Friday, April 29, 2005

Can Consumers Turn Your Digital Signs Off

According to AV Interactive's article, TV-B-Gone is a key-ring attached ‘zapper’ that turns off all the TVs within its infra red range.

Don't allow this to happen to your digital signs. There are non-consumer displays such as the Philips Business Displays that will prevent this from happening. Using these displays with NetLink software, you have a secure solution and much more.

Alternatively, you can also use your imagination to block the infrared signal.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Digital Signage Bandwidth

Many digital signage industry followers often read about the barriers to entry for digital signage networks. Frequently you will hear that lower display pricing will fuel digital signage growth. This is true - however we will introduce a new topic outside of the realm of displays that will open up a wider acceptance of digital signage.

The technology we are speaking of is BANDWIDTH. Higher speeds and lower costs of bandwidth will lend itself to increased networked digital signage.

The first topic on bandwidth we will discuss is WiMAX.

The technology that promises to bring wireless high-speed connections to entire metropolitan areas is on the way. It's called WiMAX and is backed by 140 companies -- from start-ups to chip giant Intel to telecommunications companies.

Intel (WiMAX site), one of the biggest backers of the technology, has shipped its first WiMAX chips to equipment manufacturers. Full-scale deployment of WiMAX is expected to begin in 2007. The company is also conducting about 50 WiMAX tests around the country to see how equipment from different WiMAX suppliers work together and how WiMAX service reacts to trees, buildings and different weather conditions.

Digital Signage Benefits:

-- Instead of a 150-foot range, WiMAX connects to the net from up to 10 miles!
-- WiMAX will be to DSL and cable modems what cellular was to land-line phones
-- Mobile electronic billboards and trains will maintain connectivity while moving! WiMAX knows how to seamlessly connect to the next access point - just like a mobile phone.
-- WiMAX offers fast T1 speeds
-- Lower bandwidth costs

There are many other benefits that will unfold for digital signage and numerous industries that will benefit from WiMAX. Stay up to date on WiMAX here.

Definition: WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability of Microwave Access) is a standards-based technology enabling the delivery of last mile broadband wireless access as an alternative to cable and DSL. WiMAX will provide fixed, nomadic, portable and, eventually, mobile wireless broadband connectivity without the need for direct line-of-sight with a base station. WiMAX will offer enough bandwidth to simultaneously support hundreds of businesses (or digital signs) with T-1 speed connectivity and thousands of residences with DSL speed connectivity.

Webpavement will post more topics on bandwidth as it relates to digital signage in future blogs.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Get Your Groove On LED

Thought our readers would be interested in this message entry on Engadget (picture included).

It's an LED Dance Floor! It has 1536 diodes supporting 4,096 colors - Wow.

Looks like a good format for beverage ad insertions.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Digital Signage to Benefit the Advertising Chaos Scenario

The Digital Signage industry will benefit from the so-called advertising Chaos Scenario.

In an epic 5,500-word front-page article in the April 4 print edition of Advertising Age, columnist Bob Garfield laid out a sweeping vision of an advertising industry caroming toward chaos and disruption wrought by the digital media revolution. Boiled down, his theory goes something like this: The marketing industry is currently whistling past the graveyard and largely ignoring signs of massive, fundamental changes in how the business of mass marketing will be conducted in the near future. The broadcast TV model is working less well each year and will eventually cave in on itself as it reaches ever-fewer viewers with a fare of low-quality programming and mind-numbing clutter. Marketers will increasingly abandon it.

But despite their glitzy promise, the aggregate of new digital technologies -- from Web sites and e-mail to cell phone content, video on demand & digital signage -- lack the infrastructure or scale to support the minimum amount of mainstream marketing required to smo!othly sustain the U.S. economy. The result, as the old systems are abandoned and the insufficient new systems struggle to carry an impossible advertising load, is what Garfield calls "The Chaos Scenario" -- a period of serious disruption moving like a tsunami through the marketing business as well as the economy and the broader society itself.

Outdoor Electronic Billboard Law and Regulation


Electronic billboard (Digital Signage) installation and the methods of advertisement presentation vary from state to state.

California electronic billboards are restricted from changing displays more often than every four seconds.

In Nevada, full-motion billboards are allowed on the Las Vegas Strip

Georgia forbids electronic billboards that change messages more often than every 10 seconds

Other states set an 8-second minimum between changes.

In Pittsburgh, Council recently passed a law that limits electronic signs to amber text or images on black background. Under that regulation, electronic message boards must be incorporated within traditional signs. They may be no larger than 24 square feet per side, each message must stay in place for at least 15 seconds, and no animation is allowed.

Only four states long ago banned electronic billboards: Maine, Vermont, Hawaii and Alaska

As for safety, the Outdoor Advertising Assn. of America (website) rejects claims that electronic billboards compromise public safety, pointing to a Virginia Tech study that found drivers are not distracted by billboards. The billboard industry, however, paid for the study and carefully avoided any detailed examination of electronic billboards.A much broader study by the Federal Highway Administration's office of real estate services reviewed research on electronic billboards and found mixed evidence about their safety.

A federal study found a widespread lack of understanding of the issue. "Unfortunately, the subject is not well documented," it says. "At this point, it appears there is no effective technique or method appropriate for evaluating the safety effects of electronic billboards on driver attention or distraction."

In a memorandum dated June 12, 1998, the Federal Highway Administration agency ruled: "After careful consideration, we have concluded that such signs using flashing, intermittent or moving lights to display animated or scrolling advertising raise significant highway safety questions because of their potential to be distracting to motorists."

If you are considering a single electronic billboard or a network of billboards, you should first check with your state's current general assembly legislature on electronic signs.

Webpavement has the technology and know-how to help you with your electronic billboard initiatives. We believe up-front due diligence and capital expenditures are worth your effort because the bureaucracy in obtaining the proper permits limit the amount of competition for electronic billboard advertising products.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Know Your Shoppers for Retail Digital Signage

The multimedia displayed on digital signage should match your consumer target. We read an article which categorized shoppers (see graph). The study from research firm Adjoined Consulting drew from interviews with over 1000 shoppers.

There are 4 kinds of shoppers:
  1. Thrifties tend to be 18 to 27 with income of less than $60,000
  2. Allures tend to be female with income of more than $100,000
  3. Speedsters tend to be older, middle-income males
  4. Elites are baby-boomer males with incomes of more than $100,000

Some other information from the study:

  • More than 97% still shop in bricks-and-mortar stores
  • Newman Marcus is the favorite department store
  • is the #1 online store and Wal-Mart is the #1 mass merchant
  • About 32% of shoppers rely on word-of-mouth (others can be influenced by digital signage products and static POP)
  • The mall is the consumer's favorite place to shop

Further Proof of Large Format TV Commoditization

Excerpts from Article that explains the asian domination of manufacturing and the methods Dell and Hewlett Packard are taking to take advantage of a projected high-volume flat panel tv business. As you all know - lower prices translate into continued adoption of digital signage.

The surge in investment and proliferation of suppliers have driven panel prices down to levels unthinkable even two or three years ago. That has opened the door to a set of competitors the Asians never expected to face: Dell Inc. (NasdaqNM: DELL), Hewlett-Packard Co., (NYSE: HPQ) and others in North America. They are making a concerted push in flat TVs, sourcing the panels from Asia and using the same global supply-chain wizardry they have employed so effectively in PCs, printers, and other products.

The return of American TV brands sets the stage for an epic battle between the forces of commoditization and manufacturing innovation. In the first camp, Dell and HP are already two of the world's biggest buyers of flat-panel monitors, semiconductors, and other parts for PCs, so they have great leverage over the same Asian suppliers when it comes to sourcing thin-screen televisions.