Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Vertigo Digital Displays selects Esprida to Connect its Next Generation Digital Signage

Vertigo Integrates Esprida Enterprise™ to Centrally Manage its Advanced Digital Signage Hardware

Toronto, March 17, 2010 - Esprida Corporation, a pioneer in the field of remote device management, has announced its collaboration with Vertigo Digital Displays Inc., an industry leader in the design, manufacturing and delivery of integrated media systems for ruggedized, world class digital signage solutions deployed in a variety of environmental conditions. By embedding an Esprida Agent within the Vertigo Master Control Unit, network operators gain centralized access to functions relating to ambient light, temperature, power management, system performance, service issues, and connected applications.

Exposed to the effects of extreme cold and heat, direct sunlight, precipitation, and vandalism, Vertigo’s remote management capabilities offer its customers a solution tailored to the unique requirements of out-of-home digital signage. As an Esprida-powered platform, secure, role based access can be granted to partners, clients, service companies, and program management. The net result is a highly adaptive digital signage network that optimizes operational overhead and provides customers with a complete centralized view of its operations.

"We are excited to be embedded in Vertigo's innovative, environmentally controlled digital signage solution" said Anila Jobanputra, president and founder of Esprida Corporation. "With Esprida-integration, Vertigo will reduce maintenance costs, and provide feedback to stakeholders about all aspects of the solution, further demonstrating Vertigo's commitment to innovation and customer satisfaction."

"Vertigo's demanding market category of mission-critical outdoor and out-of-home advertising displays requires fully integrated, reliable, centrally managed solutions," said Brad Gleeson, CEO of Vertigo Digital Displays. "The Esprida Remote Management Business Solution extends our industry leading capabilities, allowing us to offer a more adaptable, scalable, comprehensive solution than ever before."

About ESPRIDA Corporation
Esprida is an industry leader in remote management software for self-service, providing Enterprise and Software as a Service (SaaS) product lines that automate and simplify the management of self-service devices. Clients use Esprida software to create powerful business solutions, speed deployment and lower the total cost of operation. Esprida software supports some of the largest self-service deployments in the world, including Kodak and Aisle7.

About Vertigo Digital Displays Inc.
Vertigo designs, engineers and manufactures integrated media systems, including advanced display enclosures and digital display solutions, as well as world-class street furniture, transit shelters and digital information kiosks. Based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Vertigo is one of the world's largest providers of innovative media display solutions to outdoor media companies.
Website : www.vertigodisplays.com

Media Contact:

Chrissy Carney, Affect Strategies,
p: 212.398.9680 x140, e: ccarney@affectstrategies.com

Esprida Corporation Contact:

Bevan Hayes
p: 905.629.6665, e: bhayes@esprida.com

Vertigo Digital Displays Contact:

Ralph Idems
p: 416-299-3731 x226, e: ralph.idems@vertigodisplays.com

X2O Media's Xpresenter Platform Selected to Educate and Empower Hispanic Consumers

X2O Media, a full-service provider of software, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications, today announced its Xpresenter™ platform is being deployed by SABEResPODER™ to help the organization implement a digital signage network across North America, including a presence in Latin American consulates. The digital signage platform, with SABEResPODER educational content created in partnership with select corporate, government, and community organizations, will provide practical solutions on needs-based topics to empower consumers as they become more informed, confident, and active participants in American society.

"When we needed a partner to provide a cutting-edge solution for digital signage, X2O Media was the clear choice," said Amir Hemmat, President and CEO of SABEResPODER. "X2O Media will enable us to present our content using the highest quality graphics and video, thus increasing engagement with our audiences. We look forward to great outcomes from this partnership."
The partnership calls for X2O Media, working with SABEResPODER, to design compelling digital signage content that incorporates educational videos along with a text crawl that will continually be updated with useful information customizable by each location. SABEResPODER produces educational video programming for its VideoNetwork — a series of networked flat screen TVs placed in key community locations that serve Spanish-dominant communities.

"This innovative project will provide a useful service for visitors while at the same time serve as a great tool for SABEResPODER’s partners to communicate and raise awareness," said David Wilkins, X2O Media President and CEO. "X2O’s experience and expertise both in technology and presentation will ensure a top-quality result that is appreciated by viewers and is effective for users, while supporting SABEResPODER’s commitment to transform waiting areas into learning rooms."

SABEResPODER is the leading provider of comprehensive and practical educational solutions for Spanish-language-dominant Latinos in the U.S. Through its needs-based educational campaigns, SABEResPODER creates and distributes in-language and in-culture educational content that empowers Spanish-speaking consumers to become more informed, confident, and active participants in American society. X2O Media is a full-service provider of software, network management services, and content services for professional digital signage applications. The company offers a wide variety of software solutions for digital signage networks of all sizes, as well as interactive signs. X2O’s award-winning Xpresenter platform provides an end-to-end solution for the creation, management, and distribution of content.

About SABEResPODER

SABEResPODER is a uniquely targeted Spanish-language media network. It provides corporations, agencies, and non-profit entities with powerful and exclusive media solutions for gaining incremental customers while empowering Spanish-dominant consumers to become more informed, confident, and active participants in American society. SABEResPODER has redefined community outreach through an integrated media platform. Its platform integrates enticing and engaging video programming with educational brochures and events, to effectively influence consumer behavior. SABEResPODER enables marketers to develop trust and build generational brand loyalty through relevant consumer focused and solutions-driven campaigns. For more information, visit SABEResPODER.com.

About X2O Media
X2O Media is a full-service provider of software, network management services, and content services for professional digital signage and corporate communication 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.

Source: X2O Media

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Adding Game-based Marketing to your Digital Signage

Advertising Lab pointed out an interesting new book on an infrequently discussed aspect of marketing, game-based marketing. Authors Gabe Zichermann and Joselin Linder look at how "fun" can drive growth, community engagement and inspire customer loyalty.

People love rolling up the rim at Timmy's and collecting Monopoly properties at McDonald's. Everyone's had Air Miles or points on their credit card at some point. The popularity of Farmville shows that it works for social media. Why can't fun, or game-based marketing, be what brings digital signage and other place-based digital media out of its ignored stepchild status?

The people at LocaModa sure think big screens in public places can be fun. Just check out any of the apps/services like Wifitti or Jumbli. They even have Foursquare integration.

Let's face it, you watch a TV for interesting shows—screens that are for ads or information aren't usually that fun to look at. Looking at people's behaviour, or their inner-gamer, and including game mechanics into your digital signage content strategy could break the mold and truly engage the audience instead of simply having some passer byers "notice" the screen and message. This is especially true since digital signage can so easily be combined with other media or technology like mobile phones to provide interaction or act as a middle media platform.

At less than $20, seems like a good deal and good read. Here's a preview of what you get in between the covers:

Calendar Item: OMAC Digital OOH Webinar

The Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada is hosting a webinar on digital out-of-home products and networks and the advancements in this category of Out-of-Home.

Webinar Topics Include:

• Digital OOH products and networks
• Results of new Canadian research on awareness, perception and response to digital OOH
• Consumer interactivity and engagement

The webinar will take place on April 13, Noon - 1 PM, EST and you can register here.

Digital OOH Advertising Displays Engage Consumers and Drive Action

Toronto – March 30, 2010A new digital out-of-home survey conducted by TNS Canadian Facts provides compelling insight into consumer’s awareness and perception of digital OOH displays and their influence in prompting consumers to take action.

The survey was commissioned by OMAC, the Out-of-Home Marketing Association to identify opportunities for marketers to effectively use digital OOH displays in Canada.

Consumer awareness of digital out-of-home advertising displays is high, with almost three quarters (72%) of respondents age 18+ stating they had seen digital advertising in the past month.  Digital displays in place based venues such as restaurants, health clubs and shopping malls had the highest awareness level at 63%. Awareness of digital out-of-home advertising displays is higher in major markets where they are more prevalent.

“Not only is digital out-of-home advertising effective in catching people’s attention, it motivates consumers to respond,” said Rosanne Caron, President of OMAC.  “50% of respondents age 18+ said they took action after seeing digital out-of-home advertising.  Younger adults age 18-24 are even more likely to be influenced by digital advertising, with two-thirds taking some type of action after seeing digital out-of-home ads.”

For more information please contact:

Rosanne Caron      President
OMAC
rcaron@omaccanada.ca
416.968.3435 x108

Jacqueline Demchuck
Marketing and Communications Director
OMAC
jdemchuck@omaccanada.ca
416.968.3435 x107                   

Monday, March 29, 2010

Anti-smoking campaign targets buys at the point-of-purchase

As reported by Marketing Magazine, the Heart & Stroke Foundation is running a two-month ad campaign that will target smokers at the precise moment the purchase of cigarettes are made—in the store.

The Ontario-only all-digital campaign is skipping TV and will include in-store digital media, outdoor digital displays, online and in cinemas. The foundation and its longtime agency Agency 59, chose these media outlets to target the people that weren't quitting.

The New York-based Adcentricity, which has offices in Toronto, provided many of the digital screens.

The ads also act as middle-media, forwarding the audience to IWillSucceed.ca.

A video of the ad is available on Marketing Magazine's website.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

X2O Media’s Vern Freedlander Speaking at at 5th Annual Digital Signage Content Strategies Summit

MONTREAL — March 24, 2010 — X2O Media, a full-service provider of software, network management, and content services for professional digital signage applications, today announced that Vern Freedlander, the company’s Vice President of Production Services, will present “Making Ads Stick: Embracing New Technologies and Interactivity to Increase Advertising Effectiveness” at the 5th Annual Digital Signage Content Strategies Summit in Las Vegas.

Held on April 12 and 13 at Mandalay Bay in conjunction with the Digital Signage Show, the Digital Signage Content Strategies Summit offers business intelligence and creative insights from the industry’s best innovators, helping attendees to understand the critical link between context, consumer, and content to strengthen the relevance of their message.

In his presentation on April 12 at 11:30 a.m., Freedlander will address the latest developments in contextual and interactive content currently being deployed by leading hotel chains. Via specific examples showcasing the integration of venue-specific content such as flight schedules, local attractions, hotel amenities, conference schedules, and sophisticated wayfinding applications, Freedlander will explore successful strategies that create outstanding viewer engagement.

Furthermore, he will discuss ways to improve the content management and ad production process with an overview of how integration between software platforms allows operators to streamline workflow. The result is digital signage that leverages technology and content to build brands and create new revenue possibilities.

“Content can transform digital signage from an electronic bulletin board to a brand engagement medium,” said Freedlander. “In our industry, there is a real risk of trapping viewers in a passive experience. By leveraging the best practices of other media — such as high production values; strong design; interactivity; relevant, focused content; and strong, bold messaging — we can push the medium forward and create a new, exciting way to build valuable relationships with viewers.”

With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director, and executive, including significant work with CTV and Canwest, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives.His unique blend of creative, production, and editorial skills, and his experience in large-scale branding projects provides X2O’s clients with unique content products, services, and consultation that in turn make digital networks highly watchable by engaging viewers, while clearly and accurately conveying editorial and advertising information.

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.
All trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners.

For more information, contact:

Agency Contact:

Veronica Esbona
Wall Street Communications
Tel: +1 (954) 392-6990
E-mail: veronica@wallstcom.com

X2O media Contact:

Maria Porco
Tel: +1 408 988 8307
maria@x2omedia.com

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Its lights out for OBN on Earth Day

The Outdoor Broadcast Network will be turning its Digital Boards off for one hour to honour Earth Hour on Saturday, March 27 between 8:30 pm and 9:30 pm.

Earth Hour, which began in 2007 in Australia, has grown from 2.2 million homes and businesses turning off their lights, to a global sustainability movement with literally hundreds of millions of homes and businesses turning off the lights in 2009. World landmarks, including the CN Tower in Toronto, have also honoured Earth Hour by going dark. (source: www.eathhour.org)

OBN is a member of the Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada which is also supporting this effort.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Omnivex Moxie software now powers video walls

Newest version of Moxie software facilitates advancements in digital signage functionality

Concord, ON - March 17, 2010 - Omnivex Corporation, Microsoft Gold Certified Partner and provider of enterprise software for digital signage networks, continues to be a leader in software development in the digital signage industry, by advancing the functionality of their Moxie software with its latest release, 6.05. Features of Moxie 6.05 were shown to enthusiastic visitors at the recent Integrated Systems Europe show in Amsterdam and the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas.

Large video walls have become increasingly popular in all types of digital signage deployments. Hardware manufacturers have developed flat screen displays with much thinner bezels than ever before, so it is relatively easy to tile screens together to form one large display. With the magnitude of the video wall in sheer number of displays, combined with the often intricate configuration of screens coupled with complex multimedia content, it is no longer practical to manage such video walls with a single PC.

Omnivex Moxie 6.05 has the functionality to manage video walls driven by any number of PC's to form single or multiple images through the Video Wall Synchronization feature. A video can span multiple PC's, be displayed on multiple screens and remain in frame synchronization, even in the event of one or more Player PC's restarting. The end result is one perfectly unified, visually stunning video wall which is capable of managing the most elaborate content imaginable.

There are numerous upgraded or modified features in Moxie 6.05 to streamline workflow and extend functionality. Users of Moxie 6.05 can set up multiple sync tasks to synchronize remote files, playlists, schedules, etc. to the Data Server folder. Users can then simply drop content files into a synchronized folder on their network and Moxie will retrieve them. With Moxie's Data Proxy capability, multiple Players can connect through a single node, dramatically reducing network traffic and improving efficiencies.

Already known for making significant advancements in the digital signage market place, Moxie has been recognized with many awards. Moxie was only introduced to the market twelve months ago and has already been honored by industry experts as the "Best New Premise Based Content Management Software" at the 2009 DIGI Awards. Additionally, two Moxie customers were recognized with 2010 APEX Awards: Portland's Rose Garden Arena won an award in the Hospitality category for their 250 screen deployment of Moxie powered digital menuboards, while Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment won an award in the Stadiums & Arenas category for their 320 screen Moxie digital signage network throughout Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

For more information about Omnivex Moxie, visit www.omnivex.com/moxie.

About Omnivex Corporation

Founded in 1991 in Toronto, Ontario, Omnivex Corporation is a leader in software development for digital signage networks and electronic displays. Omnivex software is used by over 2,000 customers, including many Fortune 500 companies, to manage all aspects of digital signage networks, including content management, realtime data acquisition and distribution, and remote device monitoring and management. For more information, visit www.omnivex.com.

Canadian shoppers are tech-savvy

According to a IBM global survey that included 4,000 Canadians, Canuck shoppers are amongst the most loyal to their primary retailer and likely to use technology and social media to empower themselves and make purchase decisions.

The survey, which included an additional 28,000 consumers from five other countries, demonstrates the changing economy is giving rise to the smarter consumer - one who uses technology to make more informed buying decisions, exchange information with peers, make purchases on-the-go and shop across multiple channels. Not only are consumers becoming more demanding, but they are also more willing to participate in the shaping and success of brands they like. Sixty-nine percent of Canadian respondents said they want to work with retailers to co-design new products and provide suggestions on services that better meet their personal needs.

Canadians ranked behind China, India, Brazil and the UK among those who said they would move their purchases away from their primary retailer because of better prices, product selection or customer loyalty programs. Only shoppers in the US were less likely to shift purchases for those reasons.

The study also revealed how shoppers want to use different technologies for different activities:

   -   84 per cent want to use websites to access and print coupons

- 75 per cent want to use mobile phones to find out where the nearest
store is located

- 72 per cent want to see what goods are in stock before going into the
store.


You can read the complete press release here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quartier des spectacles exploring projected urban markings



Montreal's new 'Quartier des spectacles' as part of their lighting plan is exploring the use of a projection system to create sidewalk "markings" for urban signage and expressing identity (see video above).

Produced as part of Montreal's annual Nuit Blanche (All-Nighter), the pilot reinforced the brand image of this cultural heart of the city by combining light and graphics.

The system allowed for pedestrians crossing the intersection of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Denis streets to be informed of the direction of the main venues nearby, in addition to designating the entertainment district.

The preliminary installation, still at an evaluation stage, consisted of projectors suspended from lighting towers and was equipped with sensors that allow synchronization with the traffic lights at the intersection. The projections were activated only on the areas considered "open" to pedestrians, highlighting it more clearly and becoming a unique way to show visitors the abundance of creativity at the Quartier des spectacles from Montreal's main artery: Sainte-Catherine Street.

This pilot project was conducted in collaboration with the City of Montreal, the Bureau des festivals et des événements, the Police Service (SPVM) and experts in traffic. Artistic direction was by Ruedi Baur and Jean Beaudoin of Intégral.

As an aside, the 2010 Nuit Blanche also featured a lot of other urban or building projections as highlighted in the videos below. One that I found interesting (but doesn't seem to be in the videos even though the particular building is) was one where participants were able to move a sort of projected virtual "shroud" using a giant multi-touch table.



Monday, March 15, 2010

Corporate Digital Signage: Panic's Status Board

Ya, sure, I guess you could get some lobby signage to welcome guests and inform employees, but corporate digital signage doesn't always have to be that boring. Portland, OR-based application developer, Panic, certainly doesn't think so.

As a company grows (and gets busier), jotting down important dates, project pipelines, tasks and other business data on a big white board can helpful to get a perspective of where the company's at and where its headed. Its not very "real-time" and a lot of important data that can be helpful to employees is stuck in disparate locations like email programs, CRM's and manager's heads.

The people at Panic solved that problem in an elegant and tech-savvy fashion: The Panic Status Board (pictured above). What started as a simple project status board ended up becoming a hub of information for Panic employees—and they're not done yet.

The Panic Status board is basically a HTML page on their intranet that auto-updates using AJAX and displays the following company information:
  • E-Mail Queue — number of messages / number of days.
  • Project Status
  • Important Countdowns
  • Revenue — comparing yesterday to the day before
  • Live Tri-Met Bus Arrivals
  • The Panic Calendar
  • Employee Twitter Messages
  • Any @Panic Twitter Messages — not moderated ;)

According to their blog, Panic employees really seem to like the implementation of corporate digital signage. The project numbers aren't viewed as management saying "why isn't this done yet?" but more of a "This is where we're at". The board also provides positive reinforcements like substituting a champagne bottle icon when a project goes to zero.

The implementation is very "professional meets DIY". The content, designed in airport schedule-style simplicity, is displayed in portrait on a ultra-thin bezel pro panel: Samsung's 460UXN-2. The page is run in Google Chrome with a lot of programming in PHP. One of the really interesting parts of the design (at least I find) is that it isn't using images (except for icons), the eye-candy is all CSS3 /WebKit.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

X2O Media Launches New Digital Signage Ad Production Service

The Montreal-based software developer has its roots in broadcast content product so why wouldn't X20 Media launch a content production service? According to their press release, the new Ad Production Service provides access to high-end ad content at affordable prices, allowing any network operator, big or small, to better monetize their network, while providing advertisers with an innovative content creation method.

Users can easily access the Ad Production Service on X2O’s Web site via the new content portal available at www.x2omedia.com/Content. Offering a unique one-stop shop for ad creation, users can make style selections directly from X2O’s online content library. Users simply send their digital assets to X2O’s award-winning creative services team and have their ads professionally produced in record time. X2O continues to offer an ever-growing selection of digital signage content including templates, animated backgrounds, video clips, data feeds, and more.

The service is completely open and is not restricted to just the X2O Xpresenter™ platform. X2O Media decided to offer its innovative use of style sheets to all, allowing ads to be repurposed quickly and effectively to sharply focus content for specific marketing objectives, such as targeting a particular venue, meeting demographics, or to convey a seasonal theme.

Wireless Ronin Sets Date and Time for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2009 Financial Results

MINNEAPOLIS – March 4, 2010 – Wireless Ronin Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNIN), a digital signage solutions provider, announced today that it plans to release financial results for its full year and fourth quarter of calendar year 2009 after the close of regular market trading on Thursday, March 18, 2010. The company will host a conference call at 3:30 p.m. CT (4:30 p.m. ET) on March 18, 2010 to discuss these results. The call will feature remarks by James C. (Jim) Granger, president and chief executive officer, Darin McAreavey, vice president and chief financial officer and Scott Koller, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

A live webcast of Wireless Ronin’s earnings conference call can be accessed on the “Investors” section of its corporate website. Alternatively, a live broadcast of the call may be heard by dialing (877) 795-3604 inside the United States or Canada, or by dialing (719) 325-4795 from international locations. A webcast replay of the call will be archived on Wireless Ronin’s corporate website.

About Wireless Ronin Technologies, Inc.

Wireless Ronin Technologies (www.wirelessronin.com) has developed RoninCast® as a complete software solution designed to address the evolving digital signage marketplace. RoninCast® software enables clients to manage digital signage networks from one central location and provides turnkey solutions in the digital signage marketplace. The RoninCast® software suite facilitates customized distribution with network management, playlist creation and scheduling, and database integration. Wireless Ronin offers an array of services to support RoninCast® software including consulting, creative development, project management, installation, and training. The company's common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol "RNIN".

Wireless Ronin® and RoninCast® are registered trademarks of Wireless Ronin Technologies, Inc.

Contact:

Darin P. McAreavey, vice president, chief financial officer
dmcareavey@wirelessronin.com
952.564.3525
Media Contact:
Linda K. Hofflander, vice president and chief marketing officer
lhofflander@wirelessronin.com
952.564.3562

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CASE STUDY: V Télé's NEC Video-walls

NEC released a case study on how V Télé uses the 46” NEC X461UN for the video walls in its live broadcast studio. V is a Canadian privately-owned French-language television network that was known as TQS until its rebrand on on August 31, 2009. The solution, provided by Simbioz, features 14 near-seamless bezel units positioned for three
separate in-studio configurations.

Read the full V Television case study here.