Day Three was a predictable dead zone – what with the Easter weekend looming, as well as a half-foot of snow heading for O’Hare.
Here are some pix and comments on stuff I saw.
Another company well-established in merchandising rolled out its own screen right at the shelf thing, though it was widly different from the nCAP.
Madix Store Fixtures, which is in the business of making store fixtures, unveiled something they are calling the Easel. It is a screen embedded in the shelf, fixed to one side at maybe a 15 degree angle. The monitor is 11″ if I am reading the literature correctly and there is a small form factror PC tucked inside, as the shelf is really a drawer holdiong all the electronic bits.
Interactivity would be through stuff like card readers for loyalty programs and printers.
It was not clear what software was driving this thing.
A lot of thought and time went into this, and it’s pretty clever. My only quibbles (and making whatever bias I have clear) is that the screen was by necessity small and fixed at an angle that made it hard to really notice. My experience was that you had to be right in front of it, and looming over it, to appreciate the screen.
I also had a look at Digital View’s battery-powered screens, which uses big-ass flashlight lantern batteries and allows for extended use by turning off the screen and player when not in use. Passersby have to fire the screen up by pressing a button, and the boot is quick, though not instant.
The whole battery-powered thing come is oft-requested because older stores often do not have power right to the shelf-edge.
I wandered by the Wireless Ronin booth (they were one of a handful of major software players with a big presence at the show) and they were doing scheduled sessions with show-goers about stuff like best practices for content production.
I thought it was a good way to show their capabilities and credibility in that area.
A slow day three gave me time to toddle off downtown and have a look at the architecture along State Street. I’ve been to Chicago a few times but never had time to see more than the airport, hotel and convention hall. If you like architecture, there can’t be many 10 block walks better than this.
The ABC affiliate had a cool, curved LED.
I stuck my head in the massive Macy’s store (formerly Marshall Fields). There was very little digital, but someone did a nice job of clustering a few panels around a display.
The show is back in Las Vegas next year, at the Sands Expo (like 2007).
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.