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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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Thursday
Jul182013

Laptop-Bennet Lies, Cheats and Steals

Laptop-Bennet (Xiamen Astonish Forest Electronic Co.,Ltd) is a company located in China that will take your hard-earned money, send you product that should be scrapped, and deny your RMA / refund requests. They will even go so far as to IP ban you for questioning their poor business practices.

Do not buy, sell, or do any business of any kind with Laptop-Bennet (Xiamen Astonish Forest Electronic Co.,Ltd).

If these words of warning are not enough refer to the pictures of the "product" they sent us. You can find the pictures at laptopbennetisascam.squarespace.com

Friday
Jun212013

Keywest Technology Joins ‘Ask The Experts’ Panel

PRESS RELEASE

Keywest Technology director selected as industry expert to Digital Signage Industry Educational platform: ‘The Guide to Dynamic Digital Communication’

LENEXA, Kan. (June 21, 2013) – Keywest Technology is excited to announce its support for the digital signage industry’s educational program called ‘The Guide to Dynamic Digital Communication’ (The Guide). We are also proud that David Little has been invited to participate as an industry expert answering specialist questions on digital signage software at the ‘Ask the Experts’ stand, European Sign Expo in London 25th to 27th June at the Excel centre.

“We believe that informed customers make better customers. The Guide is really an extension of an educational process Keywest Technology has been involved in for many years. We wanted to reach out to digital signage users and resellers in a forum that provides acute information equipping one for success. The Guide provides an unbiased tool that can assist any organization through a successful digital signage project,” said Little.

With a background in emerging digital technologies, Little worked for more than 10 years as an electronic field engineer with digital video equipment manufacturers before joining the newly formed Keywest Technology in 1999. Responsible for various activities including communications and product development, Little believes his most important time is spent with customers learning the ins and outs of their needs and how digital signage technology can best serve them.

In such a fast growing industry as digital signage, being able to research and make quick and accurate decisions allows organizations to improve the ROI on any digital signage project. The Guide! spans across 1,000+pages, containing over 1,200 images and video’s, hundreds of case studies and extensive reading options. It is an encyclopaedia of digital signage. Little went on to say that ‘The value of The Guide to any company across all verticals is priceless.’

Mark Morahan, the Editor of ‘The Guide’ states: ‘Real industry growth will only come by educating the end-users of the benefits of what our industry has to offer and providing them with inspiration and independent advice without the sales pitch. It is only then that they will be ready to become our customers’.

For More information on The Guide: www.tgddc.com To register for ‘Ask the Experts’: http://www.fespa.com/eurosignexpo

About Keywest Technology
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 www.keywesttechnology.com.

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Friday
Jun142013

Why Digital Signage Content is King Part 1

The digital signage industry borrows its favorite cliché from the media folks, which is: “Content is king.” Maybe we should ask at this point, if content is king, who is doing the coronation?

When I was a younger man, a college professor warned me against the use of clichés in my writing. The problem with clichés, he said, is that they are by definition “hackneyed” and “trite." Leave it to a professor to send me back to my dictionary to figure out what he was trying to say.

Being worn out, however, seems to be a matter of opinion. After all, how many people drive cars with more than 100,000 miles, especially in today’s economy? How many patch the knees of their kids’ blue jeans? Who discards a dull knife?

To me, clichés become clichés because they succinctly bundle a truth into a few memorable words, which become used to the point of exhaustion because they so aptly describe something. To “reinvent the wheel” with an original phrase might leave you “looking for a needle in a haystack,” requiring you to become “busier than a one-armed paperhanger” when a simple cliché would have conveyed your point without the fuss.

The kingship of content is easy to understand. If you want someone to read your newspaper, listen to your radio show, watch your TV program or look at your digital sign, you’d better give them a reason. That “tried and true” reason is content. It better be fresh; it better be interesting; it better serve your audience’s needs; and it better look just as professional as the competition’s presentation. And just as important, quality content must be presented in the proper context or otherwise interesting content becomes irrelevant.

Those who are successful in the media understand these truths instinctively. However, the same can’t be said for the digital signage universe. Sure, there are digital signage ad networks being put in place by media groups. Professionals in these groups understand the importance of content, but there is another vast group of digital signage users who aren’t professional communicators. They run independent retail stores, car lots, local restaurants, bars, and any one of a thousand other small enterprises. These people “first and foremost” are business people concerned with all of the things that got them to the level of success they’ve achieved so far. Adding digital signage adds another responsibility, the implications of which may not be fully understood.

Obviously, these small business owners are adding digital signage because they understand the importance of promoting their goods or services. But they likely don’t have the time, understanding or expertise to develop the content that fully exploits the potential of the digital signage medium.

For small business owners, this raises a critical question: If digital signage is king, who’s doing the coronation? In other words, how does a small business owner with limited resources create –or afford to hire someone to create- digital signage content that attracts the attention of viewers, holds their attention and influence the process of making a purchasing decision? How do they make their content king?

While there’s no simple answer that meets the needs of all small business owners, there are some straightforward, logical steps to make clear, effective, professional digital signage content possible. I’ll review this summer some of those steps to help small business owners put together the messaging they envision for their digital signs. Till then, at the risk of using another cliché, “stay tuned.”

Monday
Jun102013

Self Capacitive Sensing Brings Touch to Large-Screen Products

By Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director, and Dr. Andrew Morrison, Technical Director, Zytronic

The widespread adoption of projected capacitive (p-cap) touch sensing has contributed to one of the largest consumer electronics revolutions in recent years. As devices such as smartphones and tablets have proliferated, so a durable, sensitive touch-enabled user interface has become an almost mandatory feature for product designers in every field.

The vast majority of these devices are now based around a p-cap sensor, driving a phenomenal growth rate in this part of the touchscreen sector. Figures from leading industry analyst DisplaySearch show that, though still relatively new, p-cap has rapidly risen to become the most widely used touch sensing technology in the global market, overtaking the long established and increasingly commoditized resistive sensing technology.

This fast uptake has been driven by a compelling feature set, including an effectively unlimited lifespan conferred by a resistant all-glass surface, edge-to-edge design capability (with no requirement for bezels) and high levels of sensitivity. However, as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) seek to incorporate touch interactivity with a similar style and performance outside the portable consumer domain, there becomes a realization that touch screens which satisfy different set of design criteria are required.

Two choices of technology

OEMs can choose between two distinct types of p-cap touch sensing methodologies. The most common now, is mutual capacitance. This uses two separate conductive layers, one of which contains the sensing cells through which the position of the touch event can be identified, while the other has the driving cells through which an electrical signal passes. The cells are usually interlocking and each is connected to the control electronics. When the screen is touched, there is an alteration of the charge held within the local electric field, reducing the mutual capacitance built up between the two layers. This alteration is picked up by the cells in the sensing layer. Detection algorithms within the controller electronics determine the individual cells with the greatest change in charge, and output a corresponding X-Y co-ordinate to the host system.

The second “flavor” of p-cap sensing uses the principle of self-capacitance. In contrast to mutual capacitance, this technique employs a separated X-Y grid of open ended conductive lines connected to a controller containing the detection algorithms. The charge held on the lines is altered by human body capacitance, as the user’s finger comes closer to the touchscreen surface. The X and Y lines with the peak change in charge are detected and the touch co-ordinate is output to the PC.

There are a number of reasons behind the adoption of the mutual capacitance approach in consumer electronics. The technology is particularly capable of providing multi-touch functionality assuming sufficient cell density and controller IC power is available. The high density of individually connected cells makes it possible to gather and interpret the large amounts of touch data required to separate multiple independent touches.

However, conventional mutual capacitive screens can suffer major drawbacks when a designer attempts to move to larger form factors. In order to accurately track multiple touch points, the controller must capture data from each of the small individual cells. The bigger the screen, the larger the amount of information that need to be captured. Eventually the size of the data set becomes overwhelming. In practical terms once the touch display size reaches 15 inches (approx. 380 mm), the number of cell intersections that must be connected to and monitored by the controller becomes a major challenge. The increased complexity in the control electronics and connectivity also adds to the bill of materials and increases the required integration time and effort.

For those weighing between mutual and self-capacitive techniques, practical manufacturing issues also take on increasing importance as display size grows. Mutual capacitance solutions are generally based on a matrix of cells made of Indium Tin Oxide (ITO), a conductive, near-transparent material that is deposited and patterned on glass or film using a semiconductor-style photolithographic manufacturing process. ITO is widely used in applications requiring mass produced, small touch displays (such as portable consumer electronic devices), where the volume-friendly production process is a plus. However, if volumes are lower (and this often goes hand in hand with larger screen sizes such as those used in public, self-service applications for example ), the relative inflexibility of the ITO process and the high one-off cost of photo masks become more problematic.

Finally, in addition to manufacturing complexity and cost, there is a question of touch performance to be considered. For all its benefits, ITO has a relatively high resistivity. This means that as the display area increases, and the distance between cell and controller grows, the signal to noise ratio decreases rapidly, resulting in progressively lower touch sensitivity and in the worst case an inoperable device.

A self-capacitive alternative

Zytronic’s proprietary Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™) is a self-capacitive system that has been proven in deployments all over the world in the last 10 years, particularly in situations where larger screen size is required. Based on an X-Y matrix of micro-fine capacitors, embedded within a laminated glass substrate, PCT uses frequency modulation to detect minute capacitance changes within the conductive tracks.

A key attribute of this technology is its high sensitivity. It can detect a touch through very thick overlays, protective glass and even heavily gloved hands and therefore has an unsurpassed level of Z-axis sensitivity and control. This makes it eminently suitable for industrial and public access applications, and even for outdoor use. Because PCT requires unique detection algorithms running within the control electronics, Zytronic has also developed its own touch controller hardware and firmware, designed specifically to work with its PCT sensors. The latest controller  will output two separate touch co-ordinates, making it capable of supporting most gesture recognition and multi-touch software.

Two variants of PCT sensors are currently available. An ITO-based solution suits higher volume applications that require a rugged interface with a relatively small screen size, such as white goods and industrial vehicle telematics. Although this senses in the self-capacitive style, it uses the same basic manufacturing processes as mutual capacitive sensors designed for consumer electronic applications. For large format and lower volume applications, a solution based on copper is offered. Here, the capacitive matrix within the sensors is made of 10 micron diameter copper electrodes. One advantage of this material is its extremely low resistivity (10 times less than ITO) allowing touch detection without noticeable degradation of sensitivity, even on screens larger than 80 inches.  Another advantage of using copper electrodes is that they can be deposited directly onto the rear glass surface without the need for photo masks – this means that new designs can be quickly created, tested and manufactured with minimal effort.

Furthermore, the ductility of copper means it can also be applied onto curved planes. Microsoft ® Corporation made good use of this capability when developing a touchscreen for its Envisioning Lab (at the corporation’s global headquarters in Redmond, WA). A wrap-around ZYBRID® touch sensor was supplied for its conceptual 10 display multi-monitor workstation, called the Spatial Desk, operated through a single PCT touch-enabled surface and used to demonstrate the latest Microsoft technologies to key customers.

With a choice of materials and of mutual or self-capacitive sensing p-cap methodologies, OEM interface designers have a toolkit at their disposal that allows them to create a touch screen for any application, depending upon factors such as the deployment environment, touch performance, physical screen size and volume required.

An example of an unusual application solved by p-cap sensing occurred when advanced user interface specialist Sunvision Technology was asked to create interactive dining tables for exclusive Taipei restaurant Mojo. For this project, it was necessary to make the wooden tables touch sensitive. This required a technology with extremely high levels of Z-axis sensitivity and the capability to detect touch through the wooden surface of the dining table. With this challenging brief, Sunvision chose to embed Zytronic’s 22-inch ZYBRID PCT sensors behind each table top, linking each to a computer-controlled projector mounted above the table presenting interactive menus on the touch-enabled surface. With the touch sensors hidden from view, when coupled with software specifically written for Mojo by Sunvision, diners are now able to interact with projected images, scrolling through dining options, placing orders, playing games and messaging diners at other tables.

 

The ability of PCT to enable far larger screens than can be realized using conventional mutual capacitance alternatives is demonstrated by its increasing use by digital signage specialists such as Infinitus. Here a 65-inch version of the ultra-rugged ZYTOUCH® product was specified for the iMotion® high-definition digital signage systems designed for use in outdoor, public environments (such as ski resorts, plazas and amusement parks).

Design engineers in a broad range of markets outside of consumer electronics, are increasingly keen to adopt similar levels of touch interactivity already enjoyed in  the latest hand held tablets and smart phones. In the process, the limitations of conventional mutual capacitance techniques become apparent. The nature of the materials used and their manufacturing processes (with resulting economies of scale) normally employed in the production of mutual capacitive p-cap screens mean they will probably remain best suited to small format, high volume designs.

In more demanding, ruggedized applications, which require volume flexibility and large form-factors, alternative approaches are essential. As a result, p-cap sensors derived from advanced self capacitance sensing such as PCT are likely to remain at the forefront of such applications as industrial controls, self-service terminals and medical devices. This technology is already delivering touch interaction in products that simply would not have been possible using other methodologies and has the potential to enable further innovation in the future.

The continued improvement in p-cap controller ICs coupled with sensor developments using printable conductive inks and nano-materials are likely to extend the capability and use of this versatile touch technology family further still.

Thursday
Jun062013

Zytronic Develop Beta Working Solution to Support TUIO Protocol

We are pleased to announce that we have recently completed the development of an open source module that can convert our controller output data into TUIO (Tangible User Interface Object) data. TUIO is an open framework used by multi touch application developers that defines a common protocol and API for tangible multi touch surfaces.

Image source: http://www.tuio.org/

Our beta working solution will support TUIO protocol for our ZXY100 and ZXY200 multi-touch controllers. This server allows our customers to send the TUIO ‘cursor’ events from a Zytronic touch screen to a TUIO client application. (TUIO ‘object’ events are not recognised in these servers).

Now here’s the techy part…

The TUIO protocol brings some significant advantages to customers:

- Re-use of existing TUIO client software without modification

- IP (Ethernet/WiFi) connectivity between the controlling touch-surface and the application

The servers use the reference C++ code from the TUIO.org website to manage the UDP/IP communications.

One server was developed on Windows 7 with Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 and should be compatible with Windows 8. It receives touch events through the ‘WM_TOUCH’ events arriving to the full-screen application GUI.

The Linux server is built with standard Gnu tools. It takes events from the kernel’s ‘/dev/input/eventX’ interface. There is no GUI required.

These servers are available in source code format for our customers to explore and employ in their projects as they deem appropriate.

Zytronic holds a copyright on the code, but customers are free to use and share the code under the terms of the ### Gnu Public License v2/3“

NOTE: We are not claiming to have the ability to detect the generic TUIO objects/images that can be placed onto the surface of a touchscreen (as used in camera based solutions) but we do support the TUIO interface protocol.

Please contact Zytronic directly to receive more information on this latest development or a copy of the source code license.

Tuesday
May072013

How Digital Tablets Can Help Your Business Work Smarter

Adding up current 2013 gross shipments of digital tablets from all manufactures, the tablet market has quickly grown to be about the same size as the currently shrinking PC market. The tablet market is also witnessing rapid growth of desirable performance, useful features and handy apps, yet pricing remains attractive. This is potentially good news for businesses that are looking to fulfill their agendas with these practical devices for digital signage.

Many short or long term business objectives can be achieved using digital signage applications, which properly programmed, can bring greater efficiency, enhanced customer experience and potential cost savings for

• restaurant menus and ordering • conference room management • interactive kiosks in retail or service centers • POS signage • shelf talkers

Sam Ruggles, business solutions manager for an Android-powered digital door sign system, recently noted, “A key benefit of using digital tablets for door signs comes from the reduction of labor redundancies by automatically updating and displaying event and scheduling information using existing data.”

Ruggles makes reference to the networkability of digital tablets. Networkability provides access to databases of popular event management software (EMS) programs, such as, Microsoft Exchange Server/Outlook, Dean Evans EMS or MICROS Opera PMS, which gives digital tablets an instant source of vital event information to display at key locations for conference, meeting and training rooms—all automatically. This minimizes scheduling conflicts and participant confusion, empowering staff to do their jobs with greater effectiveness without putting more effort into it.

Just as we see with any digital device, there are a myriad of options and features that may or may not be useful in a business setting. That’s why it is important to consider selecting first a digital tablet vendor before splurging and buying a zillion units that may not fit your application.

A business should look for a vendor that is skilled at creating either Android or iOS apps that can be designed and customized to meet specific needs. Moreover, this vendor should know how to properly network the device, and if necessary, write coding to achieve system integration. This is a vital key to making digital tablets work smarter for your business.

Besides expert programming to interface tablets to existing databases, EMS, PMS and POS systems, a valued tablet vendor can also provide mounting devices that keep the digital tablets secured in a public environment. These mounting devices can secure tablets on walls, shelves, counters, and most recently, on stand-alone pedestals that create quasi-kiosk applications.

Another value-add from a competent vendor would involve the selection process for tablet hardware that best suits the needs of your business. Some tablets come with nifty ports that can enable system installers to plug in P-o-E (Power-over-Ethernet) to simplify the installation. Other useful features may include high resolutions screens and mini USB ports. Some features like cameras and docks, which are handy for consumers, only add cost and weight for business applications that may not require these features.

The fact is, there are endless ways digital tablets can help fulfill business agendas. The key to making this product work for you is finding a vendor that scales to your needs, has the expertise to program custom apps, and can properly integrate the hardware into a system for a winning solution.
Friday
Apr262013

Adtraxion Systems launches OPS-compliant digital signage player

Adtraxion Systems recently announced a new digital signage player, the Adtraxion Om Player. The Adtraxion Om Player is a small OPS-compliant digital signage player, which can be easily slid into OPS-compliant displays. It perfectly combines superior graphics performance with clean, all-in-one integration for a wide range of digital signage applications where reliability is key. To guarantee reliability and ongoing performance, Adtraxion Systems once again partnered with Advantech to develop this new model.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr242013

Zytronic Touchscreens Facilitate Upgrade of Intelligent Presentation Systems 

PCT™ takes centre stage in latest iteration of ILS’s e-podium offering.

Zytronic’s durable and customisable touch sensors, utilising the company’s proprietary Projected Capacitive Technology (PCT™), are being applied to an ever broader spectrum of industry sectors. One of the company’s latest projects has been with Netherlands based Intelligent Lectern Systems (ILS), a leading developer of audio-visual presentation tools, where a highly customised PCT-based sensor has been developed for incorporation into the next generation of ILS products.

Designed for the auditoriums of academic establishments or the boardrooms of large corporations around the world, the ILS 22G e-podium is an attractive conferencing/presentation system consisting of a sleek, stylish all-in-one console of aluminium construction. It has a 22 inch touch enabled display with a surrounding extended touch zone incorporating a number of source controls, short-cut keys, a full QWERTY keyboard and an annotation pad. These combine to create a stunning 31 inch multifunctional touch area. The e-podium’s advanced human computer interface (HCI) is designed to be intuitive to use, so that minimal training is required.

A custom designed and printed ZYBRID touch sensor was developed for the ILS 22G - delivering the touch interaction needed with both a high degree of accuracy and rapid responsiveness. The patented projected capacitive touch sensing mechanism, at the heart of each Zytronic touch sensor, consists of a matrix of micro-fine capacitor elements embedded into a highly durable laminated glass substrate. This substrate can be positioned behind a protective overlay (>10mm thick), so that the touch sensor’s active area is not left vulnerable to sources of potential damage. Front-facing touch sensors like resistive or surface capacitive are conversely prone to various forms of harm. This gives PCT much greater resilience to shock, vibrations, scratches, harmful chemicals and exposure to extreme weather conditions - thereby maximising the touchscreen’s operational lifespan. Furthermore, unlike surface acoustic wave (SAW) or infrared (IR) touch sensing solutions, PCT supports drift-free operation, avoiding the need for costly maintenance or recalibration to be undertaken. It also dispenses with the necessity of a bezel in which to house sensor devices.

“Zytronic was chosen to assist in this upgrade because of the performance benchmarks its touch technology was able to offer,” states Henk de Groot, Managing Director of ILS. “The other suppliers that we considered were simply not able to meet the criteria we had set for this project, either in terms of the customisation, resolution, dynamic reaction or the overall robustness required.”

According to Ian Crosby, Sales & Marketing Director at Zytronic, “People often only associate our PCT-based projected capacitive touch screens with outdoor and vandal resistant applications. With the ILS e-podium, we have been able to demonstrate the freedom our technology provides customers, in terms of the user interface design. When coupled with its inherently high level of reliability and durability, the benefits become compelling, even in indoor applications. As projected capacitance based screens like PCT do not need a bezel, the overall aesthetics of the system are greatly enhanced, plus the system is much easier to clean.”

Wednesday
Apr172013

Kiosks4Business Has the Solution for Limited Space in Retail - Nixi

Kiosks4Business has been working in the retail sector and has found that for most retailers, the problem with touchscreen kiosks is that they are just too big. Retailers want a smaller solution and Kiosks4Business the UK based kiosk design and manufacturers are able to give it to them.

Retail Micro Kiosk

With limited space in retail environments the Nixi micro kiosk can really help display more of your products. More capable and robust than the short lived instore iPad and fully transactional as well! Include your colours and branding and it’s a winner for attracting customers.


The design of the Nixi micro kiosk, along with your branding applied, will ensure that your customers will want to use your retail Nixi to the full. Using a Nixi touchscreen kiosk can make browsing and accessing detailed product information, checking stock, ordering goods and making purchases simply and easily.


The Kiosks4business Nixi range is unique in that it offers all forms of customer interface: chip and pin paying, receipt printing, barcode scanning, RFID recognition – even a phone handset if required – all in the smallest of packages. Customising Nixis to your unique spec and branding are our speciality. The iPad doesn’t come close….

Call Kiosks4Business to discuss or come and visit our demo room. To find out more about the Nixi please click here…