Happily, Day 2 at DRE proved far busier than Day 1 – and seemed to flush out more retailers. There were emissaries from some significant retailers rumbling around, seeming to know what they were looking for.
Apart from LocaModa (see next post), I did not see much that was new or particularly compelling.
Things worth noting:
- Peerless has a new sealed enclosure that can completely enclose and protect a large flat panel screen, inside or outside. Until now, most network operators with screens in dodgy spots had to build their own custom enclosures. I doubt these were cheap, but they same a ton of tinkering and engineering cost.
- There were several vendors with interactive touch screens, with your finger replacing a mouse. The best stuff I saw was from Impart, which markets the iPoint wayfinding and information kiosk for the airport sector. It seems really well tuned to what traveler would watch and use in airports.
Lots of people I spoke with were disappointed with the turnout and quality of the crowd. Many also grumbled about the location, in a slightly dumpy suburban convention centre many miles from anything other than O'Hare Airport. It's handy for people who were just coming in for the day, but there was not much else good to say about it. I really appreciated the $7.50 I had to pay for a little, and awful slice of pizza, and a small bottle of water at the only food service place within reach.
I suspect a number of people are heading home wondering whether they bother with a booth next year.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.