Thursday, May 31, 2012

BroadSign Sale to JedFam Group Completed


BroadSign International, Inc. ("BSI") announced today it has been acquired by JedFam Group, LLC ("JedFam") almost three months after it filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware. The Bankruptcy Court recently approved a sale of BSI's assets to JedFam, and BSI will emerge from bankruptcy as BroadSign International, LLC. and Brian Dusho will remain as Chief Executive Officer of the digital signage software provider.

"Today marks the start of a new chapter for BroadSign," said Brian Dusho. "Thanks to widespread support from our lenders, customers, partners and friends, our operations have remained robust through this process." Mr. Dusho reported that BroadSign has experienced unprecedented growth in recent months. "I am especially grateful to our employees around the world whose continued hard work and focus have been instrumental in enabling us to reach this achievement and who will be important contributors to our future success," he said.

(via PR Newswire)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Astral receives final Court approval for acquisition by BCE


Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A/ACM.B) ("Astral") today announced that the Québec Superior Court has approved the previously announced acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Astral by BCE Inc. ("BCE") pursuant to a plan of arrangement under section 192 of the Canada Business Corporations Act (the "Arrangement"). The Québec Superior Court declared that the Arrangement is fair to shareholders of Astral.

It is anticipated that the Arrangement will be completed in the second half of 2012, subject to, without limitation, required regulatory approvals. Once there is more certainty as to when the Arrangement is expected to be completed, shareholders of Astral will receive a letter of transmittal and election form explaining how they may deposit and obtain payment for their shares of Astral once the Arrangement is completed.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements relating to the proposed acquisition by BCE of all of the issued and outstanding shares of Astral. We disclaim any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. The completion of the above-mentioned proposed transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, termination rights and other risks and uncertainties including, without limitation, any required regulatory approvals, including approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), Competition Bureau and Toronto Stock Exchange. Accordingly, there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction will occur, or that it will occur on the terms and conditions contemplated in this news release. The proposed transaction could be modified, restructured or terminated.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Make any wall into a touchscreen using a Kinect hack

Munich-based startup Ubi Interactive claims they can turn any surface into a 3D touchscreen using a Microsoft Kinect sensor to turn a regular projector into a multi-touch PC projection system. This is in contrast to the usual Kinect applications where its used to control with gestures at a distance, i.e. a Xbox 360 game that you control by waving your hands.

Wired.co.uk visited Ubi Interactive at Microsoft's Westlake offices in Seattle for a hands-on demonstration...and it actually works. Here's a video.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Omnivex Recognizes Top Performing VARs

During the annual Omnivex Partner Event held in Concord, Ontario, Omnivex recognized its top performing Value Added Resellers (VARs) with awards. This year three awards were given out – Omnivex Partner of the Year, Top International Partner, and Best New Partner. The event provides an opportunity for partners to gather and discuss their challenges and successes, as well as the current market and how it will affect future business.          

This year's recipient of the 2011 Partner of the Year award was Sharp's Audio Visual, who achieved the highest grossing sales of any Omnivex partner, including North American and International VARs. This marked their third consecutive year achieving the top spot and illustrates their dedication and success in representing Omnivex in the Canadian marketplace. When handing out the award, Omnivex Partner Manager, Diane Ratigan, commented "I would like to take this opportunity to give special thanks to Angelo Kosmidis who is the driving force behind Sharp's success as an Omnivex Partner, we greatly appreciate his efforts."


The title of Top International Partner was presented to Geir Ove Finstad of Hatteland Vision, who had the highest grossing sales amongst the International Channel Partners for 2011. Hatteland represents Omnivex in the Nordic region and has experienced great success. They have extensive installations in the Norwegian Military and this past year have expanded into the Norwegian Railway. During the ceremony Ratigan took a moment to give a special thank you to Finstad, stating that "he has been instrumental in the success of Omnivex in the Nordic region and is a strong supporter of Omnivex and its solutions."

The third and final award for Best New Partner was received by Greenlite, based in Warsaw, Poland. The company has seen tremendous success in their first year of business reselling Omnivex software. They recently deployed a network of signage across a retail banking chain in Poland which includes over five hundred Moxie Players and continues to grow. Although Greenlite's CEO, Aleksander Koslacz, was not present to receive the award, his hard work and outstanding achievements were graciously acknowledged.

Omnivex software solutions are sold and supported globally by a network of highly skilled, focused and dedicated Value Added Resellers. Omnivex relies on the channel to expand the reach of our solutions and maintain a high level of customer service around the world. The annual Partner Event provides an opportunity for the achievements of Omnivex VARs to be publicly recognized, and further illustrates our focus on building and maintaining a strong channel program.           

Ayuda Demonstrates Juice at Screen Media Expo

Ayuda Media Systems is demonstrating a groundbreaking new addition to its already extensive portfolio of workflow management applications. Juice™, comprising a full suite of sales oriented tools for D/OOH advertising networks, allows the media vendor’s sales organization to manage all aspects of the sales pipeline, from pre-sales, checking avails, creating proposals, to reporting, on the same platform from which avails are tracked and content is scheduled. This represents the first time that any “off the shelf” product with such a wide array of media sales, operations, and execution capabilities becomes available to media networks without the need for costly custom integration, where the entire business can efficiently be run from a single platform. With Ayuda Juice™ for sales, Splash™ for scheduling, Finance for invoicing and lease payouts, and the Business Intelligence suite, the entire media business can be run from a single, unified platform and user experience. 

Juice™ is a suite of seamlessly integrated browser-based software applications that provide all the business functions for a media vendor’s sales team that would normally require several disparate programs to address. Juice™ includes a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) application that is the only one of its kind, completely customized for the needs of a D/OOH salesperson. In addition to providing management of leads, contacts, pipeline, reports and other standard CRM features, Juice™ allows the sales force to view sales inventory (avails) in real-time, empowering them with the ability to generate proposals that are timely and relevant. The Juice™ digital sales proposal engine takes those real-time avails and turns them into beautiful, complete, and accurate proposal documents that can be instantly sent to the customer or viewed live from the application on a mobile device or tablet. Juice™ also offers a full complement of reporting features for sales management, which can be incorporated into Ayuda’s holistic BI (Business Intelligence) platform to track KPIs by the media company’s executive leadership.

Ayuda has an 8 year track record of providing media workflow management tools for some of the world’s most prominent OOH networks. This has always included the ability to manage an ad campaign from its inception – the sales proposal – through booking, mapping, scheduling, invoicing, ad revenue sharing payout, and live interactive Proof of Performance for digital and traditional networks. Now, in addition to the new sales pipelining, reporting, and management capabilities introduced by Juice™, a milestone for the industry is established: from a single platform and user experience, digital avails are retrieved in a meaningful way and seamlessly translated into proposals, forming the workflow foundation that is preserved through to the lease payouts owed on a contract that began simply as a contact lead in the CRM.

“Having provided a comprehensive set of tools for both traditional and digital networks for years, we know just how much more complex digital avails can be, states Andreas Soupliotis, Ayuda’s CEO. “What’s so ground breaking about Juice is that we have solved the most difficult problem for digital networks: how to check avails quickly, meaningfully, and then allow the sales force to use those results to do their jobs efficiently and easily, which is to propose and sell. We empower the sales team with the mechanism to check digital avails based on budget, day part, number of spots, target demographics, and audience numbers. They can do all of this with just a few clicks, live while on location at a customer directly from their mobile devices or tablets, and have those proposals pushed seamlessly to Splash™ for scheduling, and finally to our Finance product for invoicing and financial reporting. With Juice™, Ayuda continues to fulfill its promise of making the entire network’s operations easier, more efficient, and more cost effective.”

Madalyn Roker, Ayuda’s Client Services Director for EMEA, additionally states that “Ayuda has been testing Juice™ for some time now within our existing customer ecosystem, to ensure development of a product that doesn’t just embody Ayuda’s vision of a ground-breaking product, but which solves the most difficult challenges that our customers live every day. With customers like GSTV, enVu, and several other international customers giving us real, practical street level input, we consider ourselves honored to be in the position to apply our world class software know-how to solving today’s existing, and tomorrow’s anticipated business challenges. It is because we are wholly committed to our partners’ success that we ourselves have been so successful at what we do, which is to significantly facilitate how D/OOH networks run their sales and operations.”

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

University of Toronto Welcome Dignitaries with 36-MicroTile Videowall

Thirty-six Christie® MicroTiles® are impressing dignitaries and staff with bright and vibrant images at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs. The school is an interdisciplinary academic center focusing on global issues and has hosted prime ministers, cabinet ministers and ambassadors.

Installed in the front wall of the Vivian and David Campbell conference facility, the 6 units wide by 6 units high Christie MicroTiles array displays Blu-ray videos, still images and PowerPoint presentations for foreign and domestic officials who present their research findings at the facility.

“We were upgrading our technology and wanted not only the newest and the best – but also something very functional,” said Sean Willett, IT manager for the school. “We have dignitaries from around the world visit so the technology not only has to be top of the line; it has to look and feel impressive. It made sense to use Christie MicroTiles because they really show off their flexibility and image quality for what we need.”

Willett said the center also wanted an aesthetically pleasing display in the customized architectural space that previously housed an older video wall. Christie MicroTiles complement their environment and are a unique proposition in display technology, offering video and data display building blocks to create presentations of varying size and shape.

“It was an amazing project because we had never worked in a space that is used in so many configurations,” added Bertine Jerry, director of sales, Global Unified Solutions Services, Inc., project integrator. “It worked out incredibly well and the Christie MicroTiles look great.”

“Not only are some of our guests interviewed in front of the MicroTiles under harsh media lights, we have huge windows at the back of the room that sweep around the side and there are also windows right near the MicroTiles wall itself,” explained Willett. “We also have lighting that goes all the way across the top of the room. This, traditionally, makes it very difficult to see the images – but this isn’t the case with the MicroTiles.

“People are stunned by the color, clarity, and vibrancy of the images displayed on the MicroTiles – and how it looks like a seamless wall. Everyone is also very happy with how well the MicroTiles integrated with the stone, wood and paneling of the room. In fact, the Christie MicroTiles are a showpiece.”


X2O Portal Now Fully Integrated with Polycom RealPresence Media Manager


X2O Media, a provider of digital signage software and content services, today announced that as part of the company’s new "Open Content Management Framework", the X2O Portal is now fully integrated with the Polycom® RealPresence® Media Manager. Users can access video assets stored in the RealPresence Media Manager directly from X2O’s cloud-based content management tools, then schedule and deliver them to digital displays, greatly simplifying the content workflow.

“The combination of these two powerful solutions provides exceptional ease of use as well as better ROI,” said X2O Media President and CEO David Wilkins. “With X2O’s browser-based content management tools, users can leverage video assets already stored in the RealPresence Media Manager to display stunning visuals on digital displays, which improves the content workflow significantly by eliminating duplication of effort.”

The Polycom RealPresence Media Manager streamlines the processes, devices, and technology required to produce and distribute media effectively over existing IT infrastructures. The automated, end-to-end solution supports the complete content lifecycle of all video assets — from video capture and content management to viewer access and delivery across networks — regardless of source or format.

The X2O Portal is a comprehensive, cloud-based platform for managing and scheduling all content — including images, videos, graphics, and live data — from social media and other sources on digital signage networks of any size. By combining content management with network monitoring and customizable reporting features, the platform provides unprecedented power through a user-friendly, browser-based interface that greatly reduces the resources and time required to set up, control, and maintain a digital signage network.

With the X2O Portal API, solution providers such as Polycom have the opportunity to register digital assets with the X2O Portal, greatly simplifying the work associated with digital asset management. For more information on the new API, interested parties may contact X2O Media at partners@x2omedia.com.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I need a bigger wall: Panasonic's 145-inch Plasma

This is what Panasonic dubs Super Hi-Vision TV: the world's first self-illuminating 8K resolution (7,680 x 4,320) Plasma. That's 16 times today's full-HD.

This prototype was presented by Panasonic with Japanese broadcaster NHK. Panasonic see it being used in commercial settings such as theaters before we'll ever see one in the home.

Here's a video via DigInfo.TV:




[Image Credit: Ryo Osuga, DigInfo.TV]

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Newad gives back to the students via new bursary program


Newad has announced the allocation of more than $100,000 to students in many of the country’s colleges and universities through its Newad Bursary program. Presented in partnership with educational institutions, these funds are intended to support associations or individuals who’ve performed outstanding achievements in their given field of study.

Newad’s Indoor network is present in many of the country’s institutions of higher learning. Over the past 17 years, the total sum of advertising fees handed out to colleges and universities amounts to more than 21 million dollars. What’s more, the equivalent of 4 million dollars has been allotted to students and their associations, through scholarships or pro bono advertising. 

“We’re happy to give back to Canada’s student community, especially because Newad as a company recruits dozens of graduates from those educational institutions each year. For us, this undertaking falls in line with the values of Newad’s 350 employees and brand ambassadors”, comments Philippe Marchessault, Executive Vice President of Operations, Development, and Innovation, Indoor Advertising.

Among the schools receiving scholarships this year, there is: Ryerson University (ON), Centennial College of Applied Arts & Technology (ON), Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning (ON), Vancouver Community College (BC), University of Victoria (BC) and University of Calgary (AB).

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

#fail: DOOH just looking for a little #VPro TLC

This DOOH totem screen by Pattison Onestop caught by Dmitry Skolov has Intel's VPro technology, which provides hardware-assisted security and manageability, but is it enabled?

Burkhart Chooses Zest, Ayuda’s newly Unveiled Product for Buying Outdoor Advertising Online

Burkhart Advertising announced at the annual TAB/OAAA Conference that the company has selected Ayuda’s Zest product to bring their business online. Zest will “snap” into Burkhart’s corporate Web site and offer potential buyers the ability to discover inventory, check live avails, target point of interests using mapping, and build audience-based showings using TAB EYES ON demographic target rating points (TRPs) and Reach Frequency.

“What’s really unique about what we’re doing with Zest is that the system hooks into our charting engine and the TAB engine, both at the same time” stated Charlie Miller, CEO of Burkhart. “With Zest, we are offering our buyers total transparency. Buyers can run a live avails check on our inventory against a target EYES ON demographic. Burkhart has always strived to make our business easier to buy for our clients. Zest is a clear step in that direction, and in a world where we do everything online we think this is only the tip of the iceberg.”
Zest offers two modes. The first is a hyper-local, geographic targeting mode that allows buyers to target locations by specifying point of interests, and the second is a campaign-centric mode that centers on audience buys, incorporating TRPs and Reach Frequency.

“Burkhart has always demonstrated leadership in thinking about modernizing out-of-home” said Andreas Soupliotis, CEO of Ayuda. “Charlie and I have been talking for years about what we need to do to make out-of-home more accessible to the buyer. With Zest, buyers can discover locations, and get to an RFP stage within a few clicks. Moreover, we’ve built Zest to be able to hook into existing charting systems so we can check avails. And as the builders of the TAB EYES ON ADS system, it was a natural progression for us to bring TRPs and RF into the mix. The end result is a state-of-the art discovery and campaign building tool.”

While Zest is a fully-compatible HTML5 Web application that can run on any browser and any operating system (including Safari, and Apple operating systems), Ayuda also offers Zest customers an App available on the Apple AppStore. “While HTML5 runs on any platform, Apps are richer and more fun when consumed on an iPhone or iPad. We’ve also built a Zest App that takes advantage of local hardware such as GPS and the Accelerometer. These features make it easy for anyone who encounters a roadside billboard on the street to identify that specific board as well as similar inventory, immediately or while in transit. And I think operators will love the fact that with Zest, they can get their very own App in the Apple AppStore”.