Friday, June 22, 2012

X2O Media Honored With Commercial Integrator BEST Award at InfoComm 2012

X2O Media, a full-service provider of software, network management, and content services for real-time visual communication applications, today announced that the company was honored with a Commercial Integrator BEST Award in the Digital Signage Software category for its social interactivity suite of next-generation, social-media-based applications.

“Social media is a powerful and popular content source for viewers, providing current, relevant, and user-generated information,” said X2O Media President and CEO David Wilkins. “With our social interactivity suite, integrators can easily harness the power of Twitter™, Facebook, and more to provide their customers with a truly engaging experience. We are proud to have our efforts recognized by the editors of Commercial Integrator and the panel of judges.”

X2O Media’s social interactivity suite of applications includes the X2O Social Hub and Twitter Shuffle. Featuring real-time content from popular sites including Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube, the X2O Social Hub allows users to customize their experiences by defining the application’s social media sources. In addition, users can interact with an innovative “YouTube Cube” object to browse YouTube video clips matching their search terms. All X2O Social Hub graphics are presented in an eye-popping 3D format, and the application can be customized with logos and other branding elements.

Powered by X2O’s latest-generation player engine, the Twitter Shuffle goes far beyond standard Twitter walls with a number of unique features for a truly interactive experience. X2O’s Twitter Shuffle displays real-time Tweets™ in a dynamic shuffle where Tweets dynamically animate in 3D, and fly on and off the screen. For a higher level of viewer interactivity, the screen can be controlled via a Microsoft® Kinect™ interface, or through a Web app that is accessed by scanning a QR code with a mobile device. Other views include a dynamic Twitter Graph and Twitter Map.

The Commercial Integrator BEST Awards program recognizes superlative solutions for an integration business. Judging criteria included innovation, functionality, competitive advantages, and benefits to the installer. Winning manufacturers across various product and service categories were recognized in a ceremony at InfoComm 2012.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Astral launches digital columns on the streets of Montreal

Astral Out of Home is launching the first digital column network in Canada with 30 faces on the streets of Montreal. Concentrated in the downtown core, in an area bordered by Atwater, René-Lévesque, Sherbrooke and St-Denis, including Quartier Des Spectacles, the new Digital Column network offers advertisers the opportunity to engage with consumers using the latest LCD technology.

The 30 digital faces offer a new communication experience to advertisers and consumers with a product built for the urban landscape, providing nearly 1 million valuable impressions daily.There are only six advertisers in the rotation. These advertisers are part of a 48 second loop, running for a continuous four-week period.

Astral’s new Digital Columns are also extremely versatile: they can accommodate varied messaging throughout the day and across the network and can even create opportunities for instant connections and real-time interactions through Near Field Communication (NFC) mobile technology. With NFC, consumers can simply tap their smartphones to instantly connect with advertisers and experience brands in a truly dynamic way.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Capital Networks releases Android-powered digital signage solution

Capital Networks has release Audience for Android, an Android operating system version of its digital signage media player. The latest addition to the Audience software platform allows users to create, control, distribute and display content for dynamic digital signage displays without the added expense of a Windows PC.

The Audience for Android media player is compatible with Capital Networks' content management system and applications:, Audience.billboard, and Audience.sync (version 4.2 or above).

Performance-wise, the Audience android media player is able to display multi-zone shows up to 720p. It also has full support of the Audience real-time priority based scheduling model. Graphic transitions include snap, dissolve, push, crawl, zoom, wipe and DVEZoom (for video playback).

OOH Marketing Association of Canada updates web mapping system

The Out-of-Home Marketing Association of Canada has released an update to its dynamic web mapping system that provides planners with the ability to create customized OOH market coverage maps that can be saved as a PDF and printed.

The mapping tool has been updated with the current inventory of all OMAC member company products and networks reflecting the COMB April 2012 Data Report.  Maps can be produced for all OMAC member companies which include Astral Out-of-Home, CBS Outdoor, Lamar Transit, Metromedia Plus, Newad, Pattison Outdoor, Titan 360 and Zoom Media.

Dynamic maps are currently available for Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal markets and can be accessed from OMAC’s website under the ‘Markets’ tab, or by clicking here.

“The mapping tool is user friendly and allows our planners to customize the display area based on client requirements within each of the top 5 markets. It provides great coverage information that is useful at the early stages of planning. The ability to display all operators by OOH format by market all on the same map is very convenient,” said Susan Ellsworth, VP Research Director, OMD.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Heads-up: Burger King to open 1,000 restaurants in China

The Washington Post reports that Miami-based Burger King plans to open 1,000 restaurants in China over the next five to seven years. Currently, there are only 64 Burger King locations in China.

Could this be an opportunity for a digital menu board vendor doing business in the area? Some Burger King franchise groups have begun adopting digital menu boards, such as the 700+ SSP-franchised Burger Kings in the U.K.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Astral Out-of-Home launch a iPad and iPhone Media Kit app

Astral Out-of-Home, a division of Astral Media Inc. (TSX: ACM.A ACM.B), sets itself apart once again by launching a new application for tablets and mobile devices to offer advertisers easier access to a wide range of information about advertising possibilities and technological solutions provided by the industry leader in innovation.

Interactive and dynamic, the app gives advertisers quick intuitive access to Astral Out-of-Home's entire portfolio—including its Toronto street furniture program and its prestigious Digital Network of 41 faces located in Montréal, Toronto, and Vancouver—, as well as MARK, its campaign optimizing service. The new app also provides corporate information. Advertisers also benefit from push alerts to inform them about new application features in real time.

"Advertisers increasingly use tablets and mobile devices as work tools and Astral Out-of-Home is proud to adapt to this new reality by innovating through the deployment of this application," said Nathalie Doré, Vice President, Marketing and Media Creativity at Astral Out-of-Home. "They will have our brochures and numerous images and videos from our vast portfolio of products and services at their fingertips. This application also reflects our desire to constantly put forward initiatives to reduce our environmental footprint."

The Astral Out-of-Home Media Kit app was designed and developed by Mozzo, a division of the Piranha agency. Download now your free Astral Out-of-Home app for iPad® and iPhone® on the App Store.

Here's a video:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Haivision to launch CoolSign™ 5.0 in fall

Haivision today announced that CoolSign™ 5.0, the latest version of its digital signage system will be released this fall. CoolSign 5.0 brings together digital signage with IP video, allowing clients to deliver combined rich media and live broadcasts across campuses and to remote signage players and mobile devices globally. 

By integrating the secure IP video distribution technology of Haivision's Furnace™ within the CoolSign player, CoolSign is the only digital signage solution for a facility that can incorporate broadcast content without copy risk — a critical requirement of any content provider. Encrypted live HD channels can be displayed as a region or full screen on any player. The CoolSign player can also access Internet-based RTMP streams, assuring that even over a global network, any player can access live HD content. 

Haivision is unique in providing a complete mix of signage and IP video technology. With Haivision's KulaByte™ Internet media streaming solutions, signage content can be delivered as high-quality adaptive bit rate HD streams to any desktop, laptop, or mobile device. With Haivision's Furnace system, signage content can easily be made available as channels accessible by all desktops within the context of the user's channel experience, or to low-cost set-top boxes throughout a facility.

CoolSign 5.0 will feature a new, simplified Web-based management interface to upload, manage, and distribute content from various devices, including iPad®/iPhone®, Windows®, and Android™ mobile devices. The intuitive, drag-and-drop Web interface takes advantage of touch-screen devices, making it easy for anyone from retail store managers to office administrators to add local content into digital signage carrying the corporate brand.

"Haivision is solving the challenges of the enterprise by delivering integrated solutions," said Peter Maag, chief marketing officer at Haivision. "Content is always a critical challenge with any digital signage deployment. By combining CoolSign's powerful data automation tools with the attractiveness of live, linear broadcast and local content management, Haivision is enabling clients to deploy contextual, compelling information to every display and every user globally."

Monday, June 11, 2012

Montreal convention center gets tech revamps, includes digital signage

The Société du Palais des congrès de Montréal is pleased to announce they have selected the consortium formed by Bell and Cisco as their project integrator for the improvement of the Palais des congrès de Montréal's technology environment and services. The selection followed a public bidding process. The initial phase of the project will involve upgrading the wired and wireless internet network infrastructures, and installing a dynamic signage network equipped with touch screens.

"We are proud to team up with world IT leaders with operations in Montréal. Their expertise will contribute to the renewal of the business customer experience and to promoting Montréal's know-how locally and internationally," indicates Marc Tremblay, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Palais des congrès de Montréal. Adds Élaine Legault, Client Experience Director and the person in charge of the project's development: "The Palais already enjoys a distinctive reputation for its personalized and solution-driven approach. Adding technology to our service offering means our customers will be guaranteed an unforgettable experience in the heart of a city widely reputed for its creative flair."

The technological optimization of the Palais is already underway as the convention centre prepares to host 2,100 delegates from 80 countries for the World Congress on Information Technology (WCIT) October 21 to 24, 2012.

"As Québec's leading communications company, Bell is very pleased that the Palais des congrès has chosen our innovative business communications solutions. We look forward to helping make the Palais a world-class showcase for the latest broadband communications technology and services," said Martine Turcotte, Executive Vice-President, Québec, Bell.

"The Cisco team in Québec, backed by Cisco's worldwide expertise in event technology, is proud to contribute to the Palais' growing reputation nationally and internationally. We adapt business technologies to conventions and all types of events for the purpose of improving the customer experience on an ongoing basis," underscores Jean-Claude Ouellet, Vice-President, Sales and Operations, Eastern Canada, Cisco.

A strategic project
The Palais des congrès de Montréal is in the process of a major hi-tech modernization project. During the course of 2012, it will become one of the leading technology-friendly convention centres in North America, where event organizers, exhibitors and convention-goers will enjoy a high performance environment.
Noteworthy improvements include:
  • Upgraded network infrastructure for unparalleled connectivity;
  • New e-commerce-enabled web platform also featuring dedicated intranet zones for customers to facilitate event and exhibition planning and foster efficient information sharing;
  • An event-focused customizable mobile app organizers, exhibitors and convention-goers can use throughout the course of their stay;
  • New digital signage and touch screens for broadcasting rich content tailored to each event;
  • An event intelligence infrastructure focused on further enhancing the networking experience for convention-goers, and also tracking strategic statistical data for convention and exhibition organizers.
The Palais will also launch a new mobile-adapted website that will feature a user friendly and thoroughly enjoyable browsing experience. Designed in tandem with the firm Inpix, the site will quickly set a new industry standard by offering rich content and superior quality graphics.

Québec Tourism Minister Nicole Ménard states: "The Palais' new technology offering will render the convention centre top-of-mind with decision-makers from major associations who want their delegates to benefit from hi-tech know-how and a high performance environment. The record number of 368 events hosted by the Palais in 2011-12 and the more than $200 M they generated speaks to the importance of investing in growth-generating projects that will make it possible for the city and the province to maintain their favourable reputation as business destinations."

Connected to the world and in synch with the needs of customers continually seeking the latest trends in high performance user-friendly solutions, the Palais will become a global platform for major events where success will be measured by the extent and quality of the technological experience. 

Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Videos: Montreal Children's interactive wall, BC Tourism's giant vending machine

Moment Factory, known for the visuals at Nine Inch Nails concerts and Cirque du Soleil shows, recently installed an interactive musical wall in the emergency waiting room of CHU Sainte-Justine, Montreal's Children's hospital.

It is part of a larger installation by Canadian film producer Denise Robert called La Maison de La Vie or House of Life, designed to help make the hospital visit, particularly for child visitors, a little more enjoyable. When the user places their hands near the wall, it produces colourful lines and shapes accompanied by harmonious musical notes. Consisting of a wall projector connected to motion sensors, the wall makes a different tune every time a child plays with it.

San Franciscans passing through Justin Herman Plaza May 17th got a big surprise! Overnight, Tourism British Columbia flipped the switch on the BC Moments Machine -- a one of a kind, 14-foot tall, 10-foot wide vending machine. Forget pop and chips though -- the BC Moments Machine offered items like mountain bikes, kayaks and made in BC surfboards.

Friday, June 1, 2012

ComQi annonce Engage 7.0, maintenant en français

ComQi, leader mondial de gestion de messages multi-canal, a annoncé aujourd'hui la nouvelle version de son logiciel de gestion de contenu - Engage R7. Ce communiqué ne cesse de repousser les capacités de son système CMS, leader sur le marché  des solutions basées sur le Cloud et qui est déjà utilisé par des centaines de clients à travers le monde.

Cette nouvelle version offre des caractéristiques unique incluant:
  • Vidéo à la demande (VOD) la capacité qui permet aux utilisateurs de sélectionner du contenu stocké sur le lecteur à l'aide de leurs téléphones mobiles. Avec cette nouvelle fonctionnalité, ComQi offre une solution personnalisée pour le marché des communications d'entreprise en permettant aux employés d'accéder à l'éducation et la formation du personnel sur demande.
  • Les interfaces utilisateurs multi-langues qui permettent aux utilisateurs de travailler dans leur langue maternelle, français, espagnol ou allemand. Cette s'appuie sur la capacité Unicode existante de Engage de prendre en charge le contenu dans n'importe quelle langue. Avec cette nouvelle fonctionnalité, ComQi est accessible à l'échelle mondiale et consolide sa position de leader du marché du CMS à un niveau mondial.
  • Nouvelle interface de données géospatiales a été ajouté pour géocoder automatiquement des endroits  et  présenter leurs emplacements sur les cartes en ligne. Cette capacité peut suivre la localisation aussi bien au niveau d'une ville qu'au au niveau d'une allée dans un magasin et permet la mesure  du  suivi et de l'impact.
  • Prise en charge d'une connexion vidéo par alimentation externe avec un widget Tuner TV ATSC pour synchroniser par liaison radio les signaux QAM de télévision numérique.
Max Stevens-Guille, directeur technique chez ComQi, déclare: "Avec notre nouvelle version de Engage mise à jour chaque  trimestre , nous nous assurons que nos clients bénéficient de technologies de pointe dès qu'elles sont disponibles sur le marché. En tant que telle, Engage  avec sa la capacité nouvelle de VOD s'adapte aux ajustements de stratégie globale de ComQi à intégrer les téléphones mobiles avec affichage numérique. Ceci  permettant aux utilisateurs de sélectionner un contenu spécifique à partir de leur téléphone mobile pour la lecture sur l'écran. Cette caractéristique unique peut être très utile pour la formation en entreprise et les applications de vente au détail et permet aux utilisateurs de trouver des informations multi-produits ".