Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pinpoint Media, iSIGN partner to enhance Couche-Tard/Mac's network

iSIGN Media Solutions Inc. have announced that Pinpoint Media Group Inc., a Toronto based digital signage advertising network provider servicing 1,400 convenience stores in Canada has partnered with iSIGN to enhance its network.

iSIGN's Interactive Marketing Solution ("IMS") 3.0 software will be embedded into the Mac's/Couche-Tard convenience store chain's digital signage network in Canada, commencing January 4, 2011, in Quebec first where it has over 85% of the market share in the convenience/gas retail market. Installations will follow in Ontario where it has a 65% share of the market and Western Canada, where it has a 60% share of the market.

The addition of iSIGN's patent pending proximity based interactive advertising solution will expand the reach of all signage advertising content to mobile phones, capturing shoppers' response and allow for real time analysis. Pinpoint will be the first major advertising footprint to include "Business Intelligence" data gathering to its advertising clients.

The Pinpoint network consists of 5,200 digital signs/faces and is contributing and influencing the $8 billion in annual transactions from up to 1.5 million daily customers in Pinpoint enabled locations.

Once all signage is embedded and advertisers request activation of the IMS 3.0 software, annual revenues of just over $8 million will be generated by iSIGN's monthly licensing fees. The embedding is an automated process, performed remotely, as is the activation which will be done throughout the network to engage advertisers.

"In 2011 Pinpoint Media will be the largest digital signage footprint offering all brand and service advertisers our iSIGN powered interactive messaging to mobile phones in proximity of each location to increase consumer awareness and spontaneous purchases in the Mac's/Couche-Tard chain," said Alex Romanov, iSIGN's Chief Executive Officer. "This will increase sales and revenues for the stores, the advertisers and Pinpoint."

"This will be a very unique ROI opportunity for our advertisers and will be instantly measurable as all signage is embedded and the IMS 3.0 software activated for advertisers," said Enmanuel Rumbos, President of Pinpoint Media. "This is something that ad agencies and clients alike are constantly looking for in this emerging medium."

"Advertisers on the Pinpoint signage network will be able to receive real-time feedback to each advertisement sent to shoppers' phones from every sign in each location," added Mr. Romanov. "Currently our IMS 3.0 software has demonstrated the ability to interact with 150,000 or more mobile devices per month from a single unit and we look forward to the volume of data we will capture in a chain with millions of customers monthly. Pinpoint's advertisers will be the beneficiaries of large volumes of confirmed responses to each advertisement. This is a marketer's dream."

Both executives were unanimous to add "that Pinpoint's network will have the instant advantage of being able to interact with millions of mobile phones per month, resulting in possibly the largest digital data gathering system to date, provided by and proving the power of location based interactive proximity advertising utilizing Bluetooth(R) enabled technology which is free of cost to consumers, doesn't impact their privacy while providing virtual real time feedback to clients for analysis for the planning of future planned marketing campaigns.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Haivision partners with Panasonic for hardware, software bundling

Haivision Network Video, a Montreal-based provider of intelligent IP video networking solutions and the current distributor of CoolSign digital signage software, has partnered with Panasonic Solutions Company to create a complete digital signage solution for businesses that is easy to purchase, install and operate.

The solution combines Haivision's CoolSign digital signage software platform, pre-configured on a powerful media player PC, and Panasonic's professional LCD displays. This bundled digital signage package offers businesses unmatched quality, easy to specify ordering, simplified delivery, exceptional value with competitive pricing, pre-configured, CoolSign player license certificate plus a two-year parts and service warranty.

"Panasonic and Haivision are collaborating to ease the adoption of digital signage," said Rick Albert, VP Sales, Professional Display Solutions. "Our partnership with Haivision will open up new opportunities for delivering quality digital signage solutions to specific vertical markets via the CoolSign software."

The software will initially be bundled with Panasonic's LF20 Series Full-HD LCD displays, the 47" TH-47LF20U and the 42" TH-42LF20U, the company's brightest LCD models for retail signage. These displays are distinguished by a wide range of professional features, including high image clarity, a slim design, and light weight. This combined solution will drive business initiatives in signage venues such as shopping malls, public transportation, quick-serve restaurants and other commercial facilities.

"Panasonic and Haivision are strategically aligned to present value-added propositions in our focus markets," said Mirko Wicha, president and CEO of Haivision. "The time has come for simplification in the signage segment and we are excited to partner with Panasonic towards this end."

The bundled solution will come in four SKUs, two of which include a wall mount with vertical or horizontal orientation. All four SKUs are available immediately.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

H&M hit and run campaign

Last month, Swedish retailer H&M promoted its new Lanvin collection with a hit-and-run style media campaign created by H&M Canada's MAOY, MediaCom in Toronto. In this secret campaign, where details were kept from global headquarters until the last minute, a tight timeline forced the OOH portion to be digital.

Digital billboards in Toronto, such Yonge-Dundas Square, Montreal and Vancouver, and the screens of the One Stop network were used in the campaign. The digital ads featured a countdown banner at the bottom that ticked off the days, hours and minutes until the collection became available.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Capital Networks launches Audience 4.0

Capital Networks Limited, a global provider of broadcasting and dynamic digital signage content creation and management software, has launched a major new version of Audience with a powerful, flexible HD solution for high quality broadcast content and digital signage displays. Packaged with an enhanced graphic interface and more video and animation support than before, the new Audience platform produces displays powerful enough to engage with today's public which is exposed increasingly to HD content.

Growing awareness of HD programming can be attributed to major sporting events, as well as the expanding HDTV home market. According to Informa Telecoms and Media, by 2014 the number of homes watching HDTV worldwide, will surge to 276 million. As a result, more and more digital signage and DOOH broadcasters want to ensure the images people see out of their homes - in sporting stadiums, shops, restaurants, airport lounges and other public places - match the quality that people are exposed to in their homes.

Jim Vair, Vice President of Business Development at Capital Networks commented, "Like it or not, increasingly digital signage messaging will be judged by the public against what they see in their homes. Digital signage content producers who lag behind the growing public appetite for media rich, high definition presentations run the risk of being left behind. The same is perhaps more true of broadcasters, as they approach the out-of-home world, they must ensure that their digital signage efforts are of the highest quality because they have their professional brand to uphold."

"Since 1991 we've supplied creation and content management software and support services to the demanding Broadcasting and Cable Television industries. More recently, we've developed our products and support to bring the same level of professionalism to the rapidly expanding Out of Home / Digital Signage industry. Audience 4.0 is the new platform for professional media enterprises based on 19 years of customer feedback and support. It delivers reliability, scalability, flexibility - and the highest quality images. This is what our customers want," Jim Vair added.

Audience 4.0 also features new scheduling developments. These enable smart, enterprise level scheduling, so that users can target specific playbacks by demographic locations. A large restaurant, for example, might want to promote certain dishes in certain cities or towns - or even an individual restaurant - where they are most popular. With Audience's advanced scheduling, they can now run these offers automatically, without the need to spend time on separate programming. This ensures that the business can display relevant local information, but retain consistent national branding.

Other key new features of Audience 4.0 include:

• Support for Windows 7

• Enhanced video file support - Including SD and HD, MPEG4 and MPEG2

• Broadcast quality MNG animations builder - ideal for companies that don't have animators on staff but want animation within a show

• Full alpha channel flash support

• 3D effects and transitions

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Glasses-less 23 inch HD 3D LCD

Eizo is showcasing a glasses-free 23 inch HD 3D LCD screen called the Nanao at the Fukuoka December 1st to the 3rd. The 1080p panel uses a proprietary system with a directional backlight that causes a disparity in the time the stereoscopic image reaches your eyes creating the 3D effect. Aberrations such as Moire are not present since no lens or barrier is used.

The 3D effect is at its best at a viewing angle of about 1 meter, but the the horizontal stereo tolerance is about 65mm so you need to pretty much be looking at it straight on.

Its a heavyweight for a 23 inch panel coming in at 35lbs and, as you can see from the image above, quite bulky. In a world of sub-1 inch bezels, the Nanao looks a little awkward. Suffice it to say, I don't see it doing too well in the consumer.

Source: AV Watch

I could be interesting to use this in retail digital signage although its size would limit it to a small aisle end cap.

Its unclear what the MSRP will be but it will likely be pricey.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Canadian Digital Media Network to Create Collaborative Digital Signage Community

The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) announced today it has chosen ScreenScape to power a network of screen displays that will span its commercialization centers and form its own place-based media network.

Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of CDMN, said “ScreenScape gives us an open platform for publishing digital content showcasing our strategic partners such as RIM, Open Text, Christie Digital, Desire2Learn, AGFA and our academic partners such as, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Waterloo and Conestoga College to digital screens within the Communitech Hub and to any of the screens of our network members across Canada such as Wavefront, ORIC, TR Labs, University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, nGen, MaRS and the NRC. As the ScreenScape Community grows, we will be able to engage electronically with many other research institutions, governments and high tech organizations worldwide to promote Canadian digital technology from companies and organizations that are members of our network.”

Tuer continued, "Connecting the centres where our node members do their work is an important part of our mandate and so is taking these ideas out to the public. ScreenScape is able to help on both fronts.”

In contrast to closed digital signage networks of the past, ScreenScape is community-based and uses techniques more commonly associated with today’s social media networks, like Facebook and LinkedIn. ScreenScape software helps businesses to create and manage their own digital signage and share their content with any other member.

“Digital signage networks should be enjoying the same efficiencies and creative benefits that you see in today’s social media networks” said ScreenScape founder and Chief Product Officer, Mark Hemphill. He went on to say “the fact that our members are businesses operating professional displays on-site in their public venues magnifies the opportunity for connectedness and collaboration offered to partners in this network. Bringing together the various institutions that contribute to the Canadian Digital Media Network is another excellent case in point”.

Located in Kitchener Ontario, the Canadian Digital Media Network’s mission is to create partnerships among businesses with a focus on IT and digital media in an effort to foster the evolution of a vibrant and collaborative technology ecosystem. Place-based media will be used by the organization to aggregate and disseminate timely information to and from the community of partners involved in the commercialization of digital media technologies.

“CDMN was founded to connect entrepreneurs, companies, research institutions and government” said Tuer. “It is fitting to be working with an innovative Canadian technology company, in ScreenScape, to establish our own community-based digital signage network.”

Friday, November 26, 2010

VIF hits 1,000 digital sign mark

This week, VIF Communication added its 1,000th screen to the digital signage networks it manages in Quebec!

The vast majority of digital screens managed by VIF are located in nearly 200 IGA supermarkets. Installed in sections of fresh products, the IGA-TV network improves in-store experience and enables IGA to better communicate with their customers.

Moreover, VIF's mandate with the Laurentian Bank has been expanded to now include the full implementation and management of digital screens in new branches of Laurentian Bank, based on a new screen concept.

In addition to managing internal television networks for these 2 large firms, VIF Communications also operates its own advertising networks: VIF Télé, at ATMs, and Medik-TV in the waiting rooms of medical clinics.

Individual management of the content for most of these 1,000 screens is done with the help of Montreal technology firm iGotcha Media.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Astral's Digital Network to Communicate AMBER Alerts

Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada's leading out-of-home advertising companies, is pleased to announce partnerships with provincial law enforcement agencies to extend AMBER Alert announcements to all of Astral's 32 Digital Network™ signs in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

The Astral Out-of-Home AMBER Alert Program will enable local authorities to engage the public in a fast response effort to identify and locate abducted children and protect them from harm. In the event of an AMBER Alert, the display of regular ads will be interrupted to allow the urgent message to appear exclusively. Messages will be posted instantly across Astral's Digital Network also updated regularly from its national control centre as the situation evolves.

“Maintaining close ties with communities across Canada is at the heart of our management philosophy and our employees' values,” said Luc Sabbatini, President, Astral Out-of-Home. “As responsible citizens we have an extraordinary ability to help the AMBER Alert Program raise awareness, at times when our communities need us the most.”

The AMBER Alert program, already in place across Astral's specialty television and radio stations across Canada, represents a successful partnership of provincial law enforcement agencies, the private sector and the public to help safeguard Canada's children.

Key Facts:

* The AMBER Alert Partnership Agreements are with:
* The Ontario Provincial Police (Toronto);
* The Québec Ministry of Transportation (Montréal);
* The RCMP (Vancouver)
* Astral Digital Network offers 23 locations currently; 32 locations by January 2011
* In the event of an AMBER Alert, the display of regular ads will be interrupted to allow the urgent message to be posted instantly
* The combined reach of the Montréal, Toronto & Vancouver network will exceed two million people
* Eight out of 10 highway travelers noticed Astral Out-of-Home's Digital Network; 97% of people who noted the presence of digital panels admitted to looking at them when they pass by (according to Ipsos-Reid)

Videotron opens new Infinity flagship store in Montreal

Videotron, a Quebec-based cable television, Internet access, cable telephone and mobile telephone services provider, opened its flagship store on Montreal’s premier shopping street, Sainte-Catherine St. The 4,500+ square-foot emporium offers an avant-garde shopping experience with cutting-edge communications equipment including touch-screens, touch-tables, and a multimedia staircase.

“The opening of the new Videotron store is part of our effort to deliver the best possible customer experience, anticipate consumers’ technology and entertainment needs, and set ourselves apart from the competition,” said Robert Dépatie, President & CEO of Videotron. “As an industry leader, setting up shop at a prestigious address on Canada’s premier shopping street was a natural move for us.”

Once you get past the stores yellow cube entrance, the customer experience is molded by several leading-edge digital signage and interactive technologies. A giant multimedia screen reflects urban life on Sainte-Catherine St. Interactive technologies help consumers make their buying decisions, like choosing what mobile phone suits them best and many sound proof rooms let you experience the newest in HD entertainment and 3D.

The show piece of the store is the multimedia staircase. The only one of its kind in North America, the stairs include 150 HD LED screens.

A number of leading Quebec firms were involved in this major project, including Sid Lee, Sid Lee Architecture, Régis Côté et associés architectes, Moment Factory, Solotech and gsmprjct. Videotron also thanks the following partners that helped create its new temple of entertainment: Albert Jean Construction, ITES, Nurun and TVA Accès.

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, this video is worth at least ten times that:

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ice-based touch screens

Too cold in Canada to put exterior touch-screen kiosks? These ice-based touch-screens should do the trick...

Toronto's INFOTOGO interactive wayfinding pillars

As part of their Coordinated Street Furniture program, the City of Toronto has designed and installed INFOTOGO wayfinding pillars to help you easily navigate and explore the city. The pillars include a large neighbourhood display map with key sites of interest, historical landmarks and public transit routes. There are currently 28 pillars in total, 5 of which feature interactive touch screens offering a thorough compilation of need-to-know facts and great ideas for what to see and do in Toronto. The kiosks also dispense $2 city maps.

The five interactive pillars with touch screens are at the following locations:

  • 40 Dundas St. W. (between Yonge St. and Bay St., in front of Ontario Travel Information Centre)

  • 777 Bay St. (near corner of Bay and College St.)

  • 750 Bloor St. W. (near entrance to Christie Pits Park)

  • 280 Spadina Ave. (near corner of Dundas Street)

  • 220 Dundas St. W.
  • Friday, November 19, 2010

    Explosive Media launch food & bev digital signage network in Atlantic Canada

    Explosive Media announced today they have selected ScreenScape to power a new digital signage network catering to food and beverage operators based on the east coast of Canada. The announcement signals Explosive Media's shift toward a community-based approach to building its network and confirms ScreenScape as their technology platform for all future expansion.

    Explosive Media is a digital marketing company that uses technology to help customers reach and engage young audiences. Explosive Media already operates The University Network - delivering entertainment, university news, and advertising through large LCD screens on university campuses across Atlantic Canada. ScreenScape is a leading digital signage platform and key enabler of location-based marketing that has pioneered a community-based approach to building and operating digital signage networks.

    "Experienced operators of digital signage networks will tell you that the community-based approach that embodies ScreenScape is a dramatic step forward for the industry," said Explosive Media President and CEO Lloyd Nash, "Everything is moving towards location based marketing. We are pleased with the ease of use and connectedness of ScreenScape's technology."

    "Explosive Media is now able to create their own value-added food and beverage network within the ScreenScape Community," said Kevin Dwyer, President and CEO of ScreenScape. "This gives them the best of two worlds, to be able to manage a network at a hyper-local level, and to collaborate with other members in the Community at large. Engaging patrons where they dine speaks to the power of location based marketing. As network operators, ScreenScape allows them create industry specific networks simply and cost effectively as their business grows."

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010

    VIDEO: ScreenScape's new features

    ScreenScape's November 2010 feature release provides enhancements to the handling of text and syndicated content, like RSS, MRSS, and the Text widget:

    Tuesday, November 16, 2010

    Wakefield Canada partner with Screenscape to deliver digital signage to the automotive

    Wakefield Canada and ScreenScape Networks Inc. jointly announced today they have formed a strategic partnership that will address the growing demand for digital signage solutions in the automotive and commercial heavy duty aftermarket industries. Wakefield Canada has exclusivity with respect to sales, marketing and distribution of Castrol consumer and commercial lubricants in Canada. ScreenScape will allow them to create a powerful location based marketing network to enhance sales of Castrol oil.

    “Wakefield Canada, and the Castrol Brand, are leaders in the automotive industry in Canada" stated ScreenScape President and CEO, Kevin Dwyer. "We are excited by the powerful combination we have created here in a partnership that leverages the strengths of both companies. This partnership will enable Wakefield to capitalize on ScreenScape technology as the cornerstone of a turn-key digital signage solution that is custom-tailored for the automotive industry. Furthermore it will help ScreenScape to accelerate the adoption of its already expansive community-based digital platform by tapping into Wakefield's industry knowledge and established market position.”

    “The community-based approach to digital signage that is behind ScreenScape is representative of a major advance in location-based marketing”, added Wakefield President and CEO, Bob MacDonald. “This partnership with ScreenScape gives Wakefield both a technology advantage and a winning business model that, when combined with our own value-added services, will deliver compelling value as an on site marketing vehicle. We believe the role of digital signage will continue to grow and gain in importance for progressive automotive service centers, lube operators and retailers in Canada. We are now uniquely positioned to deliver these services to over 8000 customers in the Canadian automotive and commercial heavy duty aftermarket.”

    VIDEO: Arsenal video walls at Nielsen corporate offices

    Here's a video case study for a project developed by Arsenal Media for the Nielsen Company's headquarters, in Wilton, Connecticut. The "multimedia lobby" they created showcases three distinct zones—some including interactivity—and three types of display technologies: LCD, plasma and Christie MicroTiles.

    The Nielsen Company’s Digital Lobby // Le hall d'entrée numérique de la société Nielsen from ARSENAL MEDIA_DEMO ZONE on Vimeo.

    Thanks to Sixteen-nine for pointing it out.

    LG calls upon Broadsign to complete digital signage solution

    LG Electronics USA has selected Montreal, QC-based BroadSign International as the software provider for its new turn-key digital signage solution, SuperSign Premier-s.

    LG's SuperSign Premier consists of an LG flat panel display (model M4214C) and the LG NC2000 media player that provides access to the BroadSign content management software. The user interface (UI) is based on BroadSign's core SaaS technology and has a customized LG UI specifically designed for SMBs deploying networks of 25 players or less. The package also includes more than 50 starter templates as well as news and weather feeds from CNN. SuperSign Premier also is supported by 48-hour on-site hardware swap*, technical support and convenient monthly financing.

    "Software is a critical component of any digital signage solution and is the impetus behind establishing strong relationships with leading third-party software developers," said Jeff Dowell, vice president, Digital Signage, LG Electronics USA. "BroadSign has best-of-class software that, combined with LG hardware, will provide SMBs with the technology solution they need to get up and running quickly."

    Brian Dusho, CEO, BroadSign International, said, "To win over small and medium-sized businesses, a digital signage system should be easy to use, yet versatile and powerful in the back-end. LG's all-in-one solution resolves this challenge and will make a big impact on the market. BroadSign software is an integral component of LG's total solutions package, and we are excited to be part of this great product."

    SuperSign Premier also offers direct access to LG's "Certified Content Providers" (CCP) that offer custom content creation services optimized for the SuperSign Premier system. Initial LG CCP providers include Aspect Productions, Alchemy, Blue Pony and Saddle Ranch Productions. For the customer's royalty-free photo, illustration, video, audio and Flash® file needs, a partnership with iStockphoto has been setup.

    SuperSign Premier has a target monthly price of $149 for a 3-year contract, down from $179 per month when LG previewed the solution earlier this year under the codename signNET. SuperSign Premier is currently available at select major distributors. The product is available to order now and is planned for shipping this month. Supplementary features to further enhance SuperSign Premier are expected in the coming months.

    Friday, November 12, 2010

    Did Intel Buyout Cognovision?

    The word on the street is that Intel has acquired Toronto-area audience measurement guys CognoVision. Named 2009 Canadian Innovation Leader at the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX), CognoVision had already collaborated with Intel to create an information video explaining how Intel's processors provide an excellent platform to power digital signage applications with both media scheduling and anonymous video analytics capabilities.

    The acquisition has not been officially announced but the DailyDOOH believes that Intel paid 17M for the audience measurement firm.

    CognoVision is integrated into many known digital signage platforms such as BroadSign, Capital Networks, and Dynasign.

    Thursday, November 11, 2010

    X2O Media enters Italian market with new partnership

    X2O Media, a Montreal-based digital signage software developer has signed a distribution agreement with Italy's AlhenaCom S.r.l. Under the agreement, AlhenaCom will provide distribution and sales support functions for X2O’s Xpresenter™ digital signage systems in Italy.

    Headquartered in Modena, and part of ATS Group S.p.a., AlhenaCom is a value-added distributor specializing in advanced communications technologies for the management, distribution, and viewing of multimedia content in a professional environment. AlhenaCom carries product lines suitable for digital signage, broadcasting, IPTV, direct mobile marketing, pro A/V, and interactive applications.

    “We take great pride in representing X2O Media in Italy, and we look forward to meeting the needs of the Italian marketplace with X2O’s wide variety of digital signage software and services,” said Marco Bompani, Founder and CEO of AlhenaCom S.r.l. “With a suite of products featuring unprecedented ease of use and exceptional video quality that is on par with that of the broadcasting industry, we’re confident that X2O Media will soon be recognized as one of the leading players in Italy.”

    “By partnering with AlhenaCom S.r.l., we have a great opportunity to further establish our presence in the Italian market with a well-respected distributor,” said David Wilkins, X2O Media’s President and CEO. “Most importantly, for AlhenaCom’s customers, this partnership means greater access to the benefits of our Xpresenter platform — an easy-to-use, cost-effective solution for a highly efficient, impactful digital signage network.”

    Wednesday, November 10, 2010

    WHITE PAPER: Why Digital Signage

    Keywest Technology has published a new white paper that explains why digital signage is such an effective premise-based communications technology.

    “Why Digital Signage” examines the reasons this new communications technology offers professional marketers, advertisers and anyone else with a message for a targeted audience a powerful, affordable way to achieve their desired communications goals.

    The free white paper can be downloaded here.

    Tuesday, November 9, 2010

    VIDEO: Rob Gorrie talks content

    In the video below for the DPAA, Rob Gorrie, President and Founder of ADCENTRICITY, a North American Digital Signage media service which allows strategic media buying decisions for brands and buyers, answers the question "Is content important to the agency and advertiser?"

    Scala launches QuickStart service with HP SignagePlayers

    Scala, a software provider for digital signage networks, has announced the new release of Scala QuickStart supporting the introduction of new SignagePlayers from HP beginning December 6, 2010. The new QuickStart service offers a new and innovative “zero-configuration” scheme, allowing even entry-level users a way to set up and manage a Scala digital signage network with ease.

    “Never before has setting up a full-featured digital signage player been this easy,” said Gerard Bucas, Scala’s Chief Executive Officer. “We’re incredibly pleased to introduce this new service in conjunction with the new Scala certified players from HP. We believe we have achieved a significant breakthrough for the industry.”

    “The new system we created for setting up these QuickStart players is amazingly simple,” said Jeff Porter, Scala’s Executive Vice President. “Just plug it in, turn it on and enter a code that shows up on the screen. That’s it. No mouse or keyboard is required in most cases. You’ll be up and running in minutes.”

    The HP SignagePlayer/Scala QuickStart solution features a locked-down Microsoft® Windows® Embedded operating system and a preconfigured Scala Player for outstanding performance and reliability. Displaying videos, pictures, crawls, interactive Adobe® Flash, and ScalaScripts with dynamic text or graphics in any combination up to 1080p allows the system to be used in a wide range of applications. The HP SignagePlayers can also be easily connected to any Scala Content Manager anywhere in the world.

    Omnivex to showcase latest products at upcoming CETW

    Photo courtesy of Omnivex Corporation
    Omnivex Corporation, a Concord-Ont. provider of enterprise-level software for digital signage networks, will be exhibiting at the Customer Engagement Technology World (CETW) trade show taking place in New York City, November 10 & 11.

    Omnivex will be featuring its new GPSLink software that can deliver real-time content on screens for moving vehicles. The software was recently deployed on Destination Shuttle Service’s airport shuttle buses at LAX and operates in conjunction with interactive kiosks placed in the lobbies of their partner hotels.

    The dynamic interactive wayfinding capabilities of Omnivex Moxie software will also be on display in the booth, to illustrate the ways in which it can be used to improve the customer service experience in various industries.

    Omnivex President, Jeff Collard, will be speaking at CETW in the Cooking Up Content Theater on November 11th at 12:30pm. He will be speaking about the importance of "Creating Context in Content" to shed some light on how taking a data-driven approach to digital signage will ensure the timely delivery of relevant content to various audiences.

    The Omnivex booth will also be a stop on the Digital Signage Experts Tour, hosted by Minicom.

    Monday, November 8, 2010

    You won't see DOOH in the 'Plateau'

    The council for Montreal's trendy Plateau Mont-Royal borough has passed a by-law banning billboards in a 7-0 vote.

    The borough's 45 billboards will be forced to come down in November 2011.

    Representatives for the billboard companies — CBS, Astral and Pattison — argue that the ban is illegal and that Montreal's charter has no written rule that you can ban something. The companies are willing to compromise but will go to court if they have to.

    Projet Montreal councillor Alex Norris isn't worried by the legal threat and believes both the citizens and the courts will back up the council's decision.

    Alberta Gov goes digital to promote province

    The government of Alberta is using digital out-of-home billboards in New York's Times Square and London's Picadilly Square to counter attacks its been getting regarding the province's Tar Sands. Campaigns such as Rethink Alberta have run on digital out-of-home billboards, asking US and UK citizens to pledge not to visit Alberta until the government does something to halt the expansion of the Tar Sands. 

    Alberta's DOOH counter-campaign aims to communicate Alberta’s story, and strives to reassure investors and the general public that Alberta’s extraction industry is well-regulated and uses clean technology. The New York and London campaigns feature 10 and 15-second spots respectively and will run until November 10th.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    Omnivex Up For 2010 Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Award

    Concord, Ontario's Omnivex has been selected as a finalist in the ISV/Software Solution of the Year category for the 2010 Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards. The eighth annual IMPACT Awards recognize excellence within the Microsoft technology partner community in Canada as well as the innovative solutions and value they deliver to customers.

    “Technology partners are at the core of Microsoft’s business and we’ve always relied upon their commitment to infinite possibilities to provide the foundation for delivering truly innovative solutions to the marketplace,” said Corinne Sharp, National Director, Canadian Partner Network, Microsoft Canada Inc. “We are pleased to celebrate the outstanding solutions of industry leaders like Omnivex at the Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards.”

    Omnivex was chosen as a finalist for ISV/Software Solution of the Year for their digital signage content management software product, Omnivex Moxie. The system is able to differentiate itself because of its highly flexible design and ability to update content automatically while delivering relevant, timely messaging to targeted audiences. Moxie has been built around a data-centric model to add relevance to content being displayed, and allow customers to use digital signage as a visual communication medium rather than just a digital poster. Omnivex strives to provide customers with the most powerful software tools to effectively communicate their message, with the least amount of work, regardless of industry or application.

    “We are pleased to receive this recognition for our focus on product development and innovation," said Doug Bannister, CEO and Director of Software Development at Omnivex. "We strive to develop the best possible products for our customers and are honored that Microsoft has named us as a Finalist for the IMPACT Awards."

    Omnivex, along with other technology partner winners and finalists in each of the award categories, will be honored at an award ceremony in Toronto on November 9, 2010.

    For a list of all 2010 finalists, and more information on the Microsoft Partner Network IMPACT Awards, please visit http://www.microsoft.ca/awards.

    Wednesday, October 27, 2010

    Bare Naked Ladies Sing Song About PRN?

    Last night, PRN held its annual Upfront event in New York. According to the DailyDOOH, the Bare Naked Ladies were on hand to play a few songs, including one about the digital place-based media company. I did a quick search to see if I could find some video footage but, unfortunately, PRN is way too close to pron and Bare Naked...well, you get the point. Anyone have a video link?

    Newad Rebrands And Expands

    If you haven't visited Toronto-based Newad's website recently, they have a completely new look (it even uses some new-fangled CSS like @font-face). Art director Didier Lortie hired Martin Beauvais, a creative designer of international renown, to re-cast their visual identity. The original Newad logo, the target image, has made way for a new logo representative of a graphic signature that will now be present on all Newad communication tools. The corporate website also features multiple case study results alongside interactive video presentations. To introduce their new branding, Newad will be visiting major marketing agencies and hosting informative cocktail receptions in several Canadian cities.

    Newad is also launching four newly integrated marketing solutions that incorporate all key success elements for any marketing campaign, including Indoor advertising, Experiential Marketing, Publishing and the Web. In regards to their digital out-of-home side, Newad  plans to deploy an additional 4,000 new units to its current 550 high-end digital boards over the next three years across its three targeted networks: RestoBar, Campus and Sport. During the next few weeks, 400 new digital boards are already scheduled to be installed in various prestigious locations across Canada.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Arbitron Completes First Audit of BroadSign Digital Signage Proof-of-Play System

    Arbitron Inc. has released the results of the first full audit of the proof-of-play component of BroadSign's digital signage software using its Portable People Meter(TM) (PPM(TM)) technology. BroadSign International is a leading worldwide provider of software for managing digital signage (digital out-of-home) networks.

    The audit determined the overall proof-of-play accuracy rate of 99.64%. The results were obtained by processing over 210,000 commercial plays detected by PPM devices, which were placed for several weeks at locations operated by multiple BroadSign-powered digital signage networks in the U.S. and Canada.

    For the purposes of the audit, Arbitron randomly selected a sample of screen locations with various configurations that included both "audio" and "no audio" programming and screen-level and player-level reporting.

    The audit involved the following digital signage networks: Anuncio Digital Media (http://www.anunciodigitalmedia.com), Seen My Ad (http://www.seenmyad.com), Mediplay (http://www.mediplay.com) and Neo-Traffic (http://www.neo-traffic.com).

    "There has been a lot of progress lately in developing audience metrics for digital signage. However, screen audience numbers mean little to advertisers if you cannot prove first that their ads played as scheduled," says Brian Dusho, chief executive officer of BroadSign International. "By having Arbitron audit our proof-of-play reporting system, we are giving our client networks an added level of confidence in the accuracy of their campaign reports, which helps them justify ad rates and negotiate with advertisers."

    George Brady, vice president, Out of Home Services, Arbitron Inc., said, "For this new medium, our Portable People Meter technology provides an auditable proof-of-play system that equips digital out-of-home networks with an independently verifiable means of ensuring that advertiser's schedules are played as contracted."

    Arbitron's survey marks the beginning of the series of annual audits to be conducted for BroadSign International. The PPM technology-based proof-of-play audit by Arbitron replaces manual monitoring of screens with advanced technology, making the task of verifying advertising compliance more affordable for digital signage networks.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    Squamish Nation Starts Digital Billboard Network In Vancouver

    In an effort generate revenue for its members and maximize the financial performance of their real estate, the Squamish Nation of British Columbia awarded a management contract to Allvision Canada Company, a company that specializes in optimizing the performance of outdoor advertising assets on public and private properties. Allvision was brought in to represent the Nation on all Reserve lands, with the goal of developing a digital billboard network.

    “In this the first of its kind in Vancouver, Allvision led the most significant sign development project throughout Vancouver in conjunction with the Squamish Nation,” said Toby Baker, Chief Operating Officer and Project Negotiator for the Nation. Mr. Baker continued, “Allvision identified potential billboard locations and participated in a Canadian Environmental Assessment Screening on behalf of our Nation to ensure the respect and integrity of our lands and our presence in Vancouver. We could not be more pleased with how the project turned out.”

    After a competitive bidding process, the contract to operate the digital sign network was awarded to multi-media communications company Astral Media. Allvision negotiated leases and permits between Astral, the Squamish Nation and Indian and Northern Affairs.

    "Considering the publicity associated with the sign project, Allvision developed and managed a public relations strategy consistent with the sentiment and priorities of all parties," said Blair Murdoch, President of Allvision’s Canadian operation. "The new displays developed on Squamish properties have brought a tasteful, contemporary and cutting-edge technology to Vancouver."

    "The network will generate a $50 million revenue stream for our people over the term of the agreement, which will be used for community projects, education, parks and recreation," said Bill Williams, Chief of Squamish Nation. "Allvision has always been respectful of our values and traditions in the work they have done for us."

    Tuesday, October 12, 2010

    Omnivex Digital Signage Software Used to Manage Unique Photo Kiosks

    Omnivex Corporation, a Concord-Ont.-based provider of enterprise-level software for digital signage networks, announced that their software is being used to manage photo kiosks located in hotels and at tourist attractions. In partnership with Send A Message, Inc. and Fujifilm's "See Here", Omnivex is providing the software platform for the touch screen interface and backbone management of the system.

    The Send A Message (SAM) kiosk is a multi-purpose digital media kiosk which provides hospitality properties with a powerful tool that delivers a unique set of services while providing several revenue opportunities. SAM's easy to use personal media workstation allows users to quickly upload photos from their digital cameras, create customized postcards and print them on high quality photo paper. In addition, they can directly access Fujifilm's "See Here" photo website for uploading their pictures for online storage, or creating photo gifts that can be ordered directly from the kiosk. Revenue is generated from the kiosk through the sale of on-screen ad space and by charging users a fee for creating their customized postcards. All of the functionality of the kiosk can be managed remotely through Omnivex digital signage software. Fujifilm North America installs and maintains these units for Send A Message, Inc.

    "Our digital media photo kiosk packages a stunning technology design with a simple to use application that enables guests to create unique photo postcards with their personal media in just minutes," says Kristen Tsitoukis, president & CEO of Send A Message, Inc. "Omnivex software has enabled us to provide a more all encompassing system to our customers," said Tsitoukis.

    The system has recently been deployed at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and the Renaissance Orlando at Sea World. Omnivex value added reseller, Digisplay, brought all of the different aspects of the project together to combine the strengths of each of the companies involved into one unified solution. "Omnivex software was invaluable for the success of this system because it allowed us to incorporate advertising space along with a touch screen interface and the ability to print the postcards," said Jim McNeal, president, Digisplay, LLC. "As this system is rolled out to more locations, the network management functionality will be of paramount importance, as we plan to manage this system for Send A Message, Inc.'s hotel customers," he concluded.

    The system can be seen at the upcoming Customer Engagement Technology World trade show or the International Hotel, Motel and Restaurant Show, starting November 10, 2010 at the Javits Convention Center, in New York City. For more information, visit www.omnivex.com/press/events.asp.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    QUICKY: Happy Thanksgiving from Digital Signage Canada

    Ah, at last a long weekend. We hope you have a Happy Thanksgiving filled with Turkey, stuffing, football and whatever else you have to be thankful for.

    Here's some long weekend reading for you:
    • Christie is participating in The Communitech Hub (The Hub) in Kitchener, Ontario. The Hub is a digital media innovation center aimed at fostering collaboration and creativity among established companies and start-ups to enhance Canada’s position in the digital age. Read more...
    • The CBC has expanded its CBC News Express broadcast service (a joint venture with Clear Channel Outdoor) into Fredericton International Airport. The video news content is created by CBC editors and delivered with Audience, Capital Networks' digital signage platform. Read more...
    • Onestop Media Group provided TTC commuters with some digital distractions during Toronto's Nuit Blanche. Read more...
    • Tweeters showed Toronto some love by tagging messages with #xoTO that were then displayed on architectural projections during Nuit Blanche. Read more...

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    OVAB interviews Brian Dusho

    Outdoor Video Advertising Bureau Europe interviewed BroadSign CEO, Brian Dusho, on aggregation, or the concept of standardizing and packaging ad space from multiple DOOH networks to make media buys easier for agencies. Brian expands on the concept, the difference its had on the market, how it benefits media planners and networks, and what's missing.

    BroadSign have developed BroadSign Open, a secure web services API to open up BroadSign Administrator functions to non-BroadSign software and automate activities based on third party systems such as ad sales portals and billing systems. This past July, they also announced an Open API integration between their platform and rVue, Inc.'s demand-side platform for planning and buying Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) media.

    Read the full interview on the OVAB site.

    Thursday, September 23, 2010

    QUICKY: X2O Media on Deloitte's Watch-list

    Montreal, QC-based X2O Media was named in the top-10 companies for the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™, the Companies-to-Watch (CTW) Awards. The Deloitte Technology Fast 50™, Canada's pre-eminent leading technology awards, ranks companies based on their past five-year revenue growth rates. The Companies-to-Watch (CTW) Awards honour early-stage Canadian technology companies who have been in business less than five years, and have the potential to be future Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ winners.

    [via Marketwire]

    Tuesday, September 14, 2010

    Traffic Expands Adds Digital Signage by Buying Neo Canada

    Traffic, a Montreal-based shopping mall advertising signage company, has consolidated and purchased Neo Advertising Canada to expand it product offering and geographic coverage. Since 2008, Traffic Adverting and Neo Advertising formed a partnership to deliver a wider variety of products, as well a greater expertise in place-based media within shopping centres.

    With the formation of Neo-Traffic, the company now incorporates digital signage into the range of services it provides and gains access to 16 new Canadian advertising markets while acquiring 500 digital screens.

    "We are very proud of our growth. In the space of only five years, we have added 120 malls to our network across the country. With this acquisition we are now in a position to reach 2.8 million consumers a day from coast to coast. Neo-Traffic now holds nearly 65% marketshare of Canada's shopping malls with 70 or more stores," added Tapiéro, who also pointed to the important role Fonds de Solidarité FTQ has played in the firm's development.

    Despite being active in the industry for only five years, Neo-Traffic has earned an excellent reputation among shopping mall owners and managers for its outstanding service, innovative product designs, and specialized expertise dedicated exclusively to shopping malls.

    "We have been visionaries in our field from the outset, and quickly carved out a place for ourselves as a leading industry player. Today Neo-Traffic is the only company specializing exclusively in the shopping mall environment and offering a comprehensive Marketing's solution. Impact is taken a step further when the signage is combined with the experiential marketing of Promotions SPEED, which Neo-Traffic owns through Media Group," added Ronald Tapiéro.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010

    Travis Air Force Base Enlists Capital Networks for Internal Channel and Emergency System

    Travis Air Force Base, located in Solano County, California, awarded the contract to setup their Commanders Access Channel (CAC) and Emergency Alert System to World Media Net & Affiliates LLC, an authorized agent of Markham, Ontario-based Capital Networks Limited.

    World Media Net & Affiliates LLC provided Capital Networks' Audience software platform to create the show as well as the management and scheduling of content. The multi-zone channel provides a variety of information including on base events, welcome messages to visiting VIP's, local weather information and specifically targeted messages depending on the current alert status of the base or military over all. In addition, military news from various sources informs viewers of breaking news and events.

    A live video zone is utilized to present a combination of pre-recorded messages, PSA's or a live video feed. Travis AFB has elected to incorporate live scheduling of The Pentagon Channel, utilizing a satellite receiver provided by The Pentagon Channel.

    The new channel is broadcast to all military offices, security stations and base housing. World Media Net & Affiliates LLC worked with the local cable provider to bring the signal to the base cable providing signal base wide on Channel 26.

    The Audience platform also provides Travis AFB the ability to simulcast the Commanders Access Channel via the internet to the over 14,800 active duty, reservist and civilian employees assigned.

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    RIM trying to patent traffic adjusting DOOH billboards

    Research In Motion have two patent applications to target ads to drivers and pedestrians on the street by dynamically changing the information displayed on the digital billboard. By measuring the relative position of GPS equipment (e.g. smart phones), the enhanced digital billboards would automatically add details the slower traffic gets.

    For example, normally (when traffic flow is fast) the ad could play an image and some short copy. But when traffic is slow, RIM's digital out-of-home concept, or "Adaptive roadside billboard system", would add extra details like a URL or a QR code.

    Wednesday, September 8, 2010

    Omnivex Digital Signage Used for Shuttle Bus Messaging

    Destination Shuttle Service has chosen Omnivex's Moxie digital signage platform to implement passenger messaging on airport shuttle buses at LAX, called Shuttle Smart. The deployment also includes interactive kiosks placed in the lobbies of Destination Shuttle Service’s partner hotels. The system aims to enhance the hospitality experience by providing passengers with relevant travel, hotel and city information while on the buses and within the hotels.

    Destination Shuttle Service wanted a way to effectively communicate with their passengers, welcoming them to town when they arrived and thanking them for their visit when they departed. Using Omnivex Moxie software and Microsoft Windows 7 location based services, GPS coordinates are sent via cellular network to the Omnivex server in real time indicating the current location of the bus. Omnivex GPSLink is used to combine this information with intelligent rules to determine the most appropriate content to display based on the current location. The screens inside the shuttles show information appropriate to travelers; information changes based on whether the shuttle is carrying arriving or departing passengers.

    Inside the hotels, a large touch screen running Omnivex software delivers interactive content and information for hotel guests. Omnivex GPSLink delivers the information to Omnivex Moxie to display the locations of the shuttles in the area on a map, along with the estimated wait times before the next shuttle arrives at the hotel. The content also includes information such as flight departure status and advertising about local sites and attractions.

    Here's a video of how Omnivex Moxie software uses features in Microsoft Windows 7 to deliver a complete digital signage solution to Shuttle Smart customers at LAX:

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010

    Sports Experts Choose Groupe VIVA for In-store TV

    Forzani Group Ltd., the largest and only national sporting goods retailer in Canada, has chosen Groupe VIVA to operate its digital signage network for Sports Experts and Hockey Experts franchisee locations.

    Group VIVA is mandated to perform the deployment and manage the day-to-day for the network that has been dubbed Sports Experts TV (yes, very creative).

    The deal follows a successful pilot run in Calgary last year.

    Thursday, September 2, 2010

    Dorsey Digital Media and Vertigo Digital Displays Develop New Galleria Mall Directory Solution

    Dorsey Digital Media Inc. (DDM), a leading Digital- Out-of-Home (DOOH) media services provider to business and Vertigo Digital Displays Inc., the leading designers and manufacturers of digital display solutions in North America announced today that they have collaborated to co-developed an innovative fully integrated Digital Mall Directory solution for malls.

    This first-of-its-kind system features Vertigo’s new “Galleria” digital display consisting of two commercial grade 70-inch LCD screens, networkable media players, patent-pending DACS cooling system, protective safety and anti glare glass, and additional features that make servicing the unit simple and efficient. The Digital Mall Directory system also includes custom branding of each unit to integrate with unique mall branding requirements. With a double sided unit, one side is dedicated to showcasing a multi- zone mall map and directory information while the other side is dedicated to mall communication and third party advertising messaging.

    “This is a game changer for mall operators,” said Stephen Dorsey, CEO and Chief Creative Officer at Dorsey Digital Media. “Moving from static directories to a 21st century digital media platform will offer mall operators greater flexibility on how they communicate with shoppers in a more timely and targeted manner. This solution will make it easier for malls to go digital with a fully integrated system that can help them enhance the customer experience and shopping environment.”

    The Digital Mall Directory system comes ready as a plug-and-play solution with an advance media player and XP-based software platform. Design, installation, network management, and technical service support are provided as a one-source, end-to-end solution. Dorsey Digital Media has designed a content production program specifically for the digital mall directory that enables quick updates to mall map and directory information, and the ability to target timely messaging to each individual directory throughout a mall. Third-party driven advertising programs can also be seamlessly “plugged-in” within this fully integrated system.
    “We’re proud that Vertigo’s innovative digital display design capabilities and products contributed to bringing the Digital Mall Directory to life”, commented Ralph Idems, COO, Vertigo Digital Displays. “We’re excited to be partnered with Dorsey Digital Media and look forward to working closely with their team to bring the digital mall directory system to malls across North America.”

    The first Digital Mall Directory system has been recently deployed in a major mall in Toronto, Canada with additional units scheduled for installation this fall.

    Thursday, August 26, 2010

    Omnivex Wins in Sign Media Canada Competition for Second Consecutive Year

    Omnivex Corporation, a Concord, Ontario-based provider of enterprise software for digital signage networks, announced that for a second consecutive year, one of their customer's installations has been announced as the winner of Sign Media Canada's National Sign Competition in the Digital Signage category. Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment have been recognized with this prestigious award for their stunning videowall at the Air Canada Centre, which is powered by Omnivex Moxie software software.

    Cruise Media Group Expands Digital Ad Network with Acquisition of Mommentum Health Media

    Cruise Media Group, a place-based health media company headquartered in Toronto, has acquired full ownership of Mommentum Health Media, extending the reach of the country’s leading dedicated health and wellness digital screen network into major hospitals.

    Cruise Media Group already had partial ownership of Mommentum, and full control in place, the 85 waiting room screens expands the total reach of what is marketed as the Mommentum Health Network (MHN). Adding the hospital’s audience counts raises the total annual viewership to an estimated 13 million health conscious Canadians. MHN covers 335 venues in Canada’s largest media markets.

    “Bringing the companies under one umbrella just made sense,” says Ryan Cruise, President and CEO of Cruise Media Group. “This allows us to streamline our operations and better serve both our host hospitals and medical centres, and our advertising clients.”

    Consolidation also helps clarify the offer, explains Cruise, by reducing media fragmentation and letting health and wellness brands and service providers use a single media buy to reach a huge cross-section of engaged consumers.

    MHN’s puts its flat-panel video information systems free of charge into qualified medical clinics and hospital wait areas, providing the facilities with credible health and wellness programming – such as nutrition tips, disease awareness and prevention, and women’s health issues – that entertains, educates and engages patients and visitors. Venue operators also get tools that let them run location-specific messages, such as office hours and special clinic notices.

    The MHN system offers the combined benefits of improving patient communications and education efforts, reducing perceived waiting times, and enhancing the overall patient experience.

    MHN’s smart media distribution technology allows for granular targeting of advertising and promotion campaigns – from network-wide national programs to local and hyper-local ad clusters that enable health services companies, such as physiotherapists, to market only to patients visiting clinics in the same general geographic area.

    Agreements and funding are in place to expand the HMN and almost double the monthly viewing audience to 15 million people. “We’ve spent the last few months upgrading existing sites and building critical mass in key markets,” explains Cruise. “We’re now planning a major push of new sites in those markets for Q4 and into next year.”

    MHN is a founding member of the Canadian Health Media Network (CHMN), an umbrella media network that rolls up the media opportunity provided by hundreds of the busiest primary care offices and medical labs across Canada.

    Monday, August 23, 2010

    GDI to Distribute X2O's Xpresenter Xe Series of Digital Signage Systems in the United States

    X2O Media, a full-service provider of software, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications, today announced that the company has signed a distribution agreement with Graphics Distribution Inc. (GDI). Under the agreement, GDI will provide distribution and sales support functions for X2O’s Xpresenter™ Xe Series of stand-alone digital signage systems in the United States.

    Headquartered in Milwaukee, GDI is a privately held distribution firm specializing in providing fast and efficient logistics support with quality sales and customer service. The company offers a world-class product line of graphics cards, video capture cards, streaming media encoders, video editing keyboards, digital signage equipment, and interactive whiteboards to the A/V, personal computer, education, and IT markets.

    “We take pride in meeting the diverse needs of our customers, and with the increase in demand for advanced digital signage solutions, the Xpresenter Xe Series is a perfect addition to fill that gap in our product offering,” said Scott Whitcomb, GDI Director of Sales. “We’re excited to offer this unique solution to our customers, and are committed to bringing the Xpresenter Xe line to market and increasing the visibility of the brand to ultimately boost sales.”

    “Over the last ten years, GDI has earned a reputation for offering quality products, coupled with fast service and support that is second to none. We couldn’t be more pleased to have the company distribute our Xpresenter Xe products,” said David Wilkins, X2O Media’s President and CEO. “Through this partnership, we will be able to further penetrate key markets in the U.S., while offering GDI’s customers three high-quality systems to meet their digital signage needs.”

    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    A&W Piloting Self-serve Kiosks

    In an effort to reach the 25-40 yr-old urban-dweller segment, A&W Restaurants are launching new concept stores in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver that will feature self-serve ordering kiosks, along with meal options more in tune with urban diner tastes.

    The first of the concept store will open in Vancouver this Friday and more will follow in the major markets in the following months.

    Although this could change by launch time, one glaring issue with the touch screen kiosks is the non-existence of an attractor loop. Why advertise that its a "Express Self Order Station" when it should be obvious—almost painfully so—from the huge 3D lettering that spell out Self Order? Some animations promoting the new food options and their green initiatives would have been perfect.

    Mammoth HD Footage Library adds 3D/Stereoscopic Footage

    Mammoth HD, a provider of stock video in HD, RED and vertical formats, has added 3D/Stereoscopic footage to their library. Shot in HD and RED, delivery is available as Individual L/R Eye clips, 'Muxed" formats and Tif Sequences and feature national parks, wildlife, sports, lifestyle, scenics and other footage for for broadcast, film and special venue (digital signage) production.

    Metro One announce new interactive tech, exchange tech for dividend

    In dual news, Concord, Ontario-based Metro One Development Inc. announced a new service on their network and share its technical knowledge with Innovative Product Opportunities Inc., in exchange for 1,000,000 common shares of their company.

    The new service allows advertisers to create ads utilizing a multi-user interactive experience. Its being tested at two airports in Canada and is proving to deliver on the value of the interactive media network by providing a fun and memorable experience for the user and providing valuable data for the ad customer. Metro One assert that their unique media also provides advertisers with clear ROI, by offering valuable statistical and priceless information regarding the effectiveness of user interaction with each ad.

    As for the deal with Innovative Product Opportunities Inc., a spokesperson from Metro One stated that it was a great opportunity for both companies to further advance the product. The 1,000,000 shares will be distributed, pursuant to a trust held for the benefit of the shareholders of Metro One Development, Inc., after Innovative Product Opportunities registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is declared effective and its shares are quoted on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board.

    Stuart Turk, CEO of Metro One stated, "Once their shares are quoted on the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board, a dividend date will be set and the trust will distribute the shares prorated to each Metro One shareholder on the record date set for the distribution."

    Friday, August 13, 2010

    Capital Networks anticipates broadcasters will turn to digital signage to reach new audiences

    This year, Capital Networks anticipates a significant growth of sales in the broadcast market due to new trends that include digital signage. The company is experiencing strong take up by broadcasters who are looking at new ways to communicate with people out of the home. Digital signage can help broadcasters reach new audiences in new public places. With the right system, a broadcaster will have a flexible, cost-effective – yet powerful – content management solution that delivers high quality presentations.
    But broadcasters should beware of digital signage providers that cannot support a broadcaster's complex 'back office' needs - after all, the broadcaster's brand is at stake on every screen.

    Broadcasters become content providers

    Last year, Hubert Lacroix, the President of CBC – Canada's National Public Broadcaster – stated that the organisation's digital strategy heading forward should see it transform from a broadcaster to a content provider. This is a major shift. In Lacroix's words, CBC would become “the most important creator and distributor of Canadian content across all platforms, and to be deeply rooted in the regions.”
    The development of digital services provides great opportunities as well as serious challenges for broadcasters. As audiences increasingly view content away from the television set, advertisers and broadcasters must adapt their strategies to reach out to consumers and ultimately generate new revenue streams.
    CBC, like a number of other broadcasters, is working  to expand its brand in non-traditional ways. It is dedicated to delivering its news journalism to a wide audience and across a range of media, exploiting innovative new media to connect with people no matter where they are. At the same time though, players in this industry face tough challenges – increased competition, lower advertising revenues, investing in new distribution channels – so while they need to spread their brand and their content, they need to do so cost-effectively.

    One key way that CBC is reaching new audiences across a number of regions, is through digital signage.

    CBC – A case in point 

    CBC has rolled-out its CBC News Express broadcast service to five major airports across Canada – including Toronto Pearson International Airport, the busiest in Canada – to ensure that critical news and weather reports are available to the thousands of people who pass through the country's airports each day. The service is powered by Capital Network’s  Audience digital signage solution, which enables CBC to present the latest video content and live data feeds for up-to-the minute local and national news, weather, business and sports updates. The Audience platform is highly scalable and so CBC will be able to deliver its CBC News Express service to more airports and more public spaces in the near future.

    Content quality is critical for broadcasters

    Flexibility and cost-efficiency have made software-based equipment increasingly attractive to broadcasters.  Yet they cannot compromise quality for cost because – as broadcasters -  they already have a reputation for delivering technologically advanced broadcasts across different media. It's important that they uphold this image wherever their broadcasts appear – be it on a home TV, a handheld device or a public plasma screen.
    In order to achieve content quality, there are some core features that broadcast software must deliver. These are:
    • A flexible, sophisticated system that can handle everything from a simple hyper-local overlay to managing a large, diverse network displaying a wide variety of content. 
    • The option of producing an automated, multizone news package with content provided by external data feeds – enabling broadcasters to provide up-to-the-second updates. 
    • The ability to automatically display hyper-local content, different from the main station, without additional manual input 
    • The ability to support a variety of broadcast quality formats from standard to high definition. 

    Broadcasters must be cautious of digital signage providers who specialise in just ‘front end signs’. Capital Networks started life as a supplier to the broadcast industry. We understand the market and the very specific needs of those who operate in it. We understand that the software must be smart and flexible – in particular when it comes to configuration and scheduling. If you are a news provider, that news must be up-to-the-minute from live feeds and it must have some local content. Broadcasters can't afford to take on teams of people to create or manage that content, so the software must have smart scheduling.

    Flexibility in terms of configuration is also a key requirement for a broadcaster who may have different content requirements at different sites. To return to the airport example: at a large, international airport, the broadcaster will certainly want to break into live global news from satellites, along with live video feeds. Whereas, for a small commuter airport, the system may be more video-based, using captions, but it may also need more on local news and weather updates.

    Our Audience solution is designed to support custom presentations and content at individual locations across a network . That way, a broadcaster can have signs in – say – 100 different sites across a region but ensure that each screen and its content is appropriate to that site. This ensures much more efficient and targeted operations.

    Returns from new advertising opportunities – the growth of the DOOH sector

    Let's not forget the significant commercial revenues that digital signs can provide for broadcasters.  DOOH (Digital Out Of Home) expenditures worldwide will grow 4.7% to $6.69 billion (£4.1 billion), according to the third annual PQ Media Global Digital Out-of-Home Media Forecast 2009-2014. Within that, the fastest growing DOOH segment is digital billboards, which the report predicts will grow by 13.2% in 2010.

    DOOH brings a lot of advantages over traditional static formats such as poster billboards. On the cost side, digital networks fed remotely from a central server save much of the cost compared to the staff-intensive manual maintenance of traditional sites. On the revenue side, the added value of digital sites over traditional sites allow advertising sales house to attract more advertisers and trade at higher costs-per-thousand. Digital displays also allow for more creative and flexible advertising campaigns that can generate higher return on investment.

    Broadcasters and media companies are especially efficient when getting involved with digital signage because they already have the infrastructure in place to successfully manage it. Our broadcast and media partners already have advertising customers and the sales, billing, scheduling and content creation staff that go along with that, so there’s much less risk than there would be to a company starting from scratch.

    And it's not just broadcasters that want to broadcast

    Looking forward into next year, and the coming years, we will expand our presence in this  market. It's certainly a growth market as the players take on IP-based distribution technologies beyond traditional broadcast -  including IPTV, Mobile TV and Digital Signage. Capital Networks already works with the BBC, CBC, CTV and Rogers Communications, as well as a number of Cable TV companies.

    What we're now finding is that it's not just broadcast companies that want to use digital signs for broadcast media. Many other markets are taking on broadcast systems to communicate information across multiple sites. For example, this might be a military base that broadcasts to the military and civilian personnel on its bases. Their requirements are the same as those of large broadcasters: they want to show top level information – such as Pentagon TV – but they also want hyper-local information that's truly relevant  to a specific region, campus or even building.

    Wednesday, August 11, 2010

    Waterloo Airport Add Digital Displays to Increase Revenue and Inform Passengers

    The Region of Waterloo International Airport has chosen ScreenScape, a community-based digital signage network to power digital displays located in the departure lounge and domestic arrivals area.

    “It was ScreenScape’s ease-of-use that was the deciding factor in choosing a technology provider for the Airport,” said Chris Wood, Airport General Manager. “It’s a flexible sales and marketing tool which we plan to use to generate additional advertising revenue, inform passengers in the terminal and promote local events taking place in Waterloo Region. ScreenScape’s solution was easy to implement and is simple to use, giving us the ability to control and change content quickly.”

    The Region of Waterloo International Airport is the latest in string of civic institutions in the Southern Ontario that also includes the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University, and Tourism Burlington among others to join the community-based digital signage network.

    The Airport is also beginning to become active in the ScreenScape Community. “We like the idea of engaging with local venues to promote events and attractions in the area. We are pleased to provide other members of the ScreenScape Community an opportunity to speak to the traveling public that is going through our facility on a daily basis.” said Wood.

    Kevin Dwyer, ScreenScape President and CEO, welcomed the Airport to the ScreenScape Community. “It is wonderful to see institutions such as the Region of Waterloo International Airport adopt ScreenScape not just as a conventional digital signage platform but as a way to collaborate with local and national businesses. We are thrilled to have another institution from Canada's tech corridor join the growing ScreenScape Community.”

    RUMOUR: Zoom nabs LA Fitness deal

    The DailyDOOH believe that Zoom Media & Marketing (the US counterpart of Montreal's Zoom Media) has inked a deal with LA Fitness to implant its Nielsen-measured fitness media network across the US-based gym chain.

    Its possible that this agreement would bring the number of venues in Zoom’s The Fitness Network to more than 1,600 health clubs in the US and 2,500 globally.

    [via DailyDOOH]

    Thursday, August 5, 2010

    The Bay and Home Outfitters roll-out gift registry kiosks, partner with NCR

    Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), Canada's largest diversified general merchandise retailer and provider of Canada’s largest gift registry, and NCR Corporation announce a partnership that sees NCRs’ SelfServ™ 60 kiosk systems deployed in-store at the Bay and Home Outfitter locations across the country.

    Through this national roll-out, which took place between December 2009 and March 2010, customers will benefit from the increased versatility, improved speed, enhanced graphics and larger, brighter monitors of the new solution. Using touch screens, customers are able to navigate easily through registries with a single tap of the finger. The new kiosks feature reduced power consumption and offer double-sided printing with NCR’s 2ST™, both designed to lower carbon footprint, consumables usage and waste, and other environmental impacts.  

    NCR worked closely with Hudson’s Bay Company during the solution transition to provide training and support services to associates and gift registry consultants.   NCR SelfServ 60 incorporates Intel®’s Active Management Technology (AMT), which enables remote problem diagnosis, updates and repairs - even when the device is turned off or the operating system is not functioning.

    “This exciting initiative allows us to build upon the success of our gift registry business at the Bay and Home Outfitters, and continue to enhance our customer experience in-store with new and innovative technologies,” said Stella Farrace, National Sales & Service Manager (HOME Division & National Gift Registry) at Hudson’s Bay Company. “This system also offers a number of environmental benefits, which is in keeping with our ongoing commitment to identify opportunities to make our operations and services more environmentally-friendly.”
    Commenting, Luc Villeneuve, president, NCR Canada said, “Hudson’s Bay Company is continually looking for new ways to enhance the customer experience. As an in-store service that provides tremendous value to Canadian consumers, we’re pleased and proud to be supporting the Bay and Home Outfitters’ gift registry business with our leading technology.”

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010

    Southern Ontario YMCA branches establish digital signage network

    YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford announced today that they have chosen ScreenScape to power digital displays inside their branch locations and to stimulate interest in YMCA programs throughout the ScreenScape Community.

    “We needed a communication system that would allow us to easily distribute up to date information on our programs, events and services not only to our branches but out to the community at large.” said Chris Burr, General Manager of the Ron Edwards Family YMCA in Burlington. “We want each of our locations to complement our centrally-delivered content with their own custom messaging that applies to their location and ScreenScape allows us to do that simply and cost-effectively.”

    ScreenScape is the world's first community-based digital signage network. Businesses of all sizes and in a range of industries use ScreenScape for digital signage, media distribution, and advertising. As a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform, ScreenScape enables non-technical users to turn any Internet-connected computer or screen into a dynamic digital display. Members of ScreenScape also form a collaborative community, which acts as a shared resource for content creation, exchange, cross promotion and, for many, advertising revenue.

    “The community concept behind ScreenScape is very important to us.” says Burr. “We now have the opportunity to engage with the other organizations in the ScreenScape Community to extend our marketing message. The ability to broadcast our community message to a wider audience is key in generating awareness about our programs, services, and donation campaigns.”

    “The YMCA epitomizes community and so it is no surprise that they have connected with ScreenScape.” said Kevin Dwyer, ScreenScape President and CEO. “We are delighted to see them taking advantage of our solution to create their own content sharing network that promotes YMCA events and supports their donor outreach programs. As new YMCA chapters join ScreenScape they will be able to join and extend the reach of this network and form regional groups of their own. This is a great illustration of the power and flexibility of our community-based platform.”

    BlackBerry QR Campaign at Osheaga...kinda sucked

    Don't like to rant but BlackBerry managed to make me deviate from my usual ways.

    I was excited to see that BlackBerry / RIM was sponsoring this past weekend's Osheaga music festival in Montreal and that they had an associated campaign integrating QR codes — 3D bar codes popular in Japan as a marketing tool — that BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) uses to exchange contact data.

    Finally, a QR-code campaign in Canada! As per their blog, RIM's attending music festivals this summer across Canada, scattering images like the one above across the venues. Scanning the QR code with BBM should get you new "BBM friends" that will "let you know how to skip the long show lines, access exclusive content for your favorite bands, and maybe even how to get free tickets, VIP passes or a Nissan Cube."

    That seems cool...unfortunately, when I scanned the code when I first noticed it on an associated web-page, the PIN — the eight character hexadecimal identification number assigned to each BlackBerry device — went into a pending status that was waiting for "authorization" and never left.

    How disappointing...

    Corning's Gorilla Glass could be the next big thing for TV's

    Gorilla, an ultra-strong and resistant glass developed by Corning back in 1962, could be the secret 'ingredient' that makes our flat panel TV's even flatter. The product had no commercial use until 2008 when it started being used as a protective layer over the screens of 40 million-plus cell phones and other mobile devices.

    Because Gorilla is very hard to break, dent or scratch, Corning believes it will be the material of choice to create new frameless high-end flat panel TV's. Although there isn't really a functional benefit to using the ultra-resistant glass, it does have an aesthetic benefit which could give TV's a more 'futuristic' bezel-less look. That said, it may be restricted to higher-end models as the glass will likely add $30 to $60 to the cost of a set, according to DisplaySearch market analyst Paul Gagnon.

    Corning has approached and is currently in talks with the major LCD TV manufacturers and expects to bring Gorilla Glass to the TV market in early 2011.

    [ via AP]   

    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.