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Baanto’s Modular Touch System was one of the new products featured at this year’s Digital Signage Expo. The system uses patented ShadowSense technology to allow frames of any size to be assembled and provides multi-touch capabilities to video walls.
John La, Baanto’s director of Product Marketing, said the Modular Touch System was created in response to the growth of ultra-thin bezel LCDs and fine pitch LEDs, which now “dominate the market.”
It also underscores the increasing presence of video walls, which have long been used to “make a big impact,” La said, but are now being applied more effectively.
“Everyone is realizing it’s not enough to just attract someone’s attention. You need to engage them and have them spend more time in front of your content so you can build awareness and capture their interests,” La said.
Touch interactivity, he adds, is the “natural choice” on how to do this, since mobile technology has ingrained this behavior in consumers.
“People want the experience they have on their mobile phones, but on a grand scale that can’t be achieved on a mobile display,” La said.
Operators are better able to meet these consumer demands as the price of displays and video controllers continue to come down. The retail industry remains at the forefront of this interactive touch wall trend, but specialty markets such as museums, trade shows and other event venues are using them more now as well.
“We’re also seeing a lot of adoption by corporations that use them as showpieces in their offices that can double as collaborative spaces for visualizing large amounts of data,” La said. “Video walls also have the added flexibility of being used as a single large display, or in smaller sections meant to engage with several people at once. Now a video wall can be used in place of multiple standalone displays, while offering the option for bigger, more impactful purposes.”
From La’s perspective, this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.
“The digital signage industry should expect to see larger touch displays, including video walls, become standard as end users find ways to cut through the noise and attract people. Touch interactivity will become a standard requirement of all displays installed within arm’s length of people. More and more people assume that a display is touch enabled as opposed to static,” La said. “Non-interactive displays are throwing away a great opportunity to engage people and won’t be able to capture the information necessary to prove the ROI on their digital signage strategy.”
The Modular Touch System
Baanto’s Modular Touch System was developed to make things easier for the user. For example, a large frame requires a large piece of glass to provide structure so that the IR emitters and receivers used in a traditional infrared touch solution are aligned. This, according to La, makes the entire frame and glass structure very costly to transport and difficult to install.
“Installing a touch video wall in a small space or a higher floor office was almost impossible,” he said. “The Modular Touch System eliminates the need for the large protective glass by utilizing ShadowSense touch technology, which doesn’t have the same restriction on flatness as standard infrared technology, and separating the frame into manageable components that are more robust. These pieces can be shipped to the installation site at a lower cost, installed by one or two people without the assistance of heavy equipment, and setup without a great deal of experience.”
This also makes it easier to replace components if there are issues with the video wall, or to change the configuration of the video wall without having to completely replace it.
“The Modular Touch System makes expansion easy by utilizing all of the existing components and simply inserting horizontal or vertical expansion kits,” La said.
Another benefit of the Modular Touch System is simple assembly. The frame automatically detects the configuration of the setup and, once powered up, the frame does a self-assessment to make sure all connections are made properly and, if they’re not, the system will provide that feedback. The frame then plugs into a computer running any major operation system such as Windows, Mac OSX or Linux, through a single USB connector without the need for any software drivers.
“Modular Touch System also uses our patented ShadowSense touch technology so it has benefits such as low latency, high resolution, ambient light immunity, shape and size detection, and much more,” La said.