DSE2012: Day 2 Impressions

March 9, 2012 by Dave Haynes

I wish I was taking notes when I attended a quasi-debate Thursday on interactive in digital signage, but that would have looked stupid given that I was the moderator.

Stephen Randall of LocaModa and David Weinfeld of ScreenReach did a great job arguing the good and the bad of this space, and the merits of various technologies. I also really liked the format DSE education chief Richard Lebovitz developed, which allowed us to just kinda go where we needed to go, and say what needed to be said.

Ifi there was an umbrella theme I’d say it was something about interactive technologies having high potential, but also needing careful planning and a lot more attention to context and the dynamics of the environment.

QR codes can be good, but …

NFC could be big, but …

There was not, and I totally agree, a lot of enthusiasm for using things like audio tagging because of the dynamics of digital signage environments (noise) and the need to respond quickly. Weinfeld said there was much more potential in high frequency digital watermarking that tech can hear but humans can’t.

Check-in is dead, says Weinfeld. Randall sees some value still, but as with the rest, stressed things need to be thought through.

They also don’t think there is much promise for gesture in digital OOH environments because of the embarrassment factor. David says you often see big crowds around gesture installations in New York when there is a marketing team on site whipping up excitement. When the is no one there encouraging people, everyone just breezes by.

I tried a gesture twitter wall thing on the show floor. Think it was X2O’s booth. There was nothing wrong with the tech itself, but the learning curve was high and the experience mostly pointless. Even with someone there telling me what to do, it was hard to do much.

I had clients and a video team with me most of the day so I did not see much. Day 2 was slower but still busy.

The NEC guys broke off from the booth and we had a good chat about what they are doing with VUKUNET. Very interesting but I need my notes and a desk, not an iPad and my lap, to relate all that.

The NanoLumens guys now have a 4 mm pixel pitch screen for indoors, which looks really good. It’s not bendy like the other ones, but they said that is a speed bump they expect to get over.

The Content Interface stuff … Infinitely zooming images … still makes me shake my head and smile. The guys were showing it at the Planar booth.

The most intriguing thing I saw was the Capital Networks media player/software bundle, which they were previewing here and expect to have ready to market by end of Q2. It runs Android 4 and does all the multi zone dynamic content, video and transition stuff that the company’s Audience software would normally run on a PC.

This was a solid state box that in low volumes costs maybe $125. I was expecting compromises on playback quality, but nope. Lotsa people blabber away about disruptive technology, but don’t really have it. This is a set top box that does way more than play full screen vids from a list, runs a mobile operating system, and does much of the stuff low cost PCs do, but with what I would expect would be fewer headaches that come with full operating systems and more electronics.

Plane is boarding. Going home to get some sleep.

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