Friday, July 30, 2010

X2O Media's Xpresenter™ Digital Signage Platform Engages Guests at The Banff Centre's New Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation

MONTREAL — July 29, 2010 — X2O Media, a full-service provider of software, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications, today announced that its Xpresenter™ digital signage platform is being utilized to provide up-to-date event and room booking information to guests at the newly opened Kinnear Centre for Creativity & Innovation (KCCI) at The Banff Centre in Alberta, Canada.

The Banff Centre is a vibrant learning and cultural institution with a unique mandate dedicated to the arts, leadership development, and mountain culture. Designed as The Banff Centre’s physical and intellectual core, the KCCI is a large, mixed-use facility situated in the heart of the campus that accommodates critical functions such as rehearsal and performance spaces, classrooms featuring state-of-the-art A/V equipment, hospitality and conference services, library services, and informal gallery areas to showcase the results of The Banff Centre’s creativity programs.

To keep guests informed about conferences, training, and performances taking place in each room of the KCCI and around campus, The Banff Centre required a more innovative solution than traditional, printed paper signs. The answer was a new digital signage network, featuring 26-inch landscape digital screens outside each of its 19 conference rooms and 42-inch portrait digital displays at its three main entrances.

X2O’s Xpresenter digital signage platform is being used to drive the network, enabling automatic display of up-to-date room booking information via integration with The Banff Centre’s scheduling software. For other data such as event information, The Banff Centre staff manages and updates content in Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides, while the creative team can easily design powerful new templates with X2O’s “smart” template authoring tool as changes are needed, even in real time.

“Before our digital signage network, we were printing posters and signage to keep The Banff Centre guests informed as to what events are taking place,” said Debra Hornsby, Director of Communications at The Banff Centre. “Xpresenter provides us with a smarter way to present this information in a more engaging format for viewers. By allowing us to show dynamic content and manage updates with ease, the platform has truly streamlined our processes, reduced our operating expenses, and allowed us to communicate more effectively.”

Applied Electronics Limited, a Canadian provider of broadcast, post production, and presentation technology, supplied and installed the displays and worked closely with X2O to ensure tight timelines were met. The KCCI officially opened on July 2, with a grand opening ceremony taking place on July 24. The ceremony was attended by His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

X2O’s Xpresenter is an end-to-end platform designed to make creating, managing, and distributing broadcast-quality digital signage content on networks of all sizes available to all. Xpresenter’s patented authoring module allows Microsoft PowerPoint users to produce compelling graphics that incorporate animations, smart objects, video clips, and real-time data sources — all without ever leaving the PowerPoint interface.

More information about Xpresenter and other digital signage solutions from X2O Media is available at www.x2omedia.com or by contacting info@x2omedia.com.

About X2O Media
X2O Media is a full-service provider of technology, network management services, and content services for professional digital signage applications. The company offers a wide variety of software solutions for digital signage and interactive networks of all sizes. X2O’s award-winning Xpresenter™ provides an end-to-end platform for the creation, management, and distribution of content at broadcast quality, and at a fraction of the time of other solutions. In addition to technology, X2O offers content design, acquisition, management, distribution, and monitoring services for digital signage networks. More information about X2O Media is available at www.x2omedia.com.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Intel's Cash Register Concept

For about a year, Intel has been wanting to change the way you pay for products at stores from boring keypad and drawer, human-operated cash registers to crazy touchable cash "monuments".

Intel has a made a working prototype of their "Smart register" that is basically a self-checkout kiosk.

What's the main goal? Well, to sell more, obviously. The interesting part about it is that, in a way, its trying to emulate the online purchase experience in a brick-and-mortar.
Based on your purchase history from your credit card, the kiosk will recognize your shopping habits and give you recommendations of other products you might want to buy, just as Amazon.com will recommend (i.e. push) books or DVD's that are similar to what you've bought or that have been purchased by other clients that bought the same thing. 

[ via Wired ]

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

New X2O Media plugin allows users to build interactive maps in PowerPoint

X2O Media, Montreal-based developer of the Xpresenter digital signage platform, has launched a new wayfinder add-in that allows users to easily import floor plans and create digital, interactive wayfinder maps — with start and end points and animated directional arrows that indicate the path — directly inside PowerPoint and publish them to the X2O network. The maps can include a video or an image for both start and end points, and on-the-go signage viewers can even e-mail directions to themselves directly from the interactive screen.

"Our wayfinder maps have been an extremely popular feature in a number of X2O networks, from hotels and conference centers to casinos and airports, and we are glad to now offer this cost-saving tool to our customers on a mass scale,” said David Wilkins, X2O Media’s President and CEO. “Xpresenter users are already creating a wide variety of graphics and other content for their networks with our PowerPoint-based Xpresenter Template Maker authoring module, and now they can easily create these wayfinder maps as well, saving content managers considerable time and reducing the need to learn new tools and applications."

PICTURES: Digital Signage at Rigla Pharmacies

Here are the first pictures of Adissy's digital signage install that uses the BroadSign platform at Russian pharmacy chain Rigla.


Monday, July 19, 2010

COOPSCO stores add digital signage powered by Mirada Media


The COOPSCO network of cooperatives, which operates retail locations in the majority of Quebec's francophone colleges and universities, has selected Mirada Media to develop and deploy an in-store and point-of-sale digital signage network in the institutions it serves.

Many of the 60 cooperatives, which include over 100 outlets in French-speaking institutions, will be rolling out LCD screens powered by a custom version of Mirada Media's ChannelView player and content management system at school supply and book stores, clothing boutiques and cafeterias.

“It was important for us to boost our message frequency and printed material does not always give us this flexibility,” says Paul Rondeau, Merchandising Director at FQCMS/COOPSCO. He adds that “the Web is good for us, but we must wait for customers to come visit us. On the other hand, the electronic displays have the reverse effect. We can blast messages to our customers and provide support to our website.”

The digital signage will be used to promote products and specials, but a significant part of the content for the COOPSCO network is dedicated to informing members about the cooperatives’ events, initiatives and profit-sharing program.

COOPSCO's diverse locations and large footprint necessitated some content independence. Mirada Media customized its ChannelView web-based content management system to allow the Fédération to post ads to a collective media bank, from which store managers are able to select individual media files to display in accordance with their unique marketing strategies. The ability to display certain ads may be restricted by the Fédération in order to accommodate time-sensitive promotional campaigns such as limited-time or seasonal offers. Managers are automatically notified of new content postings via system e-mails and are able to mark items as “read” to better manage their campaigns.

Friday, July 16, 2010

QUICKY: July 16th, 2010 - OBN LED division closing shop, Bloody Mary ad banned, more...

  • Sadly the Outdoor Broadcast Network (OBN) will be closing its LED billboard network division due to uncertainty in the DOOH advertising market [ via Sixteen-nine, via Marketing Magazine ]
  • Queen Mary digital ad scared London commuters to the point that the ad bureau had to pull it (video) [via Agency Spy ]
  • Rumour: BroadSign won the JCDecaux business... [ via DailyDOOH ]
  • New Zealand bans software patents: is it a good thing or a bad thing? [ via TG Daily ]
Here's the Bloody Mary ad mentioned above that was banned from the London tube screens:



Thursday, July 15, 2010

BroadSign software now integrated with rVue booking platform

BroadSign International, a provider of on-demand digital signage software, have completed integration with rVue, Inc.'s demand-side platform for planning and buying digital out-of-home (DOOH) media.

BroadSign carried out the initial phase of integration with rVue last year, becoming the first digital signage software company to do so. This stage of integration has coincided with the launch of the new version of rVue’s web interface earlier this year. To date, 21 of the DOOH networks running on BroadSign have opted in to be part of rVue’s inventory.

BroadSign-powered networks can now be visible to the advertisers and agencies who use rVue to find DOOH ad inventory that meets their demographic and geographic criteria. Once the required inventory is discovered, media buyers can proceed to booking their campaigns. They can negotiate the rates, create insertion orders and follow the campaign’s progress through the same interface.

Brian Dusho, President and Chief Strategy officer of BroadSign, states, “Our integration with rVue is a precursor of the future industry-wide automation of cross-network DOOH campaigns. The irony today is that while our medium employs cutting edge technology, when it comes to aggregating cross-network buys - the coordination is for the most part manual. Together, rVue and BroadSign resolve that challenge and bring DOOH inventory to the media-buyer’s table in an easy-to-buy, transparent and accountable way.”

The rVue demand-side platform is free to enroll and requires no inventory aggregation or subscription fee. Networks can create a comprehensive profile featuring such critical information as audience demographics, reach, locations and estimated CPM values. Networks stay in control of their assets by being able to accept or reject an offer.

“This integration was developed to respond to the needs of both the advertisers and networks. By increasing the quantity, timeliness and accuracy of accountability data of BroadSign’s networks within the platform, the connection provides advertisers with the analytics that builds additional confidence in the media while reducing the network’s data management time,” said Jason Kates, Chief Executive Officer of rVue, Inc. “We are proud to continue our valued relationship with BroadSign in this important endeavor.”


rVue has enrolled networks in major DMAs across the United States and Canada with European expansion underway.    

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Broadsign Software to power Russian pharmacy network

Adissy, a Russian integrator, will be deploying an in-store digital signage network in the Rigla pharmacy chain using BroadSign's SaaS offering as the platform. This is BroadSign's first foray into the Russian market.

Ten test sites have been equipped with two to eight screens ranging in size from 24"–42" powered by a AOpen media player running BroadSign. The chain plans to deploy at the rest of its 578 pharmacies soon.

[ via Ooh-tv ]

GestureTek hit 500th sale milestone in healthcare market

GestureTek, a multiple patent-holder and world-leader in camera-enabled gesture-recognition technology based in Toronto, Ont., has announced the 500th sale of its gesture-controlled interactive solutions for the health and disability markets.

The company's body gesture-based control systems are highly effective for rehabilitation, physiotherapy, activation, recreation and sensory stimulation.  Whether through video immersion,  full-body interaction, or multi-media special effects, motion-control technologies produce an exhilarating experience of body awareness, and can enhance physical and cognitive abilities for those with cerebral palsy and autism, or patients recovering from stroke.

"Countless research studies support the premise that immersive and interactive technology can improve physical and cognitive outcomes for people with a variety of afflictions, including stroke, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy and autism, while also delivering tangible entertainment and recreational benefits," says Vincent John Vincent, President of GestureTek Inc.

LED-illuminated tower can tell you time, weather

Friday, July 9th, 2010, marked the first (annual?) Ticker Free Day. The purveyors of Ticker Free Day wanted anyone running digital signage to remove and crawling text, news feed or weather forecast that may occupy real estate on their screens. If only they had seen or heard about the Dexia Tower.

The Dexia Tower is a 38-story building in the heart of Brussels' Rogier Square where 4,200 of its windows are illuminated with LEDs. But these aren't giant LEDs that you see at concert's. Each window has about 12 light bulbs that combine three LEDs: red, green and blue. The light reflecting on the closed blind illuminates the whole surface of the window. The lights can even be switched rapidly to create the illusion of movement. A central computer controls shutting the blinds and changing the lights.

The building is meant to contribute to the international image of Brussels and has three main projects or modes: permanent illumination, art projects and to be integrated into national or international events. The art projects include such installations as displaying the time and illustrating the weather in cryptic color codes. Imagine that, three facades of a skyscrapper dedicated to being a giant, useless digital signage ticker...

[ Via Gizmodo ]

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ledstar Electronic Signs to hit more Ontario Highways

Ledstar, a LED sign manufacturer from Woodbridge, Ont., will be providing 10 new full-color electronic signs along Toronto highways. The LED arrays will allow the Ministry of Transportation for Ontario (MTO) to provide valuable updates to motorists such as construction zone warnings and changes in highway conditions.

Each 3m high by 12.2m wide Dynamic Message Signs can display full color text and graphics, which according to studies, help with recognition and decreasing response time.

Eight of the signs will be installed along highway 401, one on northbound Don Valley Parkway near Three Valleys Drive and one on southbound Highway 404 near Finch.

Ledstar had previously provided four signs for the MTO installed in North Bay, Ont. at the tail-end of 2009.

Monday, July 12, 2010

International economic forum in Montréal uses Cisco digital dignage to deliver content to attendees

During the International Economic Forum of the Americas/Conférence de Montréal, which took place between June 7 to 10, Cisco®'s Digital Signs platform was employed to deliver high-definition dynamic content to more than 4,000 attending delegates. This initiative represents the first time the Conférence de Montréal has incorporated innovative video applications and content to complement its program. The forum will use digital signage to deliver up-to-the-minute agenda highlights, speaker information and high-definition broadcasts of keynote speakers.

"We are delighted to have Cisco collaborate with us to implement a digital signage solution that complements this year's conference program," says Nicholas Rémillard, president and chief executive officer, International Economic Forum of the Americas/Conférence de Montréal. "Cisco's Digital Media Suite will enhance the overall experience for our guests by enabling us to showcase captivating content of digital video and live broadcast feeds," he added.

BMO Soccer-themed Interactive Storefront

BMO Financial Group is riding the World Cup wave with a soccer-themed interactive storefront campaign outside its flagship Toronto branch at King and Bay Streets.

"The beautiful game" inspired a beautiful eight-screen video-wall that uses a combination of motion capture and touch activation to transform pedestrians into virtual goalkeepers, giving Canadians the chance to have a one-on-one showdown with some of Canada’s future soccer stars, said the company.

“This activation is a first of its kind in Canada and designed to celebrate the growing excitement around grassroots soccer in Canada,” said Sandy Bourne, vic president, advertising, sponsorship, events and merchandising, BMO Financial Group, Toronto, Ontario. “We feel this high-tech, street-level activation further reflects our commitment to the development of soccer in Canada, and will bring Canadians closer to the game through a medium that exceeds any other interactive advertising of its kind.”

Technical expertise for the interactive storefront was provided by Monster Media, a full service multi media company based in Orlando, FL.

"We are thrilled to fuse together this groundbreaking technology with such a catchy concept," said John Payne, President, Monster Media. "Our company always strives to be pioneers in the out-of-home space and through this campaign we have executed game-play in a way that has never been done before in Canada and is sure to resonate with thousands of consumers."

BMO supports soccer across Canada from youth players in local neighborhoods and communities, to the professional level, said the company. BMO’s deep commitment to the game is evident from the beginning of the curve with BMO’s grassroots sponsorship of more than 500 youth teams nationally, according to the company. The relationship continues with BMO’s title support of elite youth players at BMO National Championships through to BMO’s professional teams support (Toronto FC & Vancouver Whitecaps FC) combined with soccer venue title sponsorship (BMO Field), said the company.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Loblaws out-of-home reacts to weather

Loblaws, a Canadian supermarket chain in Ontario and Quebec, ran a campaign on Astral Out-of-home's Digital network that featured four ads that would be displayed based on the current local weather.

The four ads were based on foods, including a starfruit symbolizing sunny weather and cauliflower for cloudy.

Synchronizing content to weather/temperature isn't particularly new for digital signage but I don't believe Astral's relatively new digital LED board network has done this before and the content looks quite good.

[ Via ooh-tv ]

Friday, July 9, 2010

Twitter-based murals promote travel to Canada

DDB Vancouver produced a really nice campaign for the Canadian Tourism Commission to get people in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles to, well, visit Canada. The “digital storescapes”, as the agency calls them, showcase a great way of integrating social media, interactivity and digital signage by displaying live tweets and photos from travelers in Canada which users can touch and enlarge to an "experience" of Canada. By following @Keep_Exploring and replying with your favorite Canadian destination you could also win a Canada $5000 travel voucher.

Here's a video explaining the campaign:




[Via PSFK]

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Audience Software Delivers Live World Cup Matches Into Scotia Plaza Elevators

Passenger elevators at Scotia Plaza, located in the heart of Toronto’s financial district, are using the Audience digital signage platform developed by Capital Networks Limited to keep tenants and visitors up to date on World Cup game days by streaming live match coverage.

The 68 storey head office of the Bank of Nova Scotia and home to a roster of national and international blue chip clients installed the digital signage system into the elevators approximately three years ago, housing 15 inch LCD monitors above each door.

Used primarily as a source of information and entertainment for tenants, the digital signage has also been integrated into Scotia Plaza’s Life Safety System via an IP wireless LAN core supported by Transformation Networks Inc. In the event of an emergency, the digital signage acts as a two way video conferencing tool, connecting elevator passengers with security staff at both a primary and secondary location via an 802.11 wireless connection.

The idea to stream live World Cup matches to the elevators came from Scotia Bank property management group as a value add service to their building tenants. Knowing the popularity of the World Cup soccer matches, the live IP streaming content to the elevator cabs allow tenants to never miss a moment of the action. Transformation Networks Inc. enabled IP Wireless links into the elevator cabs to stream live video to 54 operational elevator cabs without impacting other services. A page schedule links the streaming server IP address using the Audience system to display video content on demand.

Transformation Networks Inc. in partnership with Boss Networks Ltd. enabled the entire Scotia Plaza live streaming solution within a strict 3 day delivery timeline. “The ability to easily schedule a page within the Audience system to display Live IP video stream made for a quick and trouble free implementation” said Jim Vair of Capital Networks Limited. “The video quality is impressive and the tenant feedback has been very positive. Live IP video streaming opens up endless possibilities to broadcast future big events”.

At the end of each game, the system is scheduled to automatically switch back to everyday content which includes news, weather and financial information provided by automated data feeds, as well as building information provided over the web by management.

Sportech & Groupe Viva join forces for Bell at the Jazz Fest

Sportech and Groupe Viva join in deploying technologies and managing the programming of all visual aids used by Bell as part of its sponsorship of Festival International de Jazz de Montreal and the Festival d’été de Québec.

Throughout the festival sites, Bell Info-Jazz and Bell Info-Festival kiosks were setup to offer an interactive environment supported by LCD screens and touch-panels and light emitting diodes (LEDs) mounted above the kiosk.

Sportech equipment and Groupe VIVA technology allow streaming of the Festival's programming as well as excerpts from shows on the network of displays and touch screen installed at various Bell kiosks . Meanwhile, Groupe VIVA contributed to the development of content on different platforms, in collaboration with the communications firm LG2.

Here's a video of the info kiosks:

Thursday, July 1, 2010

QUICKY: July 1st, 2010

Happy Canada Day readers!

  • Christie Digital picked up some awards for its MicroTiles and projectors. The two MicroTile awards in particular were the Janus de l’Industrie Award from the French Institute of Design (Institut Francais du Design) for outstanding creative products in the field of industrial design and at InfoComm 2010, System Contractor News and InfoComm International presented Christie MicroTiles with the Most Innovative Video Display Product award and the Green AV award.
  • Icron Technologies of Burnaby, British Columbia, will be coming out with hardware to challenge HDMI's dominance in the A/V industry. The new hardware will drive USB beyond its five meter limit with a chip they are designing to drive uncompressed video more than 100 meters over Cat5 cables, powerline, or 802.11n. The Icron approach is a point-to-point link and does not support Ethernet.