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Tuesday
Sep162014

Digital Signage Is A Game Changer For Advertisers

Digital signage puts marketers and other communicators in charge of when and where their messages influence consumers. This may also mean changes in the way things get done and who’s responsible for those things.

Day after day, the media are filled with stories of who will do what if this politician or that party takes control. The headlines are filled with phrases like “seizing control” and “taking power” and stories about the ramifications of Democratic or Republican control of Congress.

“Taking control” is part of our daily lexicon, too. “He’s a take charge kind of guy.” Or, “She’s a control freak.” Everywhere you turn, life seems about controlling our words, our actions and our environment. At least it is in most spheres.

But I wonder, if you were to ask 10 communication managers how in control they feel about their marketing message, if even half could honestly say they’re in charge. Sure they design their messages and sign off on the creative product of their advertising agencies. But from that point on they start to lose control.

Marketers cast their messages out to the public through a variety of media, like the Internet, print publications, TV broadcast and radio, without really knowing whether or not the public is fully absorbing their messages. Today’s empowered consumer is far more likely to zap the commercials on their digital video recorder, change the radio station and turn past the newspaper and magazine ads, than they are to actually acknowledge the marketer’s message and take a desired action.

That’s why when it comes to taking control of marketing messages, no other medium appears to approach digital signage. With digital signage, marketers can influence shoppers when they’re in the buying frame of mind at or near the point of sale. They can day-part their messages, appealing to stay-at-home parents during one portion of the day and the after-5-work-crowd at another. Digital signage even allows them to control their messages on a micro-geographic level, targeting a neighborhood, ethnicity, age group, social strata or income like no other medium.

With digital signage, communication managers aren’t only in control of their message but also how, where and when that message is presented to a highly targeted market audience. Digital signage elevates the control over messaging to a level all managers dream of and few currently achieve. When looking at the practical results of this robust communication medium, digital signage is a game changer for advertisers.

Digital signage represents a new age for marketers and communication managers—and new way of thinking about content, one that can address in real time the ways consumers think and act in the purchase environment. Digital signage is not television. It’s not Internet. It’s not radio. It’s not print. It’s a completely different medium and requires a fresh approach.

Look around you. Don’t let this game changer pass you by and risk intellectual paralysis by overanalyzing the obvious. Digital signage is here to stay and is becoming the communication medium of choice for messages where consumer engagement and frequent changes in content are desired. Avoid hiring an agency with old-school paradigms; consider teaming with a full-service digital signage company that has a proven track record and will assume some accountability for your return on objectives.

David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with over 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. For many more helpful digital signage tips, examples and solutions, keep in touch with Little at KeywestTechnology.com.

Monday
Jul212014

State of the OLED Display industry from Barry Young of the OLED Association

Barry Young of the OLED Association outlines the current state of the industry today, as a lead up to the OLEDs World Summit, September 16-18 in Berkeley, CA. As managing director of the OLED Association, Young addresses such issues as the development of industry standards for OLED display and lighting, promotion of the technology and the resolution of industry-wide technical issues.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul092014

Digital Signage For Restaurants - Endless Possibilities

The food and beverage market increasingly improves the customer experience by deploying POS digital signage, typically provided in the form of dynamic menu boards. Unless you live in a cave and hunt dinosaurs for your daily nourishment, you likely have been mesmerized by a dynamic menu board at some point in your search for food this week. However, this is just the beginning of the improved customer experience for restaurants—the possibilities are endless.

Let’s first consider the low-hanging fruit that makes dynamic menu boards so effective for restaurants. According to Nielsen’s third-quarter (2013) Digital Place-Based Video Report, ad recall for POS-type digital signage is typically in the 60% range, which is more than twice the average recall of static signs—menus or otherwise.

This is the reason you can so easily recall the rich color of a creamed latte topped with cinnamon spice at your local coffee shop. Or, depending on where you dine, maybe you can easily recall dynamic advertising for the most awesome, juiciest pub burger that can fit in the mouth of man. I saw such an ad not long ago and it just keeps playing in my memory like a favorite song.

Such recall makes it a natural choice for promoting those more seasonable and profitable food items at the right time and place. According to a Networld Media Group report, Digital Menu Boards and ROI, the average sales lift of any digitally promoted item on menu boards averages around 3-5%, which means that payoff for such a system most often occurs in one year or less.

The restaurant market definitely benefits from digital signage, although the possibilities only start with ROI and grow from there. Improving the customer experience is also about a return on objectives (ROO). Case in point: Medicine Eat Station in San Francisco. This upscale downtown tofu shop is using digital signage for ambience. The integrated sign system creates the atmospherics of “living in harmony with nature” that is accentuated by 4 vertically rotated 42” plasma panels built into the wall of the eating gallery. To accomplish this, high-definition video footage of the Rocky Mountain landscape is used for real-time imagery. The programming lasts for about an hour before it repeats. At first glance, it appears to be a still image. But wait, this is real-time imagery, meaning that the clouds slowly cross the screen. A 4,000-year-old Bristle Cone Pine occasionally wavers in the Rocky wind. Light and shadows change constantly, as if you are really there.

This is a great example of ROO, but unfortunately digital signage used as a canvas for art really hasn’t caught on yet. It is by no accident that Medicine Eat Station built this to look like one giant window. It is very cool to experience, meaning that it adds to the purpose of customer satisfaction, just like ambient music, lighting, colors, etc.

Money managers are already pounding their fists, shouting, “Where’s the ROI!” Of course, it’s possible to occasionally slip in an advertisement on the example above, but this might be detrimental to the return on objectives and may compromise the result. Digital signage is not just about sales lift; it’s also about creating a return on objectives. ROO creates a value that cannot be counted in terms of dollars and cents directly. However, ROO leveraged wisely does produce ROI.

Many more POS digital signage opportunities are possible for food and beverage venues. Imagine if you will these scenarios:

  • A sports bar with digital screens showing “this week’s sports highlights” via pictures, video replays, etc., is a natural place to present promotions to a viewing audience already buying food and beverage. This kind of content adds to customer satisfaction and experience and is available through readily available prepackaged syndication. 
  •  Engage patrons with an on-screen sports trivia experience (or any other trivia for that matter) that encourages participation by offering a coupon for the right answer. This can be done by using a QR code to facilitate the “answer” to the on-screen question.
  •  In a QSR setting people are often interested in news, sports, and weather. These interests can be satisfied with existing TV programming and mixed with on-screen ticker announcements, such as today’s special, menu promotions, seasonal sales, etc.
  • How about a trendy restaurant that displays works from local artist. The LCD monitors hang on the wall with picture frames wrapping them. Maybe patrons vote on the best art. Owners could join forces with local art schools, art societies, and public support groups. Ultimately, this could tie-in to customer satisfaction and experience. Who is not uplifted by good art, and for that matter, good food?
  • In downtown districts, many restaurants depend on people walking buy. Instead of using posters turning yellow on windows, why not project clear and crisp digital images directly on the window! The technology exists but hardly anyone uses it. The projector cost is about the same as a large LCD screen, although projector bulb replacement would add to maintenance costs. If that’s a major concern, then laser projectors are an alternative with much longer maintenance cycles. These images could be today’s menu special, happy hour enticements, a new menu item that you can almost taste, a soothing cup of fresh ground coffee on a chilly morning, or just good old branding that reinforces quality services, etc.
  • Now let’s turn to the nightclub scene where people are hopping and bopping on the dance floor. Bizarre curved screens are splashed like clouds above them with computer-controlled graphics flashing to the beat. During breaks, projectors are switched over to digital signage where various branding and POS offers are made.

I hope you thought of at least one example to add to this list. Please comment and share your example of ROO. When it comes to creativity and return of objectives for restaurant digital signage, the possibilities are endless.

David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with over 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. For many more helpful digital signage tips, examples and solutions, keep in touch with Little at KeywestTechnology.com.

Monday
Jun162014

The Forgotten Digital Signage Application

Digital signage for manufacturing plants is probably the least understood and talked about of all applications. However, when it comes to applications that yield qualitative benefits, digital signage can display critical production line alerts, plant metrics and reinforce safety information that make it an instrumental resource for any modern operation.

Oftentimes, ROI of digital signage for businesses is spoken of in terms of cost savings, measured impact on sales, improved customer experience, brand reinforcement and the like. But when it comes to manufacturing plants, ROI is often first realized with an improvement in safety. The cost savings of a safer work environment is huge, especially considering that just one injury costs a plant $78,000 on average.  This is where digital signage can shine in manufacturing, considering how well and easy it accomplishes repetitive and engaging communications that include safety reminders and alerts. 

Modern manufacturing often involves lean manufacturing initiatives, which digital signage can address with built-in production data integration. Digital signage often supports “set it and forget it” programming, so floor managers can spend more time on the floor accompanying their plant workers, which has a tendency to boost morale and promote teamwork. With digital signage on the production floor, displays easily communicate reliable and timely production metrics, such as, quality control, up-to-the-minute production totals, inventory levels, and assembly line alerts.

For manufacturers that employ Kaizen initiatives, digital signage is an asset. It can increase worker safety awareness, improve plant communications, alert workers to supply-chain concerns, and help reduce response time for production quality issues, more so than less-agile communication methods. It can also eliminate or greatly reduce print publishing that will help eliminate waste, too.

Company communication is also a major challenge on the plant floor. Considering that 40% of workers don’t have access to e-mail, plants often rely on word-of-mouth and bulletin boards to get their message across. This is not very effective or efficient. Digital signage placed away from the production floor where workers take breaks, socialize and eat have proven to effectively communicate company updates, reminders and messages. Employee contests and event highlights can be broadcast to increase worker morale, supporting overall the team atmosphere that foremen work so hard to achieve.

Digital signage for manufacturing is an excellent reminder that ROI can occur in so many ways; let’s not forget it when we figure ROI for any industry.

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making business communication as enjoyable as a day at the beach. For more information, visit www.KeywestTechnology.com.

Thursday
Jun052014

Portwell Announces New High-Performance PEDA-S1530 Panel PC Series Based on Ultra-Low-TDP 4th Generation Intel Core Processors (Formerly Codenamed Haswell)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PORTWELL ANNOUNCES NEW HIGH-PERFORMANCE PEDA-S1530 PANEL PC SERIES BASED ON ULTRA-LOW-TDP 4TH GENERATION INTEL® CORE™ PROCESSORS (FORMERLY CODENAMED HASWELL) FREMONT, CA. – June 5, 2014 -- American Portwell Technology, Inc., (http://www.portwell.com) a wholly owned subsidiary of Portwell, Inc., a world-leading innovator in the Industrial PC (IPC) market and a Premier member of the Intel® Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Alliance, announces PEDA-S1530, a new high-performance and fan-less panel PC with five-wire resistive touch screen. The Portwell PEDA-S1530 Panel PC is powered by the ultra-low-TDP 4th generation Intel® Core™ i7/i5/i3 processors and Intel® Celeron® processor, and includes 4GB DDR3L SO-DIMM memory which can be upgraded to 16GB. The fan-less design ensures silent operation, improved reliability and reduced maintenance costs. Equipped with a 15-inch True Flat five-wire resistive touchscreen and a resolution of 1024 x 768, the PEDA-S1530 comes with an IP65 rated front panel, and is housed in an aluminum bezel with anodizing coating. This allows PEDA-S1530 to operate under harsh environments. In addition, the PEDA-S1530 features all required interfaces for industrial application: 1 x HDMI port, 1 x DisplayPort, 2 x Gigabit Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0, 2 x USB 3.0, 1 x RS-232/422/485 port, 3 x RS-232 ports, 1 x 2.5" SATA HDD or SSD, 1 x mSATA device and a Compact Flexibility from Embedded eXtension (CFEX) slot for storage capacity. Two SMA antenna holes provide optional WiFi and 3G function via Mini-PCIe add-on card and SIM card reader. Modularization is the major design concept for Portwell’s PEDA Panel PC series, which enables the panel PC unit separated into an independent “PC box” and a “touch panel display”. As a result, users can choose different sizes of panel from 12.1˝ to 21.5˝ to integrate with the “PC box” by customized cabling. PEDA-S1530 also includes a friendly, tool-less installation design for quick and easy hard drive installation. Portwell’s PEDA-S1530 features a built-in expansion slot allowing users to implement various half-size PCI Express cards to meet different industrial requirements. It is designed with CFEX, a new CompactFlash (CF) technology initiated by Portwell and adapting legacy CF type one with advanced pin definitions. This helps overcome reliability issues with standard commercial memory. CFEX also supports SATA 3.0, SPI and other extensions, and achieves a read speed of 100 to 120Mbyte/s and write speed of 45 to 75Mbyte/s. Compared with other CF devices, it falls in the same low-cost bracket as CF and CF SATA and is less expensive than CFast. Additionally, the Portwell PEDA-S1530 supports 12~24V wide range DC input for various operating environments. The PEDA-S1530 offers panel mounting and is equipped with standard 100mm x 100mm VESA mounting holes. It supports many mainstream operating systems, such as Microsoft® Windows® 8, Windows 7 and Linux™. # # # Product details: http://www.portwell.com/products/detail.asp?CUSTCHAR1=PEDA-S1530 Product availability: In addition to American Portwell Technology, Inc., the Portwell PEDA-S1530 Panel PC is also available through Arrow Electronics, Inc. and Avnet, Inc. # # # About American Portwell Technology American Portwell Technology, Inc., is a world-leading innovator in the embedded computing market and a Premier member of the Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance. American Portwell Technology designs, manufactures and markets a complete range of PICMG computer boards, embedded computer boards and systems, rackmount systems and network appliances for both OEMs and ODMs. American Portwell is an ISO 9001:2008, ISO 13485:2003 and ISO 14001:2004 certified company. The company is located in Fremont, California. For more information about American Portwell’s extensive turnkey solutions and private-label branding service, call 1-877-APT-8899, email info@portwell.com or visit us at http://www.portwell.com. Intel, Intel Core and Intel Celeron are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States and other countries. All products and company names referred to herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders. # # # Product Contact: Scott Chen Product Manager American Portwell Technology, Inc. 510-403-3346 scottc@portwell.com Media Contact: Susan Wei Marketing Executive American Portwell Technology, Inc. 510-403-3354 susanw@portwell.com
Tuesday
May202014

DHR Advances Corporate Communications with Digital Signage

RB Industries, a leading bespoke signage company for hotels, provided digital signage for Destination Hotels and Resorts at their corporate headquarters in Denver. The turnkey solution includes Keywest Technology digital door signs and an interactive digital wall display, content, programming, property specific custom surrounds, as well as installation and integration with existing property management software.

 

LENEXA, Kan. (May 20, 2014) –Destination Hotels and Resorts (DHR) is taking corporate communications to a new level using advanced digital signage systems supplied by Keywest Technology. RB Industries was selected as a preferred vendor to supply the turnkey system, which includes an interactive video wall in the lobby where guests are engaged with multiple screens filled with up-to-the-minute content. Additionally, nine digital door signs are used in the conference area of the Denver-based corporate office to provide room schedules that are automatically sourced from the on-premise Microsoft Exchange server.

With over 30 years of experience providing traditional hospitality signs used for a variety of applications, RB Industries has built a solid reputation working with the finest designers and architects of some of the world's leading resort properties. RB Industries has learned over those years that multiple communication systems not only enhance communications, but also increase operational efficiency, something their clients have increasingly been seeking.

According to Brian Murphy of RB Industries, his company has become an advocate of digital signage where added efficiencies via automation can make positive contributions by more effectively promoting useful information as another customer touch point. Murphy stated, “Digital signage will greatly improve communications for DHR through the use of data automation in the conference rooms, and a separate system in the lobby will engage visitors with interactive visuals that will help tell the compelling DHR story and inform guests of services and amenities offered by the upscale franchise. All of this has realizable ROI and ROO (return on objectives).”

Sam Ruggles, Keywest Technology’s digital solutions manager for hospitality systems, concurs with Murphy that digital signage can address both ROI and ROO in hospitality communications. “ROI is often realized just through cost savings from reduced printing and labor alone,” Ruggles said.

Ruggles also related that even though bottom-line savings are important, the bigger picture has to do with getting more work done with less which points to a return on objectives that can achieve multiple organizational goals of managers across the board.

To this end, Ruggles noted, “Imagine welcoming your conference guests with timely room schedule and wayfinding information as they arrive in your lobby via a digital reader board—this is good customer service. Customer service can be further enhanced by promoting useful services and amenities via a large, dynamic, interactive display that takes it a step further.”

The fully interactive reader board in the lobby uses Keywest Technology’s MediaZone Pro digital signage software in combination with custom creative, which provides an engaging guest experience on the multi-panel display system. The company is also supplying its Android-based SignWave digital door sign system to effectively display room-scheduling information sourced from DHR’s Microsoft Exchange server.

Keywest Technology turnkey services included working with DHR managers to develop custom content for a holistic user experience that will aid guests from the moment they arrive to the moment they leave the premises without adding any additional human resources.

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making business communication as easy as a day at the beach. For more information, visit www.KeywestTechnology.com.

Wednesday
Apr302014

Why You Should Consider Adding Sticky Content to Your Digital Sign

When executed properly and in the right context, digital signage can leverage sticky content to inform, inspire and motivate. It provides a concrete reason for viewers to return their glances again and again.

 

What is sticky content? The term comes from Internet lingo. It refers to content added to a website that has the purpose of getting users to return to that particular website and hold their attention longer than just a glance. This is why we commonly see such things as Internet games, weather, news and horoscopes on personalized web portals.

There’s no question that the traits of sticky content can also be useful with many digital signage applications. As many longtime operators of digital signage systems and networks will tell you, advertising loops are not very “sticky” when removed from the context of point-of-sale locations (POS). After all, how many of us flop in front of the television and flip on the “advertising channel” for late night entertainment?

 The question we explore today is how this principle of sticky content can be applied to digital signage, and because content matters, what is likely the best sticky content when using digital signage in point-of-wait (POW) and point-of-transit (POT) locations. It’s important to know and distinguish the psychological differences between viewers’ attention spans and perceptions in all three possible contexts of digital signage. If you need to brush up on content guidelines quickly, the Digital Sign Content Best Practices guide from the University of Michigan should help you.

Basically, sticky content is about piggybacking existing content onto another medium to yield a greater value. For example, NASA scientists are considering a plan to piggyback future astronauts on –or even inside- asteroids orbiting between Earth and Mars to shield them from cancer-causing space radiation during trips between the planets.

While the proposal has some disadvantages, it offers the space agency an appealing, elegant way to sidestep problems like building a rocket big enough to boost heavy, man-made shielding into space as part of the spacecraft.

The plan draws on an ancient concept: Piggyback on –or inside- a more powerful object to get to a desired destination. Whether it’s buckling up in our cars, riding an elephant into battle after traversing the Alps, or climbing into a hollow wooden horse and being rolled up to the gates of Troy, the concept of piggybacking has a track record for success.

In the world of digital signage, sticky content piggybacks to your message and plays an important role in yielding a greater viewer value because it delivers something people generally want—to be entertained. Nothing can really do this better than television.

Just as television can inform, motivate and inspire its audience to take action, so too can it enhance your digital signage message. Simply throwing a TV channel on a digital display doesn’t automatically leverage the public’s love affair with TV. However, when executed properly within the agenda of a communication strategy with measureable goals, digital signage content that embraces television can piggyback on its stature in our society to cut through the noise and deliver powerful messages to customers that otherwise might be ignored.

Of course there are both technical and legal challenges that make it imperative to work with professional providers who can properly setup systems, support installations, and create branded playlists with an appropriate mix of content—in other words, providers who are accountable for obtaining results. And fortunately, with today’s digital signage advances, this is much easier than traveling to Mars.

About Author
David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with over 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate their unique marketing messages. For many more helpful digital signage tips, examples and solutions, keep in touch with Little at KeywestTechnology.com.

Wednesday
Apr162014

Cyclists benefit from vandal-resistant, all-weather kiosks deployed in Japanese self-service bike rental stations 

Zytronic’s proprietary Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™)has become synonymous with providing the highest levels of robustness in unsupervised touchscreen implementations. The company has now announced that its innovative and proven interactive technology, through its Japanese distribution partner, Minato Electronics, been specified for a new outdoor, public-use application. Bike sharing pioneer Pedal LTD. has begun integrating PCT touch sensors into its environmentally-friendly Inter Street rental kiosks, allowing riders to select and hire a bike in a quick and easy manner.

The Inter Street systems are already in the process of being installed throughout Kawagoe city, close to Tokyo. Thanks to the rugged, high performance touch functionality provided by Zytronic, their user interfaces provide year round, reliable outdoor operation, as well as an accurate and fast touch response. Each rental kiosk has a 12-inch customized ZYBRID touch sensor, linked to a Zytronic ZXY100 touch controller using its latest ASIC for improved signal to noise performance. This highly successful, widely-used Zytronic product was chosen over alternative touchscreen technologies because of the high degree of reliability it can deliver in even in the most demanding environments.

Applicable to sizes reaching 82-inches or more, PCT sensors consists of an XY matrix of ultra-thin (10µm diameter) copper capacitor elements embedded into a laminated substrate. The resulting touchscreens function in extreme weather conditions, and are virtually immune to most forms of accidental and deliberate damage that unattended self-service terminals are regularly subject to. In contrast, touchscreen technologies that are reliant on front mounted or surface based detection methods have considerable drawbacks in such applications. Resistive and surface capacitive touch sensors, for example, are susceptible to scratches as well as general wear and tear, while optical and infrared technologies require an exposed (and therefore vulnerable) front-mounted bezel to house the transmitting and receiving touch detection electronics.

“Increased reliance on bicycles as a mode of transport clearly has many advantages. It eases of traffic congestion in urban areas and lowers carbon emissions, as well as contributing to a healthier society by encouraging people to exercise more regularly. Our bike rental system empowers this by giving both tourists and commuters greater access to the necessary resources,” states Hiroshi Hirao, CEO, Pedal LTD “The units needs to be able to cope with the rigors of day-to-day use, while also having sleek, attractive exteriors. We could see that through engaging with Zytronic we would be able to satisfy these key design goals.”

“Zytronic touch sensors have been utilized successfully in bike rental kiosks located in London, UK, Montreal, Canada, Melbourne, Australia and other cities. Adding Japan to this list represents another significant endorsement for our proprietary projected capacitive touch technology. As the Pedal LTD. systems are sited in unattended outdoor locations, they will be continuously exposed to the elements, as well as facing the rigors of heavy use and potential damage,” asserts Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director for Zytronic. “Choosing PCT helps to ensure 24/7 availability of the system whatever the season, avoiding costly and embarrassing periods of downtime for the operator.”

Contact us for more information
Thursday
Apr102014

Orpheum Theatre Goes Digital

Omaha Performing Arts’ Orpheum Theater recently finished the installation of a DynaScan 65″ ultra high brightness LCD at its front entrance last December. The new display is part of a modernization project, in which all poster-based display boxes were replaced with digital counterparts. The venue sought to update its display technology while preserving the old iconic poster frames and light boxes. For the front of the theater, it needed something bright enough to be seen in broad daylight, but it was also important that the brightness of the display could be turned down during evening hours.

Working with digital signage integrator, Keywest Technology, the company selected a DynaScan DS651LR4 for its sunlight readable image and large format size. The DS651LR4 is a 65-inch professional high brightness LCD featuring a maximum brightness rating of 3,000 cd/m², local dimming LED back light, low power consumption, and a fanless thermal management system for silent 24/7 operation.

Keywest Technology worked with AVIES (Audio Video Information & Entertainment Systems) to retrofit the light boxes in order to accommodate the new high brightness LCD as well as the installation of the screen themselves. For the main entrance, AVIES utilized the existing light box to house the 65” LCD, which not only preserved the historic look of the theater but provided security and protection of the display from the outdoor elements.

The display is used to feature promotional information on upcoming performances and events taking place at the theatre.

A total of 24 various display panels were installed during the project. The marquee on the face of the building was replaced by LED panels, and all poster boards were replaced with modern digital displays.

Omaha’s celebrated Orpheum Theater has served as the home of the finest in local and national performing arts for nearly a century. Located in Downtown Omaha, the Orpheum underwent a major $10 million renovation in 2002 and the ornate splendor of this magnificent theater was enhanced to better serve patrons and artists. A cornerstone of Omaha’s cultural history, this former vaudeville house was constructed in 1927. Recent renovations have restored its ornate splendor – and enhanced acoustics and views.

This article was written by our guest blogger, Scott Pickus, of DynaScan. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.
Wednesday
Mar192014

EM Digital Signage an innovative Technological Advancement for Retail Sector

Improving the customer experience is a major goal of any successful business. In today’s world, with the proper and intelligent use of technology, a company can improve the way they interact with your customers. Digital Signage introduction in the market has proved to be great  technological for many sectors like, for retail banking services, health education, public-private, schools, shopping centers, restaurants, airports and subways, digital signage has made its way everywhere and these sectors are benefiting from it . This technology helps global organizations to achieve their marketing and strategic advertising goals in the market. In this article we will focus on digital signage solutions for retail.

If we look in today’s technological world, we will find lot of customers, who want to access products, services, discounts, information, opinions and professional advice, whether online or in a retail store. Retailers can use this "thirst for information" to their benefit and deliver a multi-channel, interactive shopping experience with Digital Signage solutions. Let’s look at some benefits that digital signage solutions can provide to customers.

The digital signage is quite well-designed and well- placed product that can help retailers in many ways like:

  • It improves the environment at home or in-store.
  • It increases the efficiency of merchandising, in-house branding and sales.
  • It is an ideal product that can be used to communicate current offers, special offers, and discounts to the desired customers effectively.
  • It improves the operational efficiency of the various areas of the store or business.
  • It brings dynamic change in the business environment.
  • It is considered as ideal in providing rich media advertising program and earn revenue by placing third party advertising.
  • It is ideal for displaying personalized content based on time of day, week, and month or year format.
  • You can easily display pieces of information of general interest, such as news, weather and sports.

Meeting the challenge of buying behavior:

Modern retail customers are technically savvy and equipped with the latest communication technologies and smartphone mobile. With access to the Internet, the rapid adoption of social networks and mobile devices has changed consumer buying behavior. To handle this shift in consumer behavior, retailers need relevant and necessary information in order to convince customers to make a purchase. Customers are anxious about their favorite brands, more discounts, and social media profiles of their brands, which then share with your social network to learn.

With the help of EM digital signage solutions, retailers can benefit from this behavior. Retailers need to offer their customers discount offers, social media profiles, loyalty programs, etc, are committed to increasing their sales and brand awareness

More value for the physical experience

If you trying to add value to the experience of your privilege customers and attract new customers, and look for solutions that will bring in interactivity. Digital signage attractively can improve a lot for retail stores, by providing related information to the customers regarding products and customer education, but also for the brand image. Through the guidance of customers, products and services, reducing waiting time and provide quick information and offers gifts to bring a signage solution for stunning results in a physical retail environment.

Sales and Brand Development

Recent Studies have showed that 40 % of customers are influenced in their decisions to purchase digital signage at point of sale. This shows the power of rich media content in stores and retail stores, and most of major brands in large economies have benefitted a lot from digital signage solutions.

Conclusion:

In today’s rapidly advancing world, it has become vital for retailers to bring latest technological advancements solutions for digital media in their retails outlets. It will not only enhance the interaction, but sales, marketing, merchandising and overall brand experience. Finally, the right partner is mandatory to implement a digital signage solution is the key, having the right partner, you can stay on budget and successfully achieve your desired results in store digital marketing. EM Digital Signage solution not only provides end- to-end solutions, but also understands you’re over all digital marketing strategy requirements.

Wednesday
Mar122014

Keywest Technology Releases New White Paper Emphasizing Interactive Future

The white paper explores why customer engagement amplifies marketing impact. It further explains how the marriage of interactive technology with digital signage opens a world of possibilities to savvy marketers.

 

LENEXA, Kan. (March 12, 2014) – Continuing the tradition of providing keen insight into the booming digital signage (a.k.a. digital-out-of-home, DOOH) media marketplace, Keywest Technology released a white paper today with the rather cheeky title, Give Your Digital Signage The Finger! It emphasizes how the marriage of complementary technologies is creating more opportunities for brand managers and marketers alike by integrating customer engagement into corporate objectives and strategies.

The premise of the white paper is based on the principle of synergy, which is this: the sum of related technologies holds a greater potential than any of the individual parts. The white paper makes a case that those who are willing to try something different also have the ability to succeed. The paper goes on to explain that by adding an interactive component to digital signage, the possibility of creating many forms of progressive customer experiences are greatly magnified.

David Little, Keywest Technology’s Director of Marketing, made this observation concerning the white paper’s supposition, “Imagine where we would be today without the smartphone? Do apps make the smart phone brilliant or is it the nifty swipe screen? What we are talking about in this white paper are synergistic products, and if you have a smartphone, then you know exactly what we are talking about—now let’s apply this thinking to business needs.”

To make sure the white paper remains practical and not just theory, two real-life examples are given in the “portfolio” section that highlight installations by national brands. The most exciting example of a synergistic product that Little mentions is referred to in the portfolio as a “digital concierge” application.

For example Sam Ruggles, the Hospitality Solutions Manager for Keywest Technology, advocates interactive digital signage where added efficiencies via automation can promote useful customer touch points. Ruggles stated, “Our digital concierge is the centerpiece [for hotels]. It operates on so many levels for individual guests that it truly becomes part of the hospitality service process and greatly enhances the quality of the guest experience.”

Rather than emphasizing the technology, the new white paper expounds the advantages of expertly integrating known and trusted technologies in clever ways that bring about improvements in self-service, wayfinding, product selection, and customer loyalty. This is a major departure from the non-interactive digital screens that work on the same principle as television, which have become so common in today’s marketplace.

Keywest Technology is making the white paper, Give Your Digital Signage The Finger!, available free of charge on major digital signage news forums, but interested readers can also download the white paper directly from Keywest Technology’s corporate website (KeywestTechnology.com) by browsing in the menu bar and selecting “White Papers.”

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in the Silicon Prairie of Lenexa, Kansas, the company is dedicated to making business communication as easy as a day at the beach. For more information, visit www.KeywestTechnology.com.

Monday
Feb102014

Quantum Materials Secures Funding to Initiate Expanded Tetrapod Quantum Dot Production

Quantum Materials announced financing for equipment to scale production of their tetrapod quantum dots. Quantum Dots are luminescent emitters just beginning to be used in ultra-high definition TV. Automation of the manufacture will provide highly uniform (better color purity) higher brightness, assured quantities for production and better pricing.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan282014

The Digital Concierge Comes to DSE14

Keywest Technology is pleased to announce that its innovative digital concierge hospitality application has been chosen by Philips MMD to demonstrate their integrated touch-screen display technology at the 2014 Digital Signage Expo.


LENEXA, Kan. (January 28, 2014) – Visitors at the 2014 Digital Signage Expo (DSE14) will be able to experience first hand how Keywest Technology’s innovative digital concierge application is benefiting hotel guests by giving information seekers options that reach beyond traditional efforts. Philips MMD is using the interactive software to showcase how combining creative endeavors with leading display technology creates very easy to deploy digital solutions that work on multiple levels of customer engagement.

The digital concierge does engagement better than other, less dynamic, information mediums, claims Keywest’s Brian Bibler, product innovator and chief designer. “Primarily,” Bibler says, “the digital concierge is about providing [hotel] guests relevant information that is just in the nick of time, which is the crux of digital engagement. For example, guests can find digital coupons for happy hour, dining availability and reservations, flight times, local event ticketing and weather forecasts.”

Keywest’s digital concierge provides information via touch screen icons. The icons provide avenues to relevant information, which are visually represented in stunning HD color and resolution on the commercial-grade Philips’ screens. According to Philips’ digital signage staff, commercial-grade displays provide the kind of durability that is very necessary in the 24/7 environments of digital signage applications like the digital concierge.

According to Keywest Technology’s reseller channel manager, Wes Dixon, the digital concierge works in concept much like a smartphone.

Dixon explains, “By using a large 46-inch touch screen in portrait orientation, our creative application works very similar to a smartphone that can pull data in real time, but instead of a bunch of disjointed apps, each icon provides helpful information that assists guests in using the amenities of the hotel and region with ambient data that is useful.”

The digital concierge can run stand-alone on any media player that meets the minimum specifications, and it can be easily controlled via Keywest’s cloud-based Breeze Digital Signage system. In any case, Keywest Technology recommends only the use of commercial-grade displays like the Philips MMD series to withstand the 24/7 service cycle.

DSE14 participants will be able to see the digital concierge along with the latest digital signage displays from Philips at booth number #1329. Digital Signage Expo will be at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 12-13.

About Keywest Technology

Keywest Technology is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that includes key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making business communication as easy as a day at the beach. For more information, visit www.KeywestTechnology.com.

Monday
Jan062014

Digital Signage Trending Beyond Fad

Disruptive technologies can greatly change society. For example, in 2007, Apple released the iPhone that had a massive impact on how and why people use phones. Yes, most of us still talk on phones, but we are using smartphones for just about everything else, too. How much longer will society tolerate anything less than “smart”, and what does all this mean to the future of digital signage? Life was certainly less connected before smartphones. For example, before most people knew that an Apple was more than a tasty fruit, I was fortunate (or unfortunate depending on your perspective) to have had one of the first smartphones on the market, a Toshiba Pocket PC. If you have never heard of this product, that’s probably because it was made about the time you were born or otherwise too young to care.

What do I remember about this phone? Nothing glamorous. It was slow, clunky to operate, prone to glitches, required rebooting about as often as Windows 95, even crashing with the blue screen of death on occasion!

And when I think about this a bit more, I realize the same could be said about legacy digital signage systems.

It just so happens I was involved with the nascent digital signage industry in the 90s, the same decade the original smartphones were invented. Yes, when I think about digital signage in the 90s, I can easily conclude it too was slow, clunky to operate, prone to glitches, required rebooting about as often as Windows 95, even crashing with the blue screen of death on occasion!

However, if I were to sum up digital signage starting in the 90s right up to the last few years, one would have to say that despite all of its quirks and limitations, it was glamorous. How about you? How did you feel about digital signage in its infant years? Try this; think back to the very first time you saw a flat panel television. You were likely spellbound with its thin stature and seductive HD resolution. If not spellbound, maybe you remember being gagged by its price with those early plasma panels costing over $10K each.

[Read: Digital Signage Perspective: High Definition Signs Grow Increasingly Important]

Peering into 2014 and beyond, I think we can safely say that digital signage is beyond glamorous—it’s a bona fide medium—at least for advertisers. For example, at the 2013 Digital Place-based Advertising Association (DPAA) summit held in New York City, the panelists agreed that place-based advertising (think digital sign media) would continue to rise through 2017 (up from 5% to as much as 25%). "I think place-based will outgrow [other forms of media] because it lends itself to targeting customers," said Chris Paul, General Manager AOD of VivaKi. "It is just a matter of technology, terminology, and industry understanding being in sync before we see dramatic changes."

What kind of dramatic changes is Paul alluding to? Possibly, the 2013 ANA/Nielsen Survey has the answer. The survey states that in three years, the importance of integrated multi-screen campaigns is expected to dramatically increase, from 20 percent of digital media purchases today to a projected 50 percent by 2016.

We might consider at this point the attributes that would lead to such optimism on spending. According to the survey, spending increases on multi-screen campaigns will require three main things:

• Verification that advertising achieved the desired result (noted by 71 percent of respondents) • Consistent metrics across screens (61 percent) • Verification that advertising was delivered to the right audience (59 percent)

Are you one of those that still think digital signage is a fad? Heads up! According to the AdNation News article, Digital Place-based Media, What’s Ahead?, there are strong reasons to believe it’s here to stay. The article reported a case study related by David Krupp, CEO of Kinetic, who shared information about Degree Women's "DO MORE" antiperspirant campaign.

“By focusing place-based media in gyms, likely to be seen by women while they were working out, the study concluded that consumers had better recall (56%) and a stronger intent to purchase (62%) than the control group. Krupp described Degree as ‘the right brand for the right environment’ because in this place-based campaign, it reached a large scale of consumers, who were in the right mindset to recall the product.”

So digital signage went from glamorous to a medium to a business almost overnight. It started out as an eccentric technology with a glamorous flair. Eccentric because no one was exactly sure what to do with it and how to best use it—plus it was unfriendly to use and awkward to manage.

But glamour alone does not build markets. Results build markets because investors put their money where opportunities look promising, and digital signage has been adept at getting results. Looking forward to 2014 and beyond, we can now make an educated guess at where digital signage is heading, and we need to look no further than the popularity of smartphones, online gaming devices, tablets and the Internet itself.

[Read: How Digital Signage Advertising Can Influence Your Customer More Effectively]

What do these popular technologies all have in common? The single thread that ties everything together comes in the form of engagement. Digital signage of yesteryear behaved more like our parents’ TV—it broadcast a message to its likely viewers without a plan for interaction. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course, but the big opportunity for digital signage going forward has more to do with engagement. Engagement is the way forward for digital media of all kinds, including advertising, branding, infotainment, videos, movies, gaming, and social media at large.

Please comment and let me know where you see digital signage going in 2014 and beyond.

David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.
Friday
Nov012013

Give Your Advertising The Touch Of Success 

Television programming is far from passé. Matter in fact, more people than ever are watching TV. For instance, consumers around the world are watching nine more hours of TV than they did in 2011. When you add in films, the average person is now watching 25 hours of TV and movie content a week. That’s great news if you are an advertiser, right? Not so fast.

Something has changed over the last sixty years of primetime television; the days of gathering around a 100-pound TV and eating TV dinners in the living room as a family affair are mostly over. Nonetheless, just over half of us sit and watch traditional live broadcast on televisions in the living room. It’s what we are not watching that may be disturbing to advertisers.

But before we go there, let’s consider the remainder of TV watchers. According to the 2013 report, Motorola Mobility’s Fourth Annual Media Engagement Barometer, almost half of television programming is consumed in other places and on other devices, such as, tablets, smartphones, computers, game consoles and DVRs. For instance, in countries like the United Kingdom, Sweden and Germany, more people consume media via their tablet than the trusty old flat-panel television, regardless if they are in the house or elsewhere.

The problem for advertisers is this: Despite all of the hours people watch television—the actual time spent viewing commercials has dropped precipitously. The aforementioned Motorola study reveals that 29% of all content is viewed after being recorded. And if you are an advertiser, you don’t need to wait until Halloween to be scared of this fact: 68% of global viewers record programming to skip advertisements on commercial channels, rising to 75% and 74% in the UK and US, respectively.

In other words, the viewers who record their favorite television shows on a digital video recorder will fast forward past $12 billion in advertising in 2013. How much of your ad budget will contribute to that sizeable sum?

It should be clear that digital technologies have enabled viewer choice, which is proving to be a challenge for advertisers who are counting on eyeballs being present during sponsored breaks.

With so much at stake, it’s no wonder why marketers are looking for alternate advertising avenues –ones that can target their desired audience, deliver control over playback to defeat ad zapping, and provide interactivity to engage potential customers.

Digital signage offers an appealing alternative –or at least supplement- to traditional television advertising. Delivering valuable product information and appealing marketing messages to consumers with dollars in their hands advances the goal of your advertising message. That’s exactly what digital signage can do in a retail setting.

Add to that the impact of interactivity via a touchscreen interface, and you have a technology to draw in consumers, engage them in your message and ultimately direct their buying decisions. All of this can tie into an omni-channel marketing mix that provides multiple consumer touch points and inputs.

Compared to a digital video recorder and commercial zapping, interactive digital signage offers you a technology for marketing that works with you to capture consumer attention and dollars –not against you. Isn’t it time to consider giving your advertising the Midas touch?

About the author:
David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.
Tuesday
Oct222013

Keywest Technology Announces Digital Concierge for Hospitality Industry

The hospitality package features a large, 55” digital concierge, which saw its first installation in the lobby of a Chicago hotel known for exceptional service in exquisite surroundings. The turnkey package also includes digital promotion signs, custom creative content and project-managed installation.

LENEXA, Kan. (October 22, 2013) –MileNorth Hotel in downtown Chicago, only a few steps away from the city’s renowned Magnificent Mile, is taking communications to a new level using the newly developed Breeze™ digital signage system. The project was conceptualized, created and project-managed by Keywest Technology’s digital artisans in cooperation with hotel signage experts RB Industries.

It’s only right that a crème de la crème hotel is properly outfitted with a custom system to fit the ambiance and to meet the high standards of convenience offered to guests system wide. With this challenge in hand, Keywest Technology worked with hotel management in crafting a 55” interactive sign (a.k.a. digital concierge) that is protected in a portrait view self-standing housing.

The housing contains two ViewSonic 55” LED backlit digital displays that operate in 1080P resolution. One side of the housing is used only for promotional messages, while the other side supports full-on interactive that provides guests key information, including:
• Hotel guest information
• Hotel amenities
• Hotel meeting room information
• Airport flight information
• Local attractions with wayfinding & QR codes
• Local restaurants with wayfinding & QR codes
• Local sports with wayfinding & QR codes
• and nearby shopping destinations.

In addition to the easy-to-navigate touch screen that provides an immersive guest experience, the digital concierge also sports time, date and weather info. An interactive weather widget provides local weather conditions with a 5-day forecast, something that Chicagoans don’t take for granted given their upper Midwest location next to one of the largest, windiest lakes in the world.

According to Sam Ruggles, hospitality solutions manager for Keywest Technology, his company advocates interactive digital signage where added efficiencies via automation can make positive contributions by effectively promoting useful information as another customer touch point. Ruggles stated, “Our digital concierge is the centerpiece for MileNorth. It operates on so many levels for individual guests that it truly becomes part of the hospitality service process and greatly enhances the quality of the guest experience.”

To this end, Ruggles noted, “Imagine providing guests with timely flight schedules, wayfinding and hotel information, even promotions for local attractions including dining, sports, shopping and museums without standing in line—this is good customer service. By providing this information in a creative environment that reinforces the brand, promotes local amenities and includes easy access, you have a solution—the digital concierge.”

The MileNorth installation also includes three 42” strategically placed digital signs that are powered by Keywest Technology’s new cloud-hosted Breeze system. This system enables ubiquitous management of the screens from any location through a web browser. It also provides rock-solid reliability, security and affordability with Linux-embedded media players.

Two of the 42” digital screens are located above the guest room elevators. With 29 floors including the C-View rooftop bar, guests occasionally have to wait 10-15 minutes during peak times for a lift. With these two signs, MileNorth management provides guests enjoyable infotainment to help reduce perceived wait times.

Finally, two additional digital signs are in the lobby area, with one being on the reverse side of the digital concierge broadcasting promotional messages and the third 42” display mounted near meeting rooms to provide event names, times and dates, much like a digital reader board. All said and done, the digital signage experience matches the sophisticated environment of MileNorth Hotel through a collaborative effort of Keywest Technology, Keywest Systems Group, Keywest Creative, RB Industries and hotel management. The digital concierge and Breeze digital signage system provide guest-facing interaction and personal assistance, omni-channel marketing think and an innovative infotainment media mix, meeting the diverse needs of hotel guests in this demanding four-star environment.

Keywest Technology is an authentic designer of digital signage systems offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that include key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making digital signage technically as easy as a day at the beach. For more information, visit KeywestTechnology.com.
Friday
Oct042013

Why Digital Signage Content is King – Part 3

“Context is king,” “results are king,” “content is king,” and on and on the media debate continues until everyone is blue in the face. And while "it's good to be the king," as funnyman Mel Brooks famously observed in "History of the World Part I," achieving that status can be complicated and treacherous.

In the kingdom of digital signage, things aren't much different. Creating fresh, compelling content worthy of regal status is no simple task. Large enterprises and even SMBs often turn to outside creative agencies or full-time in-house creative resources to build advertising campaigns that capture viewer interest and hold attention. Even though anyone can have a creative flair, some are endowed with creative genius, and thus exceptional work should not be taken for granted.

Regardless of the size of business, most communication managers recognize the benefits of digital signage but often lack the time, money and/or personnel to create fresh content on an ongoing basis. And fresh content is crucial if digital signage is to remain effective and relevant to audiences with specific and ever-changing needs.

Fortunately for us common folk, with a little planning and creativity, it's possible to sidestep these impediments and create a fresh stream of digital signage content on an ongoing basis.

In Part 2, I laid out in detail five tactics businesses can employ to reduce the expense of content creation, including: the use of templates; relying on digital signage software with automatic data import capability; leveraging existing digital media; integrating RSS feeds into digital signs; and taking advantage of cable or off-air TV reception. Here, I explain five more powerful tactics that can be of help in reducing the strain of creating fresh digital signage content.

Tactic 6: Consider offering internships to graphic art students from local community colleges, universities and institutes. Both paid and non-paid internships are a staple of the college experience, and local colleges and universities offering graphic art programs are filled with students looking for a chance to let their talent shine. Often, institutions will have requirements for companies offering internships to ensure their students are properly supervised and receive a quality experience. For a small business with a marketing manager who's able to invest the time to direct a student, offering an internship to a graphic art student to create fresh digital signage content can be a winner.

Tactic 7: Select digital signage software carefully, and be leery of the too-good-to-be-true marketing gimmicks and charlatans the industry is fraught with. Trustworthy companies are typically involved with the industry’s two major associations. And never forget, you get what you pay for holds true even with digital signage. Ask: How difficult is it to use? How much support is offered and at what cost? How long has this company been in business? Will they be in business next year? Does the software use an offline or online user interface? Which UI matches my needs better? Companies with limited time to devote to digital signage should carefully evaluate how easy the content management software is to use, because poorly designed software will waste epic amounts of time.

Tactic 8: Leverage existing non-digital assets, such as, brochures, flyers, sell sheets and catalogs. The good news for small and large businesses alike is they're probably sitting on a mountain of existing “analog” material that can be repurposed for use as digital signage content. Yes—these resources will need to be reworked to fulfill a specific requirement for digital signage use -something most business people don't have the time or talent to do. However, graphics art departments or interns should be able to make quick work of repurposing these sorts of resources as digital signage content.

Tactic 9: Subscribe to a digital signage content service for news tickers, sports scores, weather conditions, stock data and more. Broadcast TV channels aren't the only media entities that can crawl text across their screens. Businesses employing digital signage also have access to these resources through specialized content providers. Best of all, unlike cable news channels that seek to offer a broad range of news headlines, businesses can subscribe to feeds that more narrowly match their areas of endeavor. Doing so will make the digital signage content relevant and elevate the stature of the business in the minds of those viewing the signs.

Tactic 10: Add video from a Webcam or weather camera. Many digital signage controllers make it easy to integrate video from a live video camera. Imagine the possibility of a retailer at a ski resort using this capability on its digital sign to show the length of lift lines or views from a mountaintop lodge. Or, those responsible for signage at an airport might wish to integrate video from a camera mounted atop the control tower to display takeoffs and landings. Like integrating off-air or cable TV, Webcams and weather cameras offer a regular source of fresh content without having to devote personnel to the task -aside from setting up the camera in the first place.

Using these tactics can reduce the burden placed on a business to create fresh digital signage content. Any approach that can keep content fresh without taxing limited personnel and financial resources will prove in the long run to be an important element of succeeding with digital signage.

Would you like to read Part 4? Please share your ideas on Facebook or email blog@keywesttechnology.com. David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.
Thursday
Sep262013

Keywest Technology Launches Innovative Digital Signage System

Breeze Digital Signage promises stellar performance and affordability by using innovative cloud technologies, leading the way for Keywest Technology to provide an enterprise-class digital signage system worldwide. LENEXA, Kan. (September 23, 2013) –After four years of development and beta testing, Keywest Technology has officially launched Breeze Digital Signage, a hybrid cloud solution that reduces the expense and complexity of owning and managing digital signage systems.

“Keywest Technology is crossing a significant threshold with Breeze by offering a cloud-hosted digital signage solution that packs the features and functionality of our traditional hardware- and software-based digital signage solutions into a robust Web-based platform,” said Nick Nichols, president of Keywest Technology.

One of the major innovations of Breeze Digital Signage is its ability to scale from a pure software-as-a-service with zero hardware costs all the way to a “private cloud” solution that resides on local servers. This hybrid approach enables Keywest Technology to work hand-in-glove with business management’s operational needs, offering one of the most flexible systems on the market today.

Taking advantage of its hybrid flexibility, Breeze customers may choose a complete turnkey package, including hardware, custom creative programming, installation and a multitude of Keywest Technology services tailored to meet business objectives and goals. Conversely, Breeze may simply be used as a service (SaaS) where clients take on the creative design, hardware integration, server maintenance, system installation, etc. or, anything in-between.

Breeze provides operational ubiquity by being compatible with today’s most popular Web browsers, including Internet Explorer 10, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, with other HTML 5-capable browsers being added on future software updates. Breeze is also indifferent to computing platforms. It can be accessed and controlled from popular computer operating systems, e.g., Windows, Mac and Linux. Breeze offers professional digital signage management tools via a Web browser, to build and schedule effective digital signage communications quickly and easily. Breeze provides administrative privileges, allowing organizations to delegate specific content management responsibilities while maintaining overall control of content.

Once administrators and users login to Breeze Dashboard via a secured browser connection, they have access to a variety of powerful built-in tools to manage and schedule digital signage content quickly and easily. They include: a media scheduler, a playlist preview window, a timeline, RSS creator, report creator, nested playlist editor, approval queue and an events tool.

In addition to these management tools, Breeze Digital Signage also includes a rich complement of widgets that make it easy to add clocks, calendars, weather data, Twitter feeds, RSS feeds, streaming video, Facebook content, Sales Force CRM events and QR codes to digital signage screens. Many more content-sourcing widgets will be added with system updates at no charge. Also, custom widgets are available that are tailored to individual needs of businesses who would like to display unique information on their digital signs.

Upgrading and scaling Breeze is easy for users as well. Since Breeze is fundamentally a software-as-a-service offering, users don’t need to buy new costly computers or software every time they need a new feature. Rather, Breeze users can order custom widgets to aggregate private or syndicated data to achieve communication goals. Likewise, users are not locked into a specific service plan and are free to modify, or upgrade, their bandwidth and storage usage as required to “right-size” the system to their needs.

“Everything about Breeze removes cost and complexity from digital signage,” said Nichols. “Giving users the chance to change bandwidth and storage requirements as needed is another example of how we have strived to eliminate unnecessary expense from digital signage.”

Keywest Technology gives Breeze users two alternatives to support media playback. The company is making available a thin, VESA wall mount player optimized for digital signage playback, which runs the reliable and secure Linux operating system. Breeze users can also choose a virtual media player that works with any display devices that support HTML-5.

Breeze is available immediately through authorized resellers, channel partners and Keywest Systems Group. For more information about Breeze Digital Signage, go to http://www.breezedigitalsignage.com/

About Keywest Technology
Keywest Technology Digital Signage is an authentic developer of digital signage technology and a full-service provider offering digital signage products from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that include key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making business communication as easy as a day at the beach. For more information, visit www.BreezeDigitalSignage.com. ###
Wednesday
Jul312013

Why Digital Signage Content is King – Part 2

Part one pointed out that for many business owners -even those who understand the potential of digital signage- deciding to add digital signs to the communication channel raises a thorny issue: Who's going to create the content that feeds the sign network fresh information of interest to viewers in a professional format that makes a great statement about the business? Certainly there are a number of third-party content aggregators that can provide fresh information by using real estate on the digital signage screen, just keep in mind that too much syndicated content and you risk squandering your core communication strategy. There is nothing wrong with syndicated content; it’s extremely desirable for many kinds of communication strategies. It’s just that too much of it and your message becomes diluted to the point that, well…what is the point?

Most importantly, fresh content that is focused on your company’s communication effort is paramount if viewers are to keep coming back for reasons that meet your company objectives. Creating the right mix and balance of information sources is the ‘secret sauce’ only you and your stakeholders can answer considering business type and viewer preference.

Now on to the elephant in the room: Who is creating the content that is going to drive the company vision, value proposition, market differentiators, news, promotions and entertainment? Here, I examine solutions that go beyond the obvious answer of hiring someone like a full-time graphic artist or ad agency -two steps many business owners are likely unprepared to make until they see results that justify investing in professional talent.

Before you read my ‘elephant busting’ content tactics below, keep in mind that the success of any digital sign relies on having a clear communication strategy with stated goals and ways of measurement that are accepted by stakeholders.

Tactic 1: Create and use attention-grabbing templates that carry a consistent theme, which match a specific campaign, product or company branding effort. Templates reduce the complexity of creating digital signage content. They can be constructed to accommodate nearly all of the information -whether its menu items for a restaurant or special event listings in a hotel lobby- that a digital signage user needs to display. Once created, templates also minimize the time that must be devoted to the communications process because they can be used over and over again.

A well thought out template for digital signage will go far; plus, it can be repurposed for other campaigns with little effort. If you are short on manpower to accomplish this, consider your company’s website designer or nascent employee with starlet skills. Another possibility is to outsource the template design to a third-party firm. Either way, you are still in control of your key message.

Tactic 2: Select digital signage software that has the ability to automatically import data from company databases and content sources to relieve staff from re-keystroking data into the digital signage page. For example, a hotel might rely on event or property management software to track reservations, meeting room bookings and conference events. For instance, meeting room booking data, such as the name of the party renting the room could populate a text field in a template built for use on a digital reader boards outside individual conference and ballrooms.

Tapping into data automation is a great way to repurpose existing resources without needing a content manager, graphics artist, or a third-party service provider. Additionally, widgets or other software programs can be used to source news feeds, social media feeds, weather forecasts and corporate web pages. This could happen simply by sitting down with stakeholders and identifying pieces of data that could populate a digital signage template automatically without staff intervention.

Tactic 3: Leverage existing marketing, promotional and advertising materials to minimize the amount of original content that must be created. Existing content, including social media assets, TV, Internet or YouTube commercials, viral video and corporate video can be reused on digital signs when appropriate.

This may only require sitting down with the person in charge of marketing and finding out what media assets are available to repurpose on the digital signage system. If such media fits within your company’s communication objectives, your marketing department may be a rich source of Web videos, PowerPoint presentations, animations, logos and other valuable assets.

Tactic 4: Use RSS feeds to keep a stream of fresh content constantly updating on the screen. Depending on the business and the application, Internet RSS feeds from various sources can provide fresh, new content to attract viewers and hold their attention.

Better digital signage software will support RSS as a source feed. RSS feeds are often available directly from one’s website, which may be great way to reinforce corporate news. Additionally, there are countless sources of both local and national news feeds from many Internet providers on popular topics that could supplement a digital signage communication strategy.

Tactic 5: Rely on a traditional television programming to supplement your digital signage content. This may seem counterintuitive for a corporate digital signage channel, but TV is a proven medium that attracts attention. And placed in spots where employees take breaks, such as cafeterias or lounges could prove a dynamic way to provide both corporate messaging and entertainment all at the same time.

Some digital signage systems are available with optional TV tuners that allow programming to be imported into a digital signage layout. Integrating TV relieves much of the burden of creating a lot of fresh content.

However, there are a few caveats to keep in mind. The cable or satellite TV source may not allow retransmission of its programming without first paying a licensing fee. Another is possible competitive conflict. For instance, how would the owner of a used car lot feel about unintentionally displaying the commercial of a competitor on his digital sign?

Relying on these five tactics can help any business owner –small or large- create the content that gets and holds the attention of viewers without taking on a new employee or vendor. In my next column, I'll offer five more tactics that can be used to help create content, and may finally chase the elephant out of the room.

About the author:
David Little is a charter member of the Digital Screenmedia Association with 20 years of experience helping professionals use technology to effectively communicate. For further digital signage insight from Keywest Technology, visit our website for many helpful tips and examples. For more in-depth research from Keywest Technology, download our free digital signage white papers and case studies.
Tuesday
Jul232013

Keywest Technology Releases New Case Study Highlighting the Successful Formula of a Digital Sign Network 

Keywest Technology announces a new case study that highlights the journey of a fledgling digital signage advertising network, which reveals hard work must be matched by smart work.

From time-to-time Keywest Technology is given the opportunity to work with some of the leaders in the digital signage industry. When these leaders are at the grasp of success but only steps away from failure, new opportunities arise to learn more about how the technology we call ‘digital signage’ is changing the landscape for those that are in the advertising business.

The newly released case study, Simplicity, Reliability, and Remote Control Bring Success to Solara360 Digital Signage Franchising Plan, provides an insider’s view to the struggles of Dorn Beattie, CEO of Solara360 based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Concerning the recently published case study, Nick Nichols, president of Keywest Technology states, “We wanted to highlight what willpower looks like from an entrepreneur’s perspective. If I had to guess, one would think he graduated from Monsters University!”

At first blush it seems odd to compare the successful Solara360 digital signage ad network to Disney’s new animated hit, Monsters University, but readers might be surprised what the two have in common.

According to Sunny Chanel’s recent article, 10 Life Lessons to Learn from the Monsters, Beattie has learned most if not all of the 10 lessons to achieving success. His company might even be on its way to become a ‘screaming’ success, and best of all, you can join the fraternity.

Keywest Technology decided to highlight some of these life lessons in the just published case study that reveals a ‘can do’ attitude preceding Beattie wherever he goes. By refining his business plan after facing insurmountable odds, Beattie provided unstoppable tenacity to continue even when everyone else was closing shop.

The case study highlights the remarkable fact that working harder is not enough, but working smarter gets you closer to your goals in ways often unexpected.

To learn first hand how hard work combined with smart work gets real results, download the digital signage network case study at http://www.keywesttechnology.com/docman/White-Papers/View-category.html

About Keywest Technology Keywest Technology Digital Signage is an authentic designer of digital signage systems offering solutions from simple playback to large multi-sign and interactive networks. Keywest builds systems with a holistic approach that include key software technologies, creative design, system design, and comprehensive support. Based in Lenexa, Kan., the company is dedicated to making digital signage technically as easy as a day at the beach. For more information, visit www.keywesttechnology.com.

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