Halfway through a whirlwind trip in and out of New York for a few events associated with what’s been dubbed New York Digital Signage Week. It’s a compilation of events and cocktail parties and open houses, some that have been on for years, and others that have developed around this DS week theme.
I did the annual NEC Showcase, then an AVNation podcast/webcast interview thingie at Christie’s Experiental Networks offices in midtown, back to NEC, then over to the Peter Solomon party up on the 31st floor of an office tower. Then about a 45-minute Uber ride to my hotel, all of 2.5 miles away, in Long Island City. UGLY traffic and subway was all screwed up.
Hit pillow hard.
The NEC Showcase is always good and has grown in a big, big way in the past couple of years. It pulls in a lot of vendor-partners and a bunch of systems integrators. The event operates as something of a mini-trade show, mostly but not totally focused on the signage market.
The event shows a broad range of solutions that all use NEC tech, like a very nice TSI Touch overlay. Projected capacitive (the sort of touch you have on phones and tablets) with a super skinny footprint to the overlay. One of the interesting things I learned was that NEC has raised its direct view LED game, moving off a partnership with a German company and touting its own tech (or at least branded that way). These ones get as tight as 1.2 pixel pitch.
I likes how they did a set of LEDs at different pixel pitches to visually explain the whole pitch thing.
Had a long talk with the folks at Agosto, a Minneapolis software shop that has been developing solutions for years and years for enterprise clients that use Google Apps. They turned an “ask” from a client for a digital signage solution into the foundation for their own Google-centric, Chrome-driven CMS called Skykit.
Through them, met a woman who recently took on charge of digital signage activities at Intel, working out of the big Phoenix office.
Spoke at length with a Dallas company, called Glass Media, that has a different spin on window projections, using its own film, purpose-built CMS and laser projectors. I was skeptical – as window projection has never really taken off – but they made me something of a believer. They have their shit together in a way I rarely see and hear in signage startups.
Got a long update from Stratos Media, an Australian company that’s been in the US market for 2-3 years but operating very quietly. Sounds like there’s a lot going on – particularly as it relates to data and analytics – but like a lot of companies, these guys aren’t big on talking up what they do or referencing clients. It’s been slow to happen, but the company is establishing satellite offices and locating people in Seattle.
The NEC event had a PILE of sponsors – software and hardware – and was busy in both time windows I was around.
The Peter J. Solomon event in the evening is a mixer built around investment banker and market analyst Marc Boidman. I was too damn tired last year to get to it, but dragged my carcass over last night, not sure what to expect. BIG crowd. An industry who’s who of both signage and digital out of home people. It’s just drinks and chatter in the hallways and boardroom of the company, but a target-rich environment for networking or just seeing old friends.
Definitely worth going, though you need to get invited.
Today, meeting in the morning with Scott Kushner of the creative shop Mediaplace (his offices are just 2-3 blocks from my hotel, yay), then a field trip to see some flagship stores, Float4’s LED Lab (SEGD xLab Tour) and then LG’s own NYC showcase event.
Then JFK. Buffalo. Border. Then bed.
Not doing the DPAA event. Not doing the Samsung/Show n Tell Karaoke thing tonight.
Love New York. But it beats the hell out of you.
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.