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New Data Reveals Impulse Buying To Be Important Element Of Shopping Behavior

Digital signs give retailers a powerful way to communicate with retail shoppers as they act out on their impulses to buy unplanned-for items.

If there were ever a question about whether or not it makes sense to communicate with customers via digital signs in retail stores, a new survey from the Integer Group and M/A/R/C should leave no doubt.

According to The Checkout, an ongoing shopper behavior survey, nine out of 10 shoppers report buying an item not on their shopping list. The research reveals several reasons why. Sixty-six percent of respondents reported buying off-list items because of a special sale or promotion; 30 percent said they did so because of a coupon offer; and 23 percent said they wanted to pamper themselves.

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Adtraxion Releases New Digital Signage Platform

Adtraxion Systems presents a new standard for reliability and performance with the release of Adtraxion 2.0. This new release includes Adtraxion Manager 2.0 and a new series of dedicated Adtraxion digital signage players.

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Research Indicates Digital Signage Is On The Right Track

New research from IHS iSuppli indicates growing adoption of digital signage around the world as professionals in the retail, hospitality, healthcare, corporate and government sectors look to the medium to communicate to audiences on the go.

Digital signage is growing in popularityPolitical watchers probably are familiar with that often-asked question –and even more often asked in an election year: Is the country on the right track or the wrong track?

I would propose that those who make their living communicating marketing messages, ads, information and even entertainment on digital signs should frequently ask themselves a similar question. Is digital signage on the right track or wrong track? In other words, is digital signage a growing, vibrant communications medium that is headed in the right direction as a viable communications choice? Or, is it losing favor?

A new forecast from display market research specialists IHS iSuppli suggests that, indeed, digital signage is on the right track, at least if its adoption is any indication. According to the forecast, digital signage will see impressive growth. Worldwide shipments of signage and professional displays this year will reach 17.2 million units, up from 15.4 million in 2011 and 13.5 million in 2010. For the year, the unit shipments will reach 12.6 percent, and by 2016 they are expected to reach nearly 26 million units, IHS iSuppli forecasts.

The research firm attributes the healthy growth to a few factors, including a greater need for digital signage in public spaces and the rapidly declining price of LCD panels.

The IHS iSuppli forecast also identifies the largest digital signage markets for 2011. They include retail, hospitality/healthcare and government/corporate. The forecast also finds the education, outdoor and control room/simulation markets to be important. 

So why are those with a message to communicate increasingly adopting digital signage? A few reasons are clear. First, digital signage has the unique ability to reach the public with clear, impactful communications when they are on the go. Second, because it's a place-based medium, digital signage communicators can identify areas to locate signs that likely will be frequented by their target audience. For example, a restaurateur has a pretty good idea that the people entering the restaurant have eating on their minds, and the registrar of a college knows students entering the administration building at the beginning of the semester are likely interested in class registration information.

Third, digital signage offers communicators the chance to change messaging frequently –at little to no expense– which makes the medium responsive to rapidly changing requirements.

For all of these reasons and several others that have been well discussed in this space in the past, digital signage increasingly is being selected as an important part of an overall communications strategy.

As this nation enters the political season, journalists surely will report on the public's response to the right-track-wrong-track question. I'm sure each time I hear one of those stories, I am will be reminded of this column and the clear evidence from IHS iSuppli that digital signage is indeed on the right track as a communications medium.

While prognosticating about the results of any of this political season's races is a craps shoot, one thing is predictable. Digital signage as a communications medium will remain on the right track as long as professional communicators need to reach people on the go with their important messages.


NEW!!! Barco Coronis Fusion Medical Display

                                                                NEW!!!  Barco Coronis Fusion 4MP DL Picture


Coronis Fusion 4MP DL is a multi-modality PACS display system designed to further enhance flexibility and productivity in diagnostic imaging.

The ultimate in diagnostic flexibility

With the Coronis Fusion 4MP DL, there are no more boundaries. Its ingenious design allows you to use the 30-inch workstation as two seamless 2 MegaPixel heads or one wide-screen 4 MegaPixel display. The choice is yours. Designed to work the way you work, this display system helps you read more images, faster.

And there's more. Barco's Coronis Fusion 4MP DL offers unparalleled grayscale accuracy, enabling simultaneous viewing of grayscale and full color images. It allows you to read CT, MR, and orthopedic images, or any other combination, side by side on a single diagnostic screen.

A perfect view from every angle

Coronis Fusion 4MP DL features the latest, breakthrough In-Plane Switching (IPS-Pro) LCD technology. This technology brings the most advanced LCD viewing characteristics on the market, setting new standards for brightness and contrast, even from a wide viewing angle.


Portwell’s New Mini-ITX Embedded System Board Series Provides Low Power with Integrated High Performance Graphics


New AMDY-7000 Series combines a high quality display interface and flexible I/O options  

FREMONT, CALIF. —May 1, 2012 —American Portwell Technology, Inc., ( has released the AMDY-7000 Series of new Mini-ITX embedded system boards providing an economical solution for applications that require powerful high quality graphics output with low power consumption.

The new AMDY-7000/7001/7002 Series models are powered by AMD® Fusion™ G, Turion™ II Neo and Athlon™ II Neo processors with powerful ATI HD 6320 and HD 4200 graphics engines. Depending upon the model, the low power consumption ranges from a mere 12W to 25W; DDR3 SO-DIMM memory supports up to 8GB; dual display is achieved through VGA/DVI/HDMI/LVDS and dual LVDS is available on model AMDY-7002; the series supports PCIe x1, PCIe x16 or half-size mini-PCIe depending on the model; dual GbE is based on a PCIe x1 high bandwidth I/O interface; and ATI HD 6320 and HD 4200 provides powerful graphics performance. 

American Portwell’s AMDY-7000 Series Mini-ITX embedded system board is available now for applications such as point-of-sale (POS), lottery, medical, gaming, high-resolution digital signage, surveillance security monitoring and supports a low power, high performance x86 fan-less DC option for information kiosks. 

American Portwell Technology, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Portwell, Inc., a world-leading innovator in the embedded computing market and a Premier member of the Intel Intelligent Systems Alliance. 

Vivid graphics with enriched colors  
“Customers using high quality graphics in today’s market expect their images to snap and that’s just what the AMDY-7000 Series is designed to do,” says Robert Feng, American Portwell Technology’s product marketing manager. “The AMDY Series not only supports comprehensive options for display connectivity including DirectX 11 3D, but an additional PCIe expansion interface is also available for ATI Hybrid Crossfire technology that can support up to six independent displays for high-end digital signage applications. What’s more,” Feng adds, “the new AMDY-7000 Series’ rich I/O provides industry control with optional features such as powered COM ports and four to eight USB ports for POS peripherals, plus SATA II/III and CFast.” 

Powerful graphics performance and longer product life cycle  
Frank Shen, American Portwell Technology’s VP of product marketing, points out that the new AMDY-7000 Series meets the needs of applications that require high performance graphics with low power consumption. The dual LVDS capability will definitely benefit applications in the gaming and medical markets that require two LCD displays.

“All in all,” Shen confirms, “our customers not only benefit from American Portwell’s ability to consistently provide the most up-to-date technology and features, but they also gain peace of mind from the long life cycle support inherent with every Portwell product.” 

Product details:
AMDY-7002 (based on dual-core AMD Fusion G T56N processor): 
AMDY-7001 (based on dual-core AMD Turion II Neo N54H and AMD Athlon II Neo N36L and single-core AMD Athlon II Neo R44L processor): 
AMDY-7000 (based on single-core AMD Athlon II Neo R44L processor): 

# # #
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 Intelligent Systems 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 both an ISO 9001:2008 and ISO 13485:2003 certified company. The company is located in Fremont, California. For more information about American Portwell’s extensive turnkey and private-label branding solutions, call 1-877-APT-8899, email or visit us at

All products and company names referred to herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies or mark holders. 

# # #
Product Contact:
Robert Feng
Product Marketing Manager
American Portwell Technology, Inc.

Media Contact:
Susan Wei
Marketing Executive
American Portwell Technology, Inc.


QUBYX Releases PerfectLum Suite Medical Monitor QA Software With a Remote Display Management System

QUBYX Releases PerfectLum Suite Medical Monitor QA Software

With a Remote Display Management System

QUBYX has announced the official release of its medical display calibration and QA software PerfectLum Suite. The software, designed to improve imaging precision of medical monitors, used for X-Ray viewing, mammography, MRI and other radiology sub industries, is now able to not only calibrate a display, but also perform acceptance and constancy tests to AAPM TG18, DIN 6868-57, JESRA X-0093 and IEC 62563-1 standards. With the free Remote display management capabilities PerfectLum Suite medical display QA tool allows centralized medical monitor quality assurance.

PerfectLum Suite medical monitor QA application performs AAPM TG18, DIN 6868-57, JESRA X-0093 and IEC 62563-1 acceptance and constancy tests, as well as calibration conformance, white level and uniformity checks. When a display is first installed, an acceptance test is performed to verify if it meets the requirements necessary for the usage in diagnostics and reviewing of medical images. As soon as the acceptance test is passed, the medical display QA application schedules corresponding constancy tests automatically, calculating due dates for them and reminding the user to perform them when they are due. The quality assurance tests in PerfectLum Suite are designed to make the test procedure as easy and accurate as possible.

In addition to acceptance and constancy tests, quality assurance features of PerfectLum Suite include white level check, calibration conformance, and uniformity check. These features allow the user to verify that the white level of the display is within the required range, to assure that calibration parameters remain in accordance with targets set in calibration preferences, and to measure luminance deviations across the screen. The quality assurance capabilities of PerfectLum Suite ensure that the displays, used for diagnostics and reviewing of medical images, meet the requirements of key medical standards and remain within these requirements over time. Medical monitor quality assurance with PerfectLum Suite will provide confidence in the accuracy of diagnosis for medical imaging professionals.

PerfectLum Suite features a free Remote display QA system that enables a QA supervisor or a system administrator to schedule and start tasks for an unlimited number of workstations and healthcare facilities remotely. Staying in the office, the administrator can control performance of multiple displays from a locally installed or a web server, with a 24-hour access to any of the connected client machines. An e-mail alert system notifies the administrator whenever a task is failed on a client machine. The ability of PerfectLum to set up calibration and monitoring tasks from a central server contributes to considerable time and cost saving. With PerfectLum Suite Remote display management system, QA supervisors will benefit from not spending money on travelling from one facility to another, and the hospitals they manage will not have to interrupt the workflow and will be able to focus on diagnostics.

Besides cutting down expenses on medical monitor quality assurance, PerfectLum Suite enables hospitals to make additional cost savings. Utilizing the combination of quality consumer displays and PerfectLum Suite, healthcare facilities will make substantial cost savings, as compared to specialized medical displays, without having to compromise imaging quality.

A trial version of QUBYX PerfectLum Suite is available here: Download PerfectLum medical display QA tool. A demo of Remote Control is available here: Try Remote display management system.


Smartphones, Tablets are Likely to Impact Direction of Future Digital Signage

Smartphones and tablets present digital signage with new opportunities to evolve.

The broad adoption by consumers of media tablets and smartphones, such as the Apple iPad and iPhone, is certain to impact digital signage in ways that today aren’t fully imaginable.

However, there are a few important data points about these devices that offer a clue as to what some of the effects will be and their potential magnitude.

First, the number of media tablets and smartphones in use is staggering. In the two years since they have become available, 55 million iPads have reached consumers’ hands. IHS iSuppli forecasts 275 million tablets worldwide (all tablets, not just iPads) will be sold by 2015. At home in America, 65 percent of the population, some 200 million, will have smartphones and/or tablets by 2015, an In-Stat study says.

Those numbers mean that whatever the ultimate impact will be of these devices on digital signage, it’s bound to be huge.

Second, these devices are changing how people like to interact with technology. Multi-touch screens, a critical component of the success of tablets and smartphones, will likely become an important component of some digital signage applications, too. After all, people by the millions are being trained by their devices on how to interact with screens.

Soon the desire to have multi-touch will shift from a want to an expectation in the minds of consumers who access information via a screen. This naturally will carry over to digital signage, particularly hybrid digital signage used in interactive kiosk applications.

It’s worth noting that the popularity of multi-touch is nearly overwhelming –literally. In late March, IHS iSuppli reported that the “runaway success” of the iPad and iPhone has created a boom in the shipment of touch screen display. That in turn will cause the market for the silicon that makes multi-touch possible to nearly triple in size over the next five years –from 865 million touch screen controller integrated circuits in 2010 to 2.4 billion in 2015.

Smartphones and tablets also will likely affect digital signage by giving this emerging communications medium a way to reach out to consumers in the proximity of a digital sign and wirelessly deliver information, coupons and QR codes. With so many smartphones and tablets in the hands of consumers, doing so seems like a natural way for marketers and other communicators to extend the digital signage experience beyond the public square and into the purses and pockets of the general public.

To be sure, my crystal ball is as clear as the next fellow’s. But it seems to me you don’t need to be Nostradamus to look a little bit down the road and see that smartphones and tablets will play an increasingly important role in the direction of digital signage.

While predicting exactly how these new devices will shape future digital signage developments is impossible to say, it is certain that digital signage vendors and the people who communicate with these signs will be hard at work seeking to find ways to benefit from the swelling ranks of their users.


Where Does Digital Signage Fit in a World Where TV is Ubiquitous?

Digital signage communicators must begin looking for ways to leverage the ubiquity of smartphones and media tablets.

If you are like me and drawn to science fiction, fascinated by quirky views of the future, you might remember a mid-1980s TV show called Max Headroom. While the particulars of the series have blurred in my memory over the years, the one thing that hasn't is the ubiquity of television in the society portrayed in the show.

I'm not talking television simply being convenient; in the world explored in the series, TV literally seemed to be everywhere. Not just in homes and apartments, but on the streets, resting on a pile of trash, in the trunk of a car. You get the idea. It was impossible to get away from the blasted things.

That feeling of society being overwhelmed by the tube -now there's an antiquated term- seemed so impossible, so remote, so "sci-fi" just a couple of decades ago. But today, I would argue, we are well on our way to similar television omnipresence.

In May 2011, the Nielsen Company estimated the number of TV households in the United States to be more than 114 million, or 96.7 percent of all households in the country. In January of the same year, Nielsen estimated there to be on average 2.5 TVs per U.S. household. Impressive, but nowhere near ubiquitous -at least not by "Headroomian" proportions.

But TV households don't tell the whole story. According to an online Time Business article published a few weeks ago, Apple has sold 55 million iPads in the two years they have existed. When all media tablets -not just the iPad- are factored in, market research firm IHS iSuppli projects that 275 million tablets will be sold by 2015, or about 16 times the number shipped in 2010.

Getting a little closer to ubiquity? Perhaps, but don't forget about smartphones. A CNN report from July 2011 quotes a report from the Pew Internet and the American Life Project estimating 35 percent of Americans own a smartphone. Another study from research firm In-Stat, quoted in an August 2011 CNET article, forecasts that 65 percent of Americans, some 200 million people, will have smartphones and/or tablets by 2015.

Now, it seems to me, we are approaching the Headroom threshold of TV ubiquity. Granted they are more likely to take the form of a sleek tablet, smartphone or flat panel TV than a beat up set teetering on a mound of broken TVs in an alleyway, but ubiquitous nonetheless.

This sort of near omnipresence would seem to raise a fundamental question for digital signage communicators: What is the value of communicating via a digital sign, if hundreds of potentially competing screens are literally a few feet away in the pockets and purses of passersby?

I would argue digital sign communication is not threatened by the broad availability of smartphones and media tablets, but potentially enhanced in at least three important ways.

First, those portable devices offer a means for digital signage communicators in the future to continue their dialog with their audience once they leave the store, arena, lobby or other venue.

Second, if television-viewing habits are any indication, many people don't replace their TV viewing with online viewing, they complement it. Millions of people today regularly interact with their friends online via Facebook and other social media about a show while they are watching. It's not too far-fetched to envision similar sorts of interaction while in front of a digital sign, depending upon the circumstance.

Third, total viewing time of video entertainment is increasing. Rather than cannibalizing an existing audience, new media devices are driving greater viewing. For digital signage communicators, this increased viewing means it should be easier, not harder to attract people who have demonstrated a willingness to watch media on flat screens.

To me, it seems the Headroom-like availability of screens on the whole will complement the communications efforts of those who market and message with digital signs. Not embracing the ubiquity of these screens and looking for ways to leverage them would represent a major missed opportunity.


Interactive Digital Signage: New Smart TVs Will Create New Opportunities for Interactivity

Smart TVs with interfaces based on voice control and other cool technology may one day change how digital signs integrate interactivity.

It wasn’t too long ago when a digital sign consisted of a TV set and a VHS deck or DVD player. In what seems like a flash, tube TVs are passé, and VHS cassette players are beginning to look a little like antiques.

Driven largely by the overwhelming popularity of HDTV in America (recent research from Leichtman Research Group finds high-def sets are now in two-thirds of U.S. homes), flat panel displays are achieving ubiquity. Along the way, they transformed the look and appeal of digital signage.

As striking as that change has been, digital signs appear to be on track to see an equally dramatic change over the next few years, once again driven by the consumer television set. At the recently concluded 2012 International CES in Las Vegas, several television vendors rolled out their vision of what a “smart” TV should look like.

Among them were Samsung, LG, Sony and Lenovo, each with their own versions of smart TVs. Google already has taken a run at this market, and Apple is long rumored to be working on its own smart TV with a consumer interface similar to its Siri personal assistant for the iPhone 4S that would let owners control their TV with their voice. Samsung, too, reportedly is at work on adding voice and motion control to new televisions.

For the interactive digital signage industry, these new smart TVs will open doors to greater possibilities for digital sign-based interactivity and further reshape consumer expectations. How long will it be before we see digital signs that allow a hotel guest not only search a list of available restaurants from a digital sign in the lobby but also make reservations simply by speaking to the screen?

Beyond voice interaction with smart TVs, what other benefits might this new generation of televisions bring to digital signage interactivity? Perhaps, these TVs will lead to easier syncing with personal smart phones and tablets offering the public interactive takeaways from the sign. Or, they might make it possible to migrate the digital signage experience from outside the home into the living room –sort of an offshoot of the TV Everywhere concept being promoted these days by pay TV operators, such as cable TV companies.

To be sure, my crystal ball is no clearer than anyone else’s. However, it seems obvious that this next-generation television technology will open up new and exciting possibilities for those who communicate via interactive mobile devices. I’m not suggesting these opportunities to employ a higher degree of interactivity will be available in the short term. But when they do come, what it means to communicate with a digital sign will undergo a dramatic transformation.

Where we are today and where we might be headed in the not-too-distant future with this new technology might be as stark of a contrast as the difference between Tom Hanks feverishly plugging in numbers to an early microcomputer in his role as astronaut James Lovell in “Apollo 13” and Leonard Nimoy as Spock saying from his science station aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, "Computer, compute to the last digit the value of pi," and the computer replying: “You’re kidding, right?”


Barracuda Waterproof LCD Monitor

Completely submerged in a fully-decorated fish tank while showing fan favorites such as Finding Nemo and Spongebob SquarePants, as well as the requisite fish tank screen saver, the Barracuda is often hailed as the center of attention when displayed in our booth at trade shows. Owing to the cynicism of the times, many express doubt that the Barracuda is really submerged at all, thinking instead that the setup is some sort of elaborate trick. But this is no hoax; the Barracuda™ is engineered for the harshest environments.

Designed to meet IP67 and NEMA4X standards, the Barracuda holds up against the assaults of complete immersion in liquids as well as exposure to humidity, dust, blowing sand and the like. These qualifications make it ideal for use in military and mining applications.

In this brief video, we demonstrate the Barracuda’s ability to function while completely submerged. The fish tank, decorated as it would be at any of the trade shows at which we exhibit, is filled with water and the Barracuda is powered on and displaying simulated fish. For the purpose of the video, the Barracuda is left in the water for a short period. At the trade shows, the Barracuda remains submerged for up to eight or nine hours at a time.

Mentioned in the video, though not demonstrated, is the fact that the connectors on the monitor are also fully sealed regardless of connection. It is this attention to detail and functionality that you’ve come to expect from the innovators of flat panel technology.


Digital Signage 101: The Three Approaches to File Transfer

Modern digital signage players support three ways of transporting files from here to there and back again.

Transport, transfer, conveyance, movement –that is, getting from here to there and back with the “stuff” of digital signage may seem a bit mundane to those who are knee-deep in the digital signage deluge. But to many, it’s probably never been given a second thought.

This column is devoted to the topics of moving digital signage “stuff,” what that “stuff” is and how to do it. If you’re a digital signage veteran, you might want to move on; but if you just recently discovered digital signage and are new to the party, read on. You’re bound to find something useful.

So, what is the “stuff” of digital signage? A few things come to mind, including the playlist –in other words the sequence of all events that will be played out and displayed on the sign as well as commands that trigger a device that’s external to the digital signage player, such as a monitor, to do something – a master schedule that can include multiple playlists and the actual media files, including video, audio, text, graphics and animation, required for playout.

Transporting this material can be accomplished in three basic ways: first, via IP over the public Internet; second, via IP over a local area or wide area network; and third via a portable digital storage device, such as a USB drive or SD memory card, and the use of your Keds, which otherwise is known as “sneakernet.” There are more advanced methods of transport include cellular and IP multicasting via satellite links, but these methods are not very common and are outside the scope of this article.

Clearly, different digital signage applications require different approaches to the transport of media, schedules and playlists. A retail store, for example, with a basic installation of one or two digital signage players is a perfect candidate for the sneakernet approach. It’s quick, convenient and removes a layer of complexity that would be required otherwise if a LAN/WAN or Internet transfer were employed.

A bigger installation, such as a large hotel with convention and meeting facilities scattered throughout the complex, would be better served using IP transport via a LAN or WAN.  No one must carry a USB drive from player to player because schedules, playlists and media files are easily transported to individual players or groups of players on the network. Each player is assigned its own IP address in this scenario and can be pinged from a central computer on the network to determine that it is functioning. Existing content and control files can be inspected, and new schedules, playlists and content transferred with a simple mouse click.

Digital signage applications that are larger still –say statewide, national or international in scope- are candidates for transport via the public Internet. With the proper security measures in place, the Internet offers a highly efficient way to transport digital signage “stuff” around the globe.

There is another important part of this transfer story that must not be ignored. Digital signage playback can require a tremendous number of files that must be organized and stored so they can be easily retrieved by the player when needed. Whether files are transferred via a USB storage device or an Ethernet connection, the right version of the file better end up in the right folder.  Otherwise, the playlist won’t find the media needed for playback.

Add to this the complexity introduced when multiple people build content and playlists for a sign or groups of signs, and the need for software that tracks versions of media files, manages permissions for who is authorized to make changes and maintains consistency in file structure and placement between the player and content workstations becomes all the more important.


Cleaning the Mean Screen

Cleaning an LCD monitor isn't difficult, but should be performed properly to ensure a long, clear life. We provide a brief outline on the proper cleaning of an LCD monitor.

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Kiosks4business Exhibit Their Excellence in Bespoke Kiosk Design at the Retail Business Technology Expo

Kiosks4business is getting ready for the Retail Business Technology Expo which is a two day event at Earls court on the 13th and 14th of March. Exhibiting companies are technology rich experts that have something to offer to the retail industry to help with the running and increased sales. Kiosks4business are their in their capacity of point of sales retail kiosks with touchscreens and multi touch touchscreen self service solutions.

Kiosk4business will be demonstrating their brand new range of kiosks including Okul, Nixi Micro Kiosk and their DDA kiosk, Eidos. In addition to these they will also be taking along abespoke kiosk design they have been working on to demonstrate their capabilities of custom kiosk design. The featured touchscreen kiosk was designed by Kiosks4business from an initial design brief of what the kiosk needed to do and the sphere in which it needed to fit. The Kiosk design team created a bespoke kiosk design which was imaginative, ticked all the functionality boxes and came in on budget.

Kiosk4business have worked on a number of projects where a bespoke design was required with great success and resulting with very happy customers who own unique kiosk systems, designed, branded and uniquely exclusive to them alone.

If you are looking for something more than ‘off the peg’ kiosks and might be interested inbespoke kiosks designed by Kiosks4business, visit us at the Retail Business Technology Expo at stand 499 and find out what we could do for you.


Visit Kiosks4Business’ Nixi Micro Kiosk and be in with a Chance of Winning an iPad

Nixi Micro Kiosk
To celebrate the launch of the new Nixi Micro Kiosks,Kiosks4business are offering an iPad as a prize for customers who visit their stand at the Retail Business Technology Expo and view a demo of the kiosk.

During March the 13th and 14th Kiosks4Business will be exhibiting their new micro kiosk the Nixi at the Retail Business Technology Expo, at Earls court. To be in with a chance of winning an iPad all you need to do is to come along to the show and visit Kiosks4Business at stand 499 and watch the demonstration of the Nixi and hand us your business card. The lucky winner’s business card will be drawn at random at the on March 23rd.

Nixi Micro KioskSo why is Kiosks4Business so excited about the Nixi Kiosk?
Nixi is the newest kiosk design for Kiosks4Business and was designed in response to the rising demands for small footprint micro kiosks. Nixi micro kiosks are small-screen but full featured touchscreen kiosks ideal for retail. The kiosks use the latest high reliability rugged computing platforms and can include many options such as RFID, Bar code scanner and much more. Nixi is available as a desk or wall mounted design and transaction versions include thermal printer for wall mount style. Nixi screen sizes start at just 10in with standard sizes of 12in and 15in screens.

We know that Nixi is going to be a big hit because it’s small and beautifully designed and has a quality finish, but not only does it look really good but it is so versatile. Nixi is designed for continuous use or can automatically switch on and off each day to save power. Connectivity options include wired and wireless options. Its compact size means that it will fit almost anywhere, which is why it is perfect for the retail sector.

So whilst you’re visiting the Retail Business Technology Expo, remember to visit Kiosk4Business and ask us about our Nixi kiosk and the iPad prize draw.


Testdrive Okul at the Retail Business Technology Expo 2012

Testdrive Okul at the Retail Business Technology Expo 2012 The Retail Business Technology Expo is providing the perfect opportunity for you to view and test drive Okul, the new high-end retail touchscreen kiosk from Kiosks4Business. Okul doesn’t look like your average kiosk, it’s curvy and contemporary. The Kiosk4Business designers wanted to design a kiosk that was bold to stand out in any environment, and what they have achieved is a modern looking kiosk which is perfectly suited for the retail environment.

Okul comes with a 22inch widescreen HD display, on which your customers will be amazed to find a multi touch touchscreen, offering you the opportunity to incorporate high end software onto the display. Multi Touch is relatively new to the Kiosk sphere and Okul gives you an opportunity to equip your retail outlet with cutting edge technology before your competitors.

What’s more Okul can really be ‘yours’ because the Okul can be branded up to be in keeping with your brand and colours.

With Okul you can have as much or as little as you like. Okul can have a chip and pin, a receipt or ticket printer, RFID reader, a bar code scanner, a web cam or microphone or none of these. In this way the Okul can be custom made to suit your needs and requirements, so you’re not paying for facilities that you wouldn’t make use of.

Of course seeing the Okul Kiosk at the Retail Business Technology Expo in ‘the flesh’ means that you can actually see how your customers would view it for their first encounter. You will also get to see the size and workmanship of the kiosk, information you can only get from seeing a kiosk first hand. Demonstration software will be running on the Okul so you will also be able to use the kiosk as if you were a customer, to give you an idea of feel of use. The Kiosks4Business team will be on hand to answer any questions you might have.

Kiosk4Business will be displaying and demonstration a number of their Touchscreen kiosks, and you can view them all at the Retail Business Technology Expo at Earls Court on the 13th and 14th of March. You’ll find Kiosks4Business on stand 499.


Visit Kiosks4Business at the Retail Business Technology Expo

Okul kiosk

Okul kiosk

The Retail Business Technology Expo and Cards and Payments Solutions is said to be Europe’s fastest growing retail expo, making this show the ‘Must Attend’ retail expo of the year. The show has exhibitors demonstrating a comprehensive range of innovative retail solutions.

Nixi Micro Kiosk

This year Kiosk4Business will be attending to debut some of their newest kiosk designs including the contemporary Okul and the newest member of the family, Nixi. Nixi is a very versatile micro kiosk which is available as desk or wall mounted. Nixi small kiosks start at screen sizes of just 10in up to 15in for but still have many of the features you would expect of a cutting edge design with options for RFID, Barcode scanner, printing and much more.

Chris Cowper the division manager of Kiosks4Busines said “We are really excited to be attending the show and are confident that visitors will love the new multi touch touchscreen kiosk designs. The show also offers visitors a superb opportunity to not just look at the new kiosk but to also ‘have a go’ as we shall have demonstration software running on a number of the machines to show how the kiosks could be used in a retail setting”

As well the latest kiosk designs Kiosk4Business will also be bringing along their Eidos kiosk. Eidos is a very stylish kiosk solution with an illuminated edge and offers wheelchair access. Eidos has a multi touch screen and looks amazing so it takes people breath away they hear the great value for money price of the Eidos.

All the touchscreen kiosks will be running and visitors to the stand will be invited to try and test each one to get a real feel of what the kiosk fees like to use and how they can enhance the customer experience in your retail outlet. If you would like to try out the kiosk and quiz the team about how these kiosks could work for you, go along and visit Kiosk4Business at The Retail Business Technology Expo, Earls Court at stand 499 from 13 March to 14 March 2012.


Digital Signage Content: RSS Feeds Offer Inexpensive Way to Keep Content Fresh

Digital Sign Using RSSKeeping digital signage content interesting and up-to-date has never been easier thanks to an explosion in the availability of RSS feeds.

Turn on your favorite cable news channel, and what do you see at the bottom of the screen? How about over on the business channel you like to watch? What's being shown at the bottom of the screen of many sports and weather channels? See any similarities?

Did you conjure up in your mind the ticker that crawls across the bottom of the screen, displaying everything from top news headlines to stock movements, sports scores to even weather conditions? Firsthand experience as a TV viewer with these sorts of tickers should make clear how up-to-the-moment information can motivate viewers to focus their attention on the screen.

If these sorts of crawls are successful in grabbing and holding the public's attention on television, have you ever asked yourself why they shouldn't be equally as effective on a digital sign? There's little reason to think otherwise. But many digital signage content creators don't even consider such news tickers because they assume the expense of the data required to feed the onscreen info crawls will be prohibitively expensive

Read additional digital signage content tips.

To be sure data subscriptions exist, and they vary in price. But data subscriptions aren't the only way to feed fresh news headlines, stock quotes and other changing information to a digital signage screen. There are sources of free content that can feed digital signs a stream of fresh, up-to-the-minute content that will grab and hold the attention of an audience. These sources are available online in the form of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds that offer something for just about everyone.

The diversity of the info available via RSS feeds is critical because there are so many uses for digital signs. What might attract the attention of a digital signage viewer in a car dealership service department waiting area could be entirely different from what grabs the attention of those waiting in the reception area of an investment advisor or dentist. Fortunately, with enough online investigation it's possible to find RSS feed sources on topics that make sense for both people with shared, yet highly defined interests as well as mass audiences.

For those who are a little uncertain about what an RSS feed is, think of it as a stream of headlines, info bits, data or conditions that is regularly updated and syndicated by online publishers. RSS source feeds literally are as diverse as the Internet, and it would be impossible to list them all. But to illustrate the diversity of content available via RSS feeds, consider such feeds are available from the NASDAQ stock exchange, Rotten Tomatoes movie review site, the BBC, the New York Times and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Topics range widely from science and culture, to financial and gardening.

For digital signage content producers looking to tap into this rich source of freshly updated information all that's needed is a digital signage system with RSS reader functionality that can take incoming RSS feeds and present them on the screen as a text crawl.

Finding RSS feeds to consider is as easy as doing a Google search for "most popular RSS feeds" and spending sometime honing in on those that make the most sense for your audience. To get you started, I've included a few URLs with lists of RSS sites: The Free Dictionary, Feeds for All and RSS Feed Folder. Good luck with your search.


Keywest Technology Announces a Free Download of MediaZone Editor Pro Digital Signage Software

The digital signage software is now available as a free trial from the company’s website.

Keywest Technology today announces the immediate availability of a of its MediaZone Pro digital signage editor software as a free full version download.

“We are excited to offer the free trial of MediaZone so that thousands of more digital signage communicators can experience firsthand the power and ease of use MediaZone Pro offers,” said Nick Nichols, president of Keywest Technology.

“We are confident that once digital signage professionals have tasted the benefits MediaZone Pro offers, they will adopt it as their digital signage workhorse for combining text, graphics, video and animation and scheduling playback,” he added.

The MediaZone Pro digital signage editor offers a flexible “media-zone” template editor with comprehensive media scheduling and management functionality from a single easy-to-use desktop program. The editor operates on common PC platforms running Windows® XP, Vista™ or Windows 7. The software provides a complete digital signage software solution with all of the tools needed to build compelling media playlists with text, graphics, video and animation and play them back.

Keywest Technology is offering the full version of MediaZone Editor Pro free of charge so potential users can test and demo the easy-to-use digital signage editor until they are ready to buy.

There is no cost, obligation or hassle to test MediaZone Pro. Those wishing to download the free trial version of the MediaZone Pro software simply visit the company's product website. The free trial can be transferred at high speed via a secure Internet connection. All are welcome to download and try out the free trial of the MediaZone Pro software.

Keywest Technology also has announced that it welcomes questions from the public about installing MediaZone Pro as well as actually using the software. The company’s trained, courteous staff will be available to answer questions via an online webinar, chat and through an online inquiry form.


Digital Signage Content: Integrating Social Media Can Garner Attention and Build Interest

Enhancing digital signage content may be as simple as tapping the power of social media.

Here is a remarkable statistic published online by USA Today’s Technology Live website in October 2010. As of that date, there were 6.8 billion people in the world, 1.96 billion Internet users and 517 million Facebook users.

As Byron Acohido, author of the piece noted: “Put another way: about 7 percent of the world’s humans are on Facebook.” Just over a year later, Facebook notes on its statistics page that there are now 800 million active users of the social media network.

How many of those Facebook users carrying smartphones will visit somewhere that relies on a digital sign? One can only imagine the number for a particular venue. But consider this: Facebook’s statistics page says there are 350 million users who actively interact with Facebook via their smartphones. So it’s a pretty safe bet that the closer the demographics of the audience for a digital sign match those of typical mobile Facebook users, the more likely there’s a vast opportunity to be realized.

The likely proximity of a smartphone to a digital sign creates an important opportunity for anyone communicating via a digital sign who possesses a bit of an imagination and a willingness to experiment. Consider a noisy environment, such as a popular bar, dance club or even certain restaurants. Could designating on-screen real estate of a digital sign to a special Facebook page, give a business owner a way to help patrons connect with one another on screen and in so doing cut through the noise, attract the attention of customers and promote goods or services in other zones on the sign?

Leveraging social media in this way could be as simple as giving patrons a virtual bulletin board on which to post vetted observations and pictures or as complex as giving them a way to play bar games, like trivia, with one another. Imagination, budget and creativity would seem to be the only limitations.

The good news for small businesses looking to take advantage of this opportunity is many are already quite familiar and fluent with Facebook. According to the quarterly Merchant Confidence Index released in February 2011 by MerchantCircle, 70 percent of local merchants are using Facebook for marketing –up from 50 percent the preceding year. In fact, MerchantCircle, among largest social network of local business owners in the United States with more than 1.6 million members, found Facebook has passed Google as the most widely used marketing method for local merchants.

In addition to its wide use by local merchants, the rapid growth Facebook saw over the past year saw among merchants is positive. It appears to indicate local merchants have proven themselves to be quite willing to explore the potential of this social network. Thus taking the next step to integrate a Facebook page as digital signage content doesn’t seem to be too far of a stretch for merchants with a knack for the platform.

It’s also important to note that Facebook isn’t the only social media platform that can be leveraged for digital signage content. Twitter, too, easily fits into the same mold as a convenient way to let patrons publicly interact with one another on a digital sign via their smartphones. Like Facebook, Twitter also is familiar to local merchants. The
Merchant Confidence Index found about 40 percent currently use the platform, which is up from 32 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

As business owners, outside creative agencies and internal graphics departments consider what digital signage content to present to the public, they would do well to remember that adding engaging, attention-grabbing element to their digital sign may be no further away than a Facebook page or Twitter account.

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.


Keywest Technology Offers Checklist On Working With Graphic Artists For Digital Signage

Whether working with an in-house art department or an outside agency, here's a handy checklist to make sure your digital signage content achieves what you want.

Digital signage is going mainstream as a medium. Simply look around in retail stores, shopping malls, arenas, gas stations, hotel lobbies, restaurants, and just about any other place you can image, and you're bound to see one or more digital signs.

However, even though digital signs are growing in popularity, they are likely to be a rather new medium for the majority of graphic artists and other media creators, like graphic designers and animators, which you may turn to to create compelling content to achieve your communications goals.

Perhaps, you will be working with in-house graphic artists whose expertise is the design of brochures, reports and other printed collateral. Or, you may find yourself working with a creative agency that specializes in television commercials. Both are creative, talented and have an abundance of knowledge and experience to bring to the table. Your challenge will be communicating the unique demands of digital signage content to them and directing them so they deliver the message you need.

Following some or all of the recommendations on this handy checklist should help you focus your creative team's talent regardless of their prior experience, or lack of experience, in creating digital signage porfolio.

* Clearly state what you wish to accomplish. Explain precisely how the signs are to be used. Will they be informational in nature? Do you want to sell a product or service with the signs?  Is the communication mission straightforward like that of a menu board or more nuanced?

* Define your target audience. Layout as much demographic information, i.e. age, sex, ethnic background, and psychographic information, including interests, attitudes and opinions, of your intended viewers as possible.

* Identify where the sign or signs will be located. Giving your creative team this information will inform decisions they make later about the appearance, placement and dwell time of content they will create.

* Explain desired quality. In today's world, it is hard to imagine that the display or displays to be used won't be HDTVs. But even if that's the case, will they be 720p, 1080i or even 1080p displays? That information will be helpful when content is created and may reduce the need for up, down or cross conversion of video, graphics and animation content.

* Visual SPAM. Because digital signage is becoming more common, the level of "visual noise" is also increasing. This should be considered along with the sensibilities of the target demographic. Work with your designers in creating a pleasing visual environment that will be more readily received by a discerning audience. Avoid excessive in-your-face content that may wax against the shopping experience by overloading the senses. Too much eye candy is not a good thing -it can give eye pain.

* Define duration. On a macro level, your messaging will be used for a finite period before it must be updated or changed entirely. On a micro level, individual pieces of content will dwell on the screen before being updated by the next item in the list. Information about both will help your team in creating content that can accomplish its communications task in the allotted time on screen as well as give the team a way to begin building a workable content production schedule. 

* Discuss the number of onscreen zones desired. Start out by giving your team an idea of how many discrete areas of onscreen real estate you envision to communicate your message and what you believe should be communicated in each. Don't consider this the last word on the topic. Rather use your list as a point of departure to discuss and ultimately define how many zones actually will be used.

* Identify existing content resources. While you will want your content to be fresh, engaging and designed to meet your communications goals, there is no sense reinventing the wheel when existing resources can be used or repurposed. For example, if you intend to communicate to owners of high performance cars as they wait in a car dealer's service area, an existing RSS feed of Formula One, Indy Car and NASCAR race results and news might be available already for an onscreen crawl.

Whether or not your designers are experienced with digital signage, they will appreciate the guidance you give by discussing the items in the checklist. More importantly, reviewing the points in the checklist will help ensure you receive the content you need to achieve your communications goals.