Photos from the Cable & Telecommunications Human Resources Association's annual Symposium and Awards Luncheon, held in Atlanta on May 2.
Digital Signage Exposition 2012: Growth Industry
As part of a recent client business plan - written for a client in the laundromat business, called Clean View Media Network (CVMN), wishing to use digital signage in dryer doors — we ran across a graphic that told so much about where the digital signage industry is today (and will be tomorrow).
The graphic compared the laundromat industry’s rating of “flat”, to that of the digital signage industry’s rating of “growth”. That said, literally billions in terms of the digital signage’s future revenue and growth prospects (and, interestingly, also at least many millions of dollars’ worth of unexpected growth for industries like laundromats, if new businesses like CVMN take off).
Yet, it took another recent visit this past week to the annual Las Vegas, NV confab called the Digital Signage Exposition, held March 6-9, 2012, to truly drive home the point. Not only were the attendees numbers solid, but what really caught me was the both the solid “big company” participation (e.g., Dish, DirecTV, Intel, Cisco, and Sprint), and the sense that true optimism was ‘the buzz,” rather than doubt about “will this great (digital signage) communications vehicle ever really take off?”
Moreover, in 2008, when I wrote “Digital Signage - Software, Networks, Advertising, And Displays: A Primer For Understanding The Business”, “the buzz” noted above appeared to be just quarters, or, at most, a couple of years, away. Yet, probably because of the baneful economy, and a few other missing parts like lack of a clear “amazing app,” and continued concerns about where to place the right signage message, digital signage grew, but not according to its true potential.
Today, because of lots more investment, and developments like more municipalities loosening digital signage restrictions in return for new fees and tax revenues, digital signage has legs, and true legs at that. If those implementing digital signage can remember that truest of digital signage mantras, i.e., that content for the location must forever be relevant (and therefore appropriate) to that audience and locale, the future uses of digital signage are boundless.
New Digital Signage Products
Another way I think I saw the bright future of digital signage was in the following handful of new products that were presented as part of a special DSE show tour, called the “New Product Pavilion Briefing.” The total list of new products included the names of nearly 50 companies.
• Restaurant Touch Screen Menu Tablets: Both 22 Miles, Inc.’s Interactive TouchMenu for iPad and AOpen America’s WT22M-RH Interactive Ultra-Slim Multi-Touch System, are aimed for food service-type venues, making ordering and information/entertainment for customers that much more accessible and efficient.
• Wearable Screens: Black Box’s iCompel EDS system offers a 2.4″ screen and batteries that can power the content message for at least two hours. Our demo included a in small form factor that actually was worn on a suit lapel.
• Audience Measurement: myAudience-Measure’s anonymous identification of audience gender, age, number of viewers, and attention periods, is the Holy Grail for advertisers, in that they can then judge the effectiveness of their ad pitches, and which audiences are “relevant.”
Broadcast and PayTV?
And BTW, watch for ad-supported video coming to tens of thousands of laundromats nationally beginning in May 2012. Could this be developing a new growth venue for the broadcast and pay TV industries, as well?
Jimmy Schaeffler is chairman and CSO of Carmel-by-the-Sea-based consultancy The Carmel Group.