Wednesday, February 23, 2011

CASE STUDY: The Miami Dolphins Interactive Wall

Here's a look at the Miami Dolphins Interactive Wall at Sun Life Stadium. It was developed by Arsenal Integrated, a division of Arsenal Media.

The installation consists of several technological elements: 41 Christie MicroTiles™ featuring Christie Digital Systems technology, an interactive mobile phone application, and gesture-based interactivity run by a Float4 Interactive RealMotion Server™.


Case study: The Miami Dolphins Interactive Wall, featuring Christie® MicroTiles™ from ARSENAL MEDIA_DEMO ZONE on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Astral OOH Launches Geomarketing Intelligence Service


Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada's leading out-of-home advertising companies and subsidiary of Astral Media Inc., launched MARK today, its exclusive geo-marketing intelligence service. Available to Astral Out-of-Home clients, MARK provides a fresh, modern look at cities and the lifestyle and consumer habits of those who live or spend time in them to create and deliver effective, targeted advertising campaigns.

Through its observations and analyses, MARK pinpoints the urban movement of consumers and offers advertisers customized Out-of-Home solutions to optimize advertising messages based on urban mobility.

"More than ever, consumers behave like real urban nomads. There are 20% more of them on roads than 10 years ago, spending 35 minutes more per week just traveling between home and work," said Philippe René, Senior Director, Research, at Astral Out-of-Home. "This increased mobility leverages out-of-home advertising, which is achieving constant audience growth."

In this new media context defined by increased consumer movement, MARK relies on the most robust statistical data in the country relating to consumer habits and interest group movement towards their various lifestyle activities. With this expertise and its in-depth knowledge of markets, Astral Out-of-Home's Geo-marketing Intelligence team can provide a detailed portrait of the targeted clientele, analyze their profiles, and pinpoint how they go about their numerous consumer and leisure activities.

Astral Out-of-Home is a leader in innovation, thanks to strength of its network, the diversity of its portfolio, its creativity, and its geo-marketing intelligence. "We analyze over 5,000 marketing variables in order to accurately map out consumer movement in Canada's largest markets," adds Mr. René. "We can combine this expertise with our media creativity to considerably increase the impact of advertising campaigns by focusing distribution on select advertising faces where the targeted clientele live, work, shop, and play."

Thursday, February 17, 2011

EVENT: LBMA's Measuring Location Based Success

The Location Based Marketing Association (LBMA), a Toronto-based organization serving all avenues of advertising and marketing as it relates to location-specific promotion, is holding an event on March 3rd entitled Measuring Success: Location-Based Success Stories with In-depth Analytics. The event that will be held at the KPMG & Bay Adelaide Centre in Toronto, is designed to address location-specific marketing within the digital economy.

Adarsh Pallian, CEO of Geotoko Inc., will be the event's keynote speaker. The experts panel will feature Raymond Reid the Group Director of Digital at Starcom Mediavest, Bill Sharpe, Chairman at Sharpe Blackmore Euro RSG, and Matt Johnston, VP Marketing NA for Moosehead Breweries.

Registration is $40 for LBMA members and $60 for non-members. The event is sponsored by Adcentricity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Digital Signage White Paper: The Rise of the "Content is King Monarchy"

Lyle Bunn has a free, no sponsor, no registration required white paper focused on dynamic media "Content" titled "The CONTENT of Dynamic Place-based Media - The rise of the "Content is King" Monarchy".

The 44-page whitepaper covers many of the major elements of "content" such as content costs, standards of practice, and the context of content in delivering the value of dynamic media.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Newad invests $8 million in digital signage

To consolidate its position as the leader in indoor advertising in Canada and pursue its growth plan, Newad is announcing the launch of a new generation of digital boards. This innovative technology will be launched in the upcoming weeks when 550 units will be installed in Newad’s Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver RestoBars network. With the addition of these new boards, the company will deliver a total of 1.1 million impressions through its Digital advertising network across the country every week. Known for their premium reputation and trendsetting clientele, the venues hosting these new digital boards include La Queue de Cheval (Mtl), Brassaii (Tor), Chicago Chophouse (Cal), Century Grill (Edm) and Republic (Van). Additionally, Newad is also announcing the installation of 3,500 additional digital boards over the next three years – an investment worth over $8 million in total, allotting $2M to Toronto, $1.5M to Montreal, $1.5M to Vancouver; $1M to Edmonton and $1M to Calgary.

“In the next 36 months, we’re investing over $8 million in the pan-Canadian placement of these new digital boards. Newad is notorious for its dynamism and constant innovation, and this initiative will allow us to further embody these qualities in new ways. In addition to enhancing our national distribution capacity, we will continue to develop creative solutions that aide advertisers in reaching their Young & Affluent target, a market for which we’ve developed an unmatched expertise,” comments Michael Reha, President and CEO of Newad.

Marc Giguère, Executive Vice-President & Chief Operating Officer of Indoor Advertising, adds: “Within a few weeks, this expansion will allow us to deliver 1.1 million impressions through our digital boards every week and to offer our clients the most effective way to maximize the impact of their campaigns. With cutting-edge technology, we are offering communication solutions that allow us to act immediately and support campaigns in real-time through a state-of-the-art internal ad-serving system. Thus, advertisers can tailor their communications more precisely with content varying by city, establishment, date, or hour. In so doing, they will optimize their campaigns in an unprecedented way, especially since our network is 100% gender-segmented and also supports television and web formats.”

Philippe Marchessault, Newad’s Executive Vice-President of Operations, Development, and Innovation, Indoor Advertising, explains that “the digital boards, with 22” high-resolution LCD screens and full stereo sound, broadcast 15-to-60-second-long audio/video loops almost instantaneously. These loops will be interspaced with exclusive content clips adapted to the target market’s lifestyle and interests, which include music, videos, fashion, and upcoming events. The boards can be programmed with RSS feeds or HTML to integrate new information or update campaigns. Newad has been an innovator in digital signage for nearly 15 years, having installed its first video panels in 1997.”

Monday, February 14, 2011

VIDEO: First multimedia Sikh museum in Canada

If you can handle simultaneous multi-language closed captioning, the video below shows some images and gives a little information on the Multimedia Sikh Museum in the Indian-dominated city of Mississauga on the outskirts of Toronto. It is the first of its kind in Canada and only the second in the world after India.

The museum was opened last October at Ontario Khalsa Darbar, North America's biggest Sikh shrine. The touch-screen museum is a 400-hour-long journey through 60,000 pages of text and tons of audio, video, animation, graphics and about 1,500 paintings.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Digital Signage Quickey: Feb. 11th, 2011

Canada:

-- Le Moyne College in Syracuse, N.Y. is utilizing X2o Media's vClips interactive HD video kiosk and Xpresenter™ Xe Video Poster to display video highlights in the college's Athletics Hall of Fame, and power digital menu boards in on-campus café. Read more...

-- Rory Amelio, ex-VP of business development at NEWAD, has joined Adapt Media, Toronto out-of-home advertising company specializing in street-level OOH, digital OOH and innovative media solutions. Read more...

-- X2O Media and Mediavation Win Prestigious DIGI Award. Read more...

-- More info on Laurentian Bank's digital signage.

Experimental:

-- Students at the University of Groningen, in the Netherlands, created a 33-foot-long curved touchscreen. Three computers handle the touch detection, one processes it all. It uses six cameras and 16 infrared emitters, plus two or three men to poke around awkwardly in front of it for your amusement. Video is embedded below.



Technology:

-- Mvix introduced an incredibly low-price signage player: Mvix DLite (pronounced, “Mvix Delight”), at $189. Read more...

-- Does anyone even know what a QR Code is?

iSIGN, BroadSign create worldwide sales partnership

iSIGN Media Solutions Inc., a Toronto-based software developer of location-based interactive proximity solutions, and Montreal-based digital signage software platform developer BroadSign International Inc. have entered into a partnership to mutually promote, support and sell each other’s solutions.

iSIGN’s technology communicates with consumers while they are in the vicinity of digital signs via personal mobile devices, on an opt-in basis. iSIGN enables shoppers to instantly receive and redeem coupons and other promotional offers at the point of purchase or nearby businesses. The integration allows iSIGN to supply their devices to several hundred digital signage networks running on BroadSign platform.

“iSIGN’s Interactive Marketing Solution and Business Intelligence software offers a innovative and powerful way for digital signage networks to communicate with consumers on-the-go and at the same time build measurable loyalty programs,” said Brian Dusho, CEO of BroadSign International, “What attracted us in iSIGN is the fact that in addition to satisfying the need for locally targeted mobile marketing, it provides a straightforward method of tracking the efficiency of each digital signage campaign and enables a cost-per-result pricing.

“We are pleased to have joined forces with BroadSign,” said Alex Romanov, iSIGN’s Chief Executive Officer. “BroadSign's advanced campaign planning, execution and reporting platform will help retailers using iSIGN’s software solutions to significantly increase the reach of mobile campaigns, as digital signs will drive consumers to interact with their mobile devices. As we integrate our products further, we will be able to benefit from richer targeting and reporting tools for combined digital signage and mobile campaigns."

Thursday, February 10, 2011

T-Mobile UK Uses Omnivex Software for Call Center Digital Signage

Omnivex Corporation, a Concord, Ontario-based provider of enterprise software for digital signage networks, announced that British cellular telecommunications provider T-Mobile UK is using Omnivex software within its call centers in the United Kingdom. The system displays the current RAG status view of the call center metrics in addition to other important information.

T-Mobile UK, along with Orange UK, is part of Everything Everywhere Limited, which serves almost 28 million people and is the United Kingdom’s biggest mobile communications company. T-Mobile UK was looking for a solution to help communicate a wide range of information in varied formats to its customer support staff in its call centers in the United Kingdom. As well, the company wanted to use the digital signage to improve the working environment for their customer support staff as a whole. They selected Omnivex software to manage the digital signage system, which consists of 33 large format digital displays within each of the three call center locations.

Omnivex Certified Reseller, proAV Limited, brought all aspects of the project together. "Omnivex software was able to display a varied format of data in a way that T-Mobile UK deemed key in its customer support staff providing the correct levels of customer satisfaction to its customers,” said Dan Phillpot, Video Communication Specialist at proAV.

T-Mobile UK is known for its outstanding customer service and extensive network coverage. The call center digital signage is helping T-Mobile UK to provide excellent levels of service to its customers, while also improving the working environment for its employees. The system is essential for providing customer critical information that enables its customer support staff to provide an excellent customer experience which results in increased customer satisfaction.

Canada's Digital Signage Quickies: February 10th, 2011

-- Montréal-based VFX house Boogie Studio created some animated CG avatars for the interactive screens at Videotron's flagship Montreal store. The “Bar A Mobile”, as the project is called, allows customers to interact with animated characters via touch-screens at sales counters. Read more...

-- Haivision CoolSign will be showing off its digital signage solution at the 2011 N.G.A Annual Convention and Supermarket Synergy Showcase. Read more...

-- Captivate Network CEO and DPAA chair Mike DiFranza talks about his company's expansion over the last year and the overall outlook for the future of DOOH. Read more...

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

170 MicroTile Install at Malta Airport

International Airport Advertising Corporation, an ad agency based in Nicosia, Cyprus, has placed an order for 170 Christie MicroTiles to be installed at Malta International Airport (MIA). With its partner, Clear Channel Airports, the agency won a 12-year advertising concession for the airport in mid-2010.

Divided into seven separate displays (including five 8 x 3 synchronised videowalls in the Baggage Reclaim area), the installation forms the bulk of a €1 million euro investment which will see all static media convert to video signage.

The MicroTiles will be provided by and installed by Christie’s Cyprus distributors, ALA Equipment.

La Presse Ads on Astral Digital

Montreal French-language daily La Presse are advertising on Astral Media Outdoor's Digital Network and are really taking advantage of the flexibility that digital can offer.

The campaign, created by Cossette Canada, will be displayed on 10 faces of the ad network and will be day-parted to feature multiple sections of the newspaper. From midnight to 11am, the font page story will be shown, while after 11am, columnists will be featured with stories from diverse sections such as Business and Sports.

The campaign, managed and broadcast by Astral in Montreal, should reach 1 million people daily.

First Canadian HP Store Opens with Scala Digital Signage

The first HP Store in Canada opened last December in Vancouver, at the corner of Alberni and Bute, and features some in-store digital signage setup by local Scala Certified Partner 10net Managed Solutions.

The HP Store Vancouver features experience pods and an HP digital-signage display at the checkout consisting of three side-by-side 47-inch LCD HP LD4700 screens mounted on a curved wall and powered by an HP Z400 Workstation. The screens communicate product information, upcoming store events and personalized welcome messages as customers enter the store to pick up products.

“The HP Store features HP’s latest consumer and commercial technology products,” said Andrew Chun, business development manager, HP Canada. “We are particularly excited with the digital signage because it is an excellent showcase of how HP’s latest workstation PC technology and professional display technology come together as a stunning visual communication tool.”


HP Canada and partner AdCetera, Houston, created the digital content using Scala Designer. The firm developed the dynamic templates for The HP Store staff so that they can update the content themselves and keep it fresh.

“The Scala backend enables customized changes simply and quickly,” says Bill Nuttall, founder of 10net. “Screens can either share or feature unique content. The HP Store employees can focus on their business without worrying about additional in-house monitoring and installation support resources.”

Monday, February 7, 2011

The real reason Bill Gates will never use an iPad


Advertising Lab posted this scan of a 1984 Wall Street Journal ad featuring Bill Gates. News Corp. debuted an iPad-only newspaper the other day. Mr. Gates will never be caught dead reading it.

Digital Signage Canada: Weekly Roundup

Astral Out-of-Home adds a billboard in Laval off Highway 15 increasing its Digital Network to 33 faces in Canada, 11 of them being in the Greater Montreal Area.

The Media Merchants made two Starbuck's storefronts in Vancouver and Toronto interactive to promote the beverage chain's Tazo Teas. They also have a video (embedded below). They even got a nod from Engadget.


Starbucks Interactive Storefront from The Media Merchants on Vimeo.

Matrox has a case study out on how Bon Appetit, the food service provider at London 2012 Games building site uses Matrox TripleHead2Go to drive multi-monitor digital menu boards.

Here's a little more information on that deal between Haivision’s CoolSign digital signage unit and Kodak.

Opa! Souvlaki rolls out 200 digital menu boards

Last April, we wrote about Calgary-based E Display Inc. rolling out digital menu boards at 65 Opa! Souvlaki locations. Its seems that initial testing was successful and they finished the roll out. Each location usually has three menu board screens so the network accounts for about 200 screens. That's pretty big for a Canadian rollout, especially digital menu boards.

The network will be powered using Navori's digital signage software. They settled on the software after having testing other solutions, including using Samsung's MagicInfo Pro, an entry-grade solution that's offered free with commercial Samsung screens, and even custom management systems.

Here's Navori's official release regarding the installation (with a paragraph about their new QL platform – short for "Quantum Leap"):

Calgary-based E Display Inc. has rolled out to the balance of existing OPA! locations across the country, and digital menu-boards – usually three per site - are part of the standard set-up for the new stores that are being added each month. E Display handles deployment and does all the content management for OPA!

The company started working with the chain in Sept. 2009, and after tests and trials with several Tier 1 software platforms, E Display settled on Navori for the full deployment.

“When we started our search for digital signage software, we ran into products that were not mature enough,” said E Display president Imran Khan. “If they offered most of the features we needed, they ended up being too expensive. The main selling point of Navori was how it offered a comprehensive product at a reasonable cost. We also liked how the Navori team was open to suggestions on enhancements and new features. Instead of resistance, we got enthusiasm.”

The food services firm doesn’t speak specifically about sales impacts, but says his client and site operators have said promotions driven on screens see significant sales lifts. But the menu boards are also used to drive efficiency and lower costs. OPA! changes its promotions as often as three times per month, and converting to digital from analog sign systems has removed all the time, labor and costs of manual changes.

“Now we update their boards across Canada just using Navori Manager,” says Khan.

QSR menu boards

“E Display is an important client and partner for Navori because they’re demonstrating success in a very hot sector for digital signage – QSRs,” says Jerome Moeri, Chairman of Navori International SA. “This is an area that will see explosive growth in the next two years, and E Display has done an excellent job of demonstrating the power, simplicity and value that Navori presents.”

The OPA! rollout is one of several in Canada for Navori, one of oldest and most successful software companies active in the fast-growing digital signage marketplace. Operating since 1998, Lausanne-based Navori has clients in 90 countries and more than 75,000 active players in the field. Its premise-based software is available in seven languages, and variations of Navori’s platform powers everything from single screens to huge enterprise networks with hundreds or thousands of screens. The company takes a Swiss Movement approach in developing a platform and service delivery that's precise, powerful and elegant.

Navori in Las Vegas

The North American launch of Navori’s new QL platform – short form for Quantum Leap - is set for Feb. 22-25 at Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, Feb. 22-25. Navori will have a product demo and meeting area at booth 2028.

QL makes broadcast-quality HD video possible on entry-level PCs, and adds more power, precision and easily-used tools to the platform.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ayuda releases the OpenSplash digital signage player as open source

Ayuda Media Systems ("Ayuda") announced today at ISE 2011 that it will be open sourcing its Splash Digital Player. Dubbed “OpenSplash”, it is a free, multi-platform open source player that can be driven by any content management and scheduling system.

“Offering a free, open source media player will enable a new wave of innovation in the signage industry” said Andreas Soupliotis, President & CEO of Ayuda. “There are a multitude of software vendors in the space that basically all do the same thing – push content from a content management system (CMS) to a network of players. Some do it a little better than others but the differentiation of identity is just not there. If there were a standard open software player that the industry rallied behind then everyone could focus on innovating next generation signage opportunities. Each year at DSE, ISE and Screenmedia Expo you’ve got the same vendors showing marginal improvements on their software. Innovation is stagnant. OpenSplash might hopefully change that. By embracing a copyleft-oriented mindset, we expect to see exciting innovations and extensions to the player developed by an open-source community.”

Soupliotis continued by explaining some of the benefits of OpenSplash: “Larger digital networks often opt to build bespoke CMS and players. These kinds of networks could cut their development costs by extending an already-existing open source player. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel. Besides, the secret sauce for these networks lies in their complex CMS, not in the player.” He added: “Screen vendors also stand to benefit from OpenSplash. They can focus on what they know how to do best – hardware while potentially bundling a free open source player.” Soupliotis also believes that DOOH aggregators benefit from OpenSplash: “Aggregators should also like to see an open source player, as it means they would not have to perform silos of one-by-one integration efforts with each software vendor in order to fulfill campaign execution. More importantly, they will be able to deliver a single proof-of-play report to the advertiser across several networks for a single buy.”

Aside from operating as a simple SMIL-based player by consuming SMIL playlists and content, OpenSplash can also double as a more intelligent rules-based player that can manage dynamic loops and create playlists on the fly. Supporting video walls, frame synchronization across multiple players, zones, and dynamic content, it is designed to be driven by any SaaS-based CMS because the player consumes a set of standard Web services for pulling schedules and content. The source code that makes up OpenSplash is written mostly in the modern C# programming language, and is built on open and platform-invariant standards such as Mono, FFMpeg, and MPlayer. As with most signage players, it has full support for H.264 1080p video, flash, HTML5 and many other formats. It runs on Linux, Windows and Android operating systems.

OpenSplash is a project that was inspired and championed by Adrian Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief of DailyDOOH. Cotterill commented on OpenSplash: “There’s no doubt in my mind that this initiative will kick start even more innovation in our industry. Screen manufacturers will be able to build robust players that support every inch and every feature of their displays, online aggregators will be able to collect data direct from players and network management tools will be able to better collect proof of play information, to name but a few uses.”

Cotterill added “This initiative will also attract new developers and even bring academia into the fold, fostering even more innovation. This is truly an exciting announcement.”

OpenSplash will be made available to the general public in Q2 of 2011. Current efforts include implementing an open source community portal for support forums, shared source code control, knowledge base articles, versioning of enhancements, and code documentation.

Matrox TripleHead2Go Drives Digital Menu Boards at London 2012 Olympic Games

Matrox Graphics Inc. today announced that Bon Appetit has incorporated the Matrox TripleHead2Go Graphics eXpansion Module (GXM) to power a digital signage installation at the building site for the upcoming London 2012 Olympic Games. The Matrox TripleHead2Go solution allows Bon Appetit to connect three monitors to a single workstation, enabling the leading UK food service provider to display dynamic content across multiple digital menu boards at resolutions of 1360x768 per display.

Selected as the exclusive catering firm for the London 2012 Games building site, Bon Appetit wanted to upgrade their typical static menu boards with a modern digital menu system. Contracting Signature Digital Menus to manage the digital signage installation, the digital menu board specialist brought in partners Beaver Solutions and Scala to build the creative content and software management solution respectively, while leveraging the Matrox TripleHead2Go technology to power three displays from a single system. The new digital menu setup fits in seamlessly with the restaurant's new layout and design, but more importantly provides Bon Appetit with the necessary communication platform to present customers with the latest prices, menus, and specials for superior sales results.

"The Matrox TripleHead2Go units are an invaluable asset to delivering high-quality video signals for the digital menu boards," says Peter Critchley, Director, Signature Digital Menus Ltd. "We're very impressed and pleased with the continuing reliability of these multi-monitor solutions."

More information is available at www.matrox.com/bon_appetit.