielsen has provided research for private advertising networks since 1983, says that for digital signage to be taken seriously by ad buyers, it needs to develop a measurement system with a number of standard elements:

* First, she says, the system should be independent, to give credibility to whatever findings it makes. Individual networks all claiming the merits of their own products and customized measurement only serve to raise a question mark over that research, says Corbett.

* Secondly, any measurement system needs to be methodologically sound, with research taking into consideration the entire network through the course of an entire ad cycle, not just busy locations or days of the month.

* Finally, says Corbett, the system has to produce an end result that media buyers can recognize and integrate into their existing packages. “Ad agencies have to have a means of comparing the various networks to combine them in ad buys, and to understand how they fit in their total media mix,” she says.

Check out the rest of the article here. And when you're done, read my own articles on the matter here:

1: Calculating Digital Signage ROI: The Ground Rules
2: Calculating Digital Signage ROI: Understanding the Limits of Your Data
3: Calculating Digital Signage ROI: 3 Metrics that Matter
4: Calculating Digital Signage ROI: Methods to Gather your Data
5: Calculating Digital Signage ROI: Managing Expectations

Friday, July 15, 2005

Narrowcast network owners eye CBS broadband, notes WireSpring blog

A new article has been posted at WireSpring's Dyanamic Digital Signage and Interactive Kiosk Weblog:

A number of people wrote in asking if I was aware of any syndicated video services that could be used either for kiosk attract loops or narrowcast network content. At the time, I was only aware of a few services offered by the AP and Reuters. While I've found that these services can provide access to a huge database of video clips gathered from news agencies across the world, the overall depth of the content was mediocre (I think the average clip was only 30 seconds to a minute long), and video quality wasn't very impressive either.

That's why I'm so interested in a recent announcement by CBS, who is forgoing a traditional 24 hour TV news network in favor of an Internet-only broadband network that will provide high-quality live and stored video feeds on all major news topics, 24 hours a day.

What's really interesting is that CBS doesn't want to make a distinction between its television and Internet news services - the same staff will collect and generate news reports, and many of the same facilities and equipment will be used to produce spots for on-air and over-the-net broadcasts.

You can read the rest of it here.

Digital Signage for AV Professionals

Brad Gleeson, of ActiveLight fame, has been putting in some quality time over at Sound & Video Contractor. His latest article on digital signage notes that:

"Even as we admit the industry is still in early development mode, indications are that it will become a tremendously significant market in terms of revenues. Depending upon which market research firm you prefer, and how you slice the pie, digital signage is expected to surpass $2 billion in overall revenues by 2009 (see figure 1). The hardware and integration segment of this is somewhere around $500 million. By comparison, the data projector market, which has been developing for more than 15 years, is also around $2 billion.

"Digital signage can be segmented into several different markets and categories. Cap Ventures estimates there are approximately 2.7 million potential sites for digital signage or “narrowcasting,” as they call it. Samples of this market total include more than 45,000 shopping malls, 794 airports, 1.12 million retail sites, 545,000 hospitality and entertainment locations, and 739,000 service-oriented locations such as financial and health service locations. The number of these locations that are currently using digital signage is infinitesimal compared to the total number of opportunities. The take-away message here is that there is tremendous opportunity in your geographic market, and probably among the customers you already serve."

I'd recommend you check out the rest of the article, which can be found here.

Introduction to 3D digital signage

I have to agree with Sound & Video's Jeff Sauer when he says:

"Novelty... is hardly a bad thing when it comes to advertising and being noticed, and I can certainly appreciate that as a one-time marketing professional. That makes Philips' expected introduction of 3D-capable LCD panels for digital signage an intriguing development in the world of 3D. Philips' new Multiview Lenticular technology will allow viewers to experience the 3D effect from a wide variety of viewing angles, all without the need for any of those silly glasses.

"Without a product yet, Philips is certainly a long way from establishing pricing for this future 3D LCD panel. However, Philips concedes that it's reasonable to assume a price premium for including the 3D technology with a panel. The actual premium over the cost of a regular 42in. panel — whether it's 3X, 6X, or some other factor — will be a function of demand, economies of scale, and a yet-to-be-determined business and distribution model.

"Still, digital signage and 3D are two technologies that have been gaining a fair amount of momentum lately. The combination of the two could be a perfect fit in a world where novelty matters."

Read the rest of the (highly technical) article here.

What a surprise: bigger screens better for digital signage

From VAR Business:

"Digital signage is a collaborative experience, and yet until now there hasn't been an efficient and effective way for integrators and end users to find providers who really understand digital signage and can deliver results," says Brad Gleeson, president and COO of Poulsbo, Wash.-based ActiveLight, a nationwide distributor specializing in advanced display products.

Annual sales of large LCDs (30-plus inches) and plasmas will top $4.6 billion in 2010, up from $2.5 billion last year, according to market research firm iSuppli. More than 90 percent of 2010 sales will be in digital signage, indoor entertainment venues, transportation hubs and conference/training rooms. Education and niche markets, such as medical imaging and command/control rooms, will account for most of the remainder.
LCD technology is challenging plasma in critical-performance factors as well as size. Film-quality video requires a response time of 16 milliseconds or less to eliminate flicker. Several vendors' large displays now match the 16-ms mark, while Samsung and NEC set the pace at 8 ms. Most vendors now offer contrast ratios of 500-1 to 800-1, ample for most commercial uses.

But plasma retains its edge in very high-performance video. A 10,000-1 contrast ratio may seem like overkill, but Neal Goldsmith, Sony's product manager for large displays, says medical-imaging and film-production specialists need all the color depth that Sony's FWD-42PV1 42-inch plasma delivers. Samsung's latest plasmas also offer 10,000-1 contrast, while other vendors fall between the range of 1,000-1 and 3,000-1 for now.

Plasma also has made progress in power consumption and panel life, two of its biggest vulnerabilities vis-a-vis LCD. "Our new 42-inch plasma [the FWD-42PV1] draws 260 watts compared to 400 watts of older models," Pickard says. "That translates into longer service life and lower cost of ownership." Plasma and LCD displays now claim typical service lives of 60,000 hours.

Plasma remains the choice for pure video, while LCDs are better suited for mixed video/static content. The latter category is where the most sales growth is expected, according to iSuppli. LCD sales will grow from last year's $442 million to $1.7 billion in 2010, while plasma sales will fluctuate around $2 billion per year.

Read the rest of this interesting article here.

Broadview digital signage to power Toronto network

From BroadcastBuyer:

ONESTOP Network, the private digital network for the Toronto Transit Commission's (TTC) subway network, has selected BroadView Software to provide the traffic and sales software that will manage the complex scheduling required by the network.

The ONESTOP Network is North America's largest underground digital network, and when complete will consist of double-screen 40-inch units on subway platforms. There is also a plan to extend the network to the subway cars.

The ONESTOP Network offers travelers a dynamic mix of news sports, transit information, and advertising, as well as community service information including Child Find announcements, emergency override messaging, and transit updates for the 875,000 daily subway commuters. With BroadView's traffic and sales system, the network is able to manage complex schedules that will include advertising that runs on all screens within the network as well as station-specific messaging.

"The ONESTOP Network is really pioneering the concept of private networks, and as such requires products that are innovative, powerful, and professional," said Michael Girgis, president of ONESTOP Media Group. "Our clients expect a high level of accuracy, and we believe that BroadView can offer that. We look forward to building a model for Digital Private Network traffic together."

You can read the whole article here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

WalMart In-Store TV to Track Local Storms During Hurricane Season

Here's a really good way to extend existing digital signage assets!

JULY 12, 2005-- BENTONVILLE, Ark. -- Shoppers in hurricane-prone states know just how quickly things can take a turn for the worse. Thanks to the Wal-Mart Television Network, Wal-Mart shoppers in the Southeast will now know exactly what the weather is doing throughout their shopping trip, right up until the time they check out.

Wal-Mart's in-store television network provider, Premier Retail Networks, has partnered with The Weather Channel to provide live up-to-date weather coverage for the chain. The Weather Channel began airing in 250 Wal-Mart stores in Florida and parts of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Mississippi to track storm coverage of Hurricane Dennis.

"As the 'store of the community,' we're always concerned about the well-being of our associates and customers, and this is a way to use the Network to provide important information," said Troy Steiner, Wal-Mart senior media director. "Our policy is to switch the Wal-Mart TV Network to live feeds from other media sources during events that affect national matters of safety and emergencies to ensure that everyone has the information they need. Our customers and associates are preparing for Hurricane Dennis during the hours and days leading up to the storm, and we believe that keeping as many people informed, as best we can, with up-to-date information provided by The Weather Channel is the right thing to do for everyone."

You can read the complete story here.

Stand alone digital signage system released

Even after several years, the press release below about a stand-alone digital signage system continues to get a lot of traffic. If you're actually looking for a standalone digital signage system with no monthly fees, I suggest you check out FireCast Digital Signage EasyStart, our new solution designed for smaller projects.

Here's the original post from 2005:

ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Door Six, Inc. has recently introduced the Brightboard(TM), a new line of stand-alone dynamic digital signs. Instead of a single static message printed on paper, the
Brightboard(TM) uses a bright, colorful 19" LCD display to deliver a perpetual slideshow containing high resolution images and full motion video. According to the manufacturer, the Brightboard(TM) represents a breakthrough in digital signage because it is affordable, portable and can be quickly and easily updated by the sign owner.

Available in a floor-standing pedestal configuration (approximately 5 feet tall) or a "sign-only" version light enough to be hung from a suspended ceiling grid, the Brightboard(TM) is designed to be installed in minutes by a non-technical person. Since it only requires a standard 110V outlet for operation, either configuration can be easily moved to place the message where it will attract the most attention of the target audience.

Unlike most other digital signage systems, the Brightboard(TM) does not contain a full computer or require a network connection for operation. At the heart of the Brightboard(TM) system is a solid-state custom graphics/media player which is compact, silent and has no moving parts. This allows the Brightboard(TM) to maintain its slim profile while eliminating the maintenance issues associated with complex computer hardware, networks and operating systems.

Read the rest of it here.

Firefly digital signage player reviewed

Digitalproducer writes, "Firefly MZ ($1995) by Visual Circuits and Focus Enhancements is a Linux -based playback unit that’s used to feed content to digital signage in remote locations. Using its included Media Messenger software, you can create impressive AV presentations on your PC that let you mix text, mpeg video clips and stills for a CNN-like look. Then, you can distribute these graphics to the Firefly MZ via network, DVD or satellite. From a remote location, you can schedule various presentations to play at various times, giving you 24/7 control over your message."

They go on to do a nice review of the compact but limited Linux-based player. For a much more powerful solution, try FireCast digital signage software.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Potential digital signage fraud?


The contents of this article have been removed per the request of the party originally named in the article.

Strategy Institute holds Digital Signage summit

From Sound & Video Contractor:

"This summit will bring together all stakeholders in this rapidly progressing industry—from retail, transportation, hospitality, entertainment, and service areas, as well as network operators, system integrators, display providers, and AV professionals. This highly educational event will address sessions on the optimal digital signage profit model, creating the digital signage rate card, operating costs, the industry matrix, and a five-year demand forecast, as well as key success stories from retail, hospitality, and transportation service industries."

There are more details here.

Limelight Media Group partners with IMPART

From my favorite sketchy OTC BB digital signage company:

Limelight Media Group, Inc. (OTC BB:LMMG.OB - News) an innovator in the creation and management of out-of-home digital advertising networks, today announced that on June 30, 2005, it completed its acquisition of IMPART, Inc., a leading full-service provider of dynamic media solutions. The all stock transaction -- detailed in the company's 8K filing to be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today -- includes a reincorporation in Delaware within 90 days. The companies intend to centralize operations in Seattle. As part of the deal, IMPART, Inc. will maintain its name and brand identity and operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Limelight Media Group, Inc. There are no anticipated layoffs expected at either company as a result of the acquisition and the existing management team for both organizations will remain intact.
Currently, IMPART manages more than 1,300 digital signage installations and maintains a growing subscription base of marquee clients that include some of the nation's top banks, brands, retail companies and public/government spaces. As a pioneer in the delivery of digital media applications, IMPART offers Limelight a 22-year legacy of market experience and additional infrastructure for deployment into the emerging Point of Decision (POD) markets in retail, banking, corporate and other industries. Furthermore, management believes the acquisition will accelerate the combined organization's ability to offer an advertising-based revenue model. Both companies will benefit from more effective utilization of infrastructure and industry relationships that will help in the delivery of complete, turnkey media solutions. This single-source, turnkey approach is fundamental to this emerging market, which has been riddled with the complexity of multi-vendor approaches using different systems and oftentimes conflicting strategies. The two companies believe that together they can establish a strong industry foundation, spurring potential future consolidation in the digital media industry.

You can read the complete release here.

InfoComm 05 Attendance Up 15 Percent

From BusinessWire:

The International Communications Industries Association, Inc.(R) (ICIA(R)) today announced final attendance figures for InfoComm 05. The largest annual conference and exhibition for audiovisual buyers and sellers worldwide held June 4-10 in Las Vegas grew 15 percent over 2004, attracting 26,322 AV professionals from more than 80 countries. Last year, 22,894 attended from 75 countries.

InfoComm attracted 11,489 commercial service providers as well as 6,346 technology manager end users, a segment that increased 31 percent over the 2004 Show. Seventy percent of technology manager end users who attended work in education, business and government, a reflection of the growth in the use of information communication, presentation and AV technologies worldwide. The number of professionals from the education market doubled over the previous year. Other large growth sectors included sports, entertainment and hospitality, up 160 percent compared to 2004, and the retail and sales sector, which emerged as an important vertical market at InfoComm for the first time.

A record 725 exhibitors participated at InfoComm this year, representing a 12 percent increase over the previous record of 647 in 2004. Exhibitors occupied 385,540 net square feet of paid exhibits, meeting and special events space, compared to 319,860 square feet in 2004. More than 170 new exhibitors joined this year's show.

For the complete press release, click here.

PlayNetwork merges with Crows Nest Entertainment

According to DDI Magazine:

"Music programming and audio/video systems provider PlayNetwork Inc., Redmond, Wash., has completed its merger with digital signage and systems integration company Crows Nest Entertainment Inc. (CNE), Seattle. 'The CNE merger will provide PlayNetwork with exciting new service capabilities, namely technlogy and creative solutions for in-store digital video networks and related advertising sales services,' said CNE president Jim Wessels, who joins PlayNetwork as executive vice president of operations, in a statement. The merger was the first of several strategic growth moves for PlayNetwork. 'We are very excited that we've completed this merger and of the impact it will have in realizing our strategic growth plan,' said PlayNetwork executive chairman Lon Troxel, who now takes over the reins as CEO from Adam Brotman, in a statement."

Here's the link.

Mobile digital signage solution?

I'm not really sure what a mobile digital signage solution is exactly, but according to KioskMarketplace, "SRN, a provider of datacasting services, has unveiled its Digital Signage Wireless Delivery platform, which enables broadcast of multimedia content to mobile display devices. The displays can be installed in taxi cabs, buses, limousines and any other type of large-scale moblie vehicle fleet."

You can read the full article here.

Friday, July 01, 2005

GL TRADE Launches GL TV, The Digital Display Solution For Bank Networks

Ok, at this point I think we've now seen everybody start selling digital signage solutions... look at this:

"GL TRADE, the international provider of electronic trading, settlement and clearing solutions, is launching a digital display solution for banks, designed to enliven and shape their customer relationships in branch networks.

"Developed by the group's dedicated GL multimedi@ subsidiary, GL TV is a multimedia solution for supplying data to TV screens by satellite or over the internet. The system allows all types of information to be transmitted, from video to weather forecasts and market prices.
Designed for use in bank branches and the offices of financial institutions and listed companies, GL TV will allow Corporate Communications Departments to create their own communication and promotional programming"

If you have the stomach for it, read the rest here.

Elo big SAW screens for kiosks and interactive digital signs

Not sure if this is one of those things that should be listed under "kiosks" or "digital signage," since it's really a combination of both. While large touchscreens from NextWindow and SMART Technologies have been available for a while, touchscreen market leader Elo is entering the fray with a 32" version of their popular surface acoustic wave (SAW) screen. Here's the lowdown from thomasnet:

"Supplied as clip-on frame, IntelliTouch 32 in. surface-wave touchscreen is composed of pure glass and has no plastic or metallic coatings. Product provides 92% light transmission and 4,095 x 4,095 touchpoint resolution. Along with point-of-information kiosk displays and interactive digital signage, applications include gaming machines, centralized monitoring in medical and industrial industries, as well as conference room and exhibition center displays.

"According to Lung, many Elo customers believe bigger is better when it comes to getting their message across, and Elo is receiving more and more inquiries for large plasma and flat screens of 30" and above. “We currently have customers using our 42" and 50" touchscreens to display interactive advertisements, in electronic whiteboards for corporate presentations, and in universities and TV studios,” confirms Lung. “The demand is out there and Elo is well positioned to respond to it.”"

You can read the rest of the press release here.