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.