Welcome New DSF Member, Pinnacle Communications

Pinnacle Communications Corporation is an end to end technology solutions provider to the Lodging and Hospitality Industry, with over 550,000 guestrooms and 6,000 hotels under service contract.

Pinnacle has been a trusted technology partner to the hospitality industry for over 27 years. As technology has evolved, Pinnacle has lead the way and diversified its product portfolio and bundled its technology solutions to launch Hotel 360.

As an end to end solution provider, Pinnacle offers hotels High Speed Internet Access, Digital Telecommunications Solutions, IPTV, Cloud Hosting Solutions, Digital Signage and Kiosks. Pinnacle will soon be launching its bundled Digital Signage packages that will include Interactivity, wayfinding and beaconing technologies. All bundled solutions are supported by Pinnacles 24×7 Network Operations Center. For more information about our Digital Signage Solutions, please visit www.pinnaclecommunications.com or call (240) 912-2557.


Data Drives Decisions | Omnivex Corp.

By Doug Bannister, CEO & CTO of Omnivex Corporation

“The modern world runs on data. It is the most significant and valuable commodity on Earth, and is the reason Silicon Valley giants like Facebook and Google are worth hundreds of billions of dollars. The core business of these and other tech titans is amassing and consolidating data that can then be sold for use by other companies such as advertisers. Amazon’s recent acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion isn’t merely a play for grocery dollars. It offers the online company a brick-and-mortar presence in which it can explore retail analytics, customer traffic management, and other data driven experiments to gain insights into in-store consumer behavior that can be transferred to online applications.”

To read the entire article, please visit https://www.omnivex.com/company/blog/data-drives-decisions.


As content becomes king in digital signage, aggregation provides advantage

The digital signage industry has matured well beyond the “just having the technology” phase and is now solidly in the “content is king” phase. Customers have come to expect digital content that interests, entertains and engages them.

One company has capitalized on this trend and is helping its clients better communicate with customers. Wovenmedia recently launched its WovenContent cloud video library, which is filled with rights-cleared HD and 4K content from more than 140 provider partners, including ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC and a number of major movie studios.

The library was a featured new product at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas.

Joellen Jacobs, vice president of Programming and Production at Wovenmedia, said this product is the newest iteration of the company’s first library, launched about seven years ago.

“We have spent a lot of time looking for a better way to do what we were already doing. We wanted content aggregation to be less manually intensive for companies, and we wanted to expand the ways we offer visually-compelling content,” she said. “This launch is an attempt to expand how we offer all kinds of content. There are literally thousands and thousands of clips and playlists available.”

The comprehensive library is also diverse, featuring movies, sports, comedy, health and wellness, bilingual clips and more. Users can create favorites and use the smart search functionality to find content relevant to them at any time. They are also notified of newly added videos to the library.

Joellen Jacobs

Joellen Jacobs

Jacobs said one goal with WovenContent is to provide the type of content seen on TVs at home, with “broadcast quality.” Another is to ensure the library includes the right kind of content for Wovenmedia’s customers. If that content doesn’t exist, Jacobs said they’ll ask their partners to create it, or they’ll look to add partners.

“Our ability to keep media partnerships that we’ve had for years has helped us provide what our clients are looking for and that is the ability to inform, entertain and, to a degree, educate,” she said.

Besides providing more efficiency for users, the new library also offers more data visibility through enhanced reporting functionality.

The process behind the development of the new library took six-plus years. Jacobs said the Wovenmedia team attended trade shows, talked to clients and “just listened to what those in the industry wanted to see and how they wanted to pull and bulk their media.”

“We wanted to find out what would help people the most. What can we do to help solve their problems?” she said. “We’re still taking feedback. It’s an evolving process, especially since digital signage is growing and changing in new ways every day.”

In fact, Jacobs said the biggest challenge is to not only find common ground for everyone, but to also try to stay ahead of what people want.

“At the end of the day, we realized the best way to do these things was to provide content aggregation on a platform that offered this unique, TV-quality content in a friendly, user-accessible way,” Jacobs said.

Bringing the WovenContent library together also provided Jacobs with a glimpse of some of the macro trends emerging in digital signage. To her, the most interesting development thus far has been witnessing more small businesses getting into digital signage.

“We’re seeing the little folks jumping in and this is great because it proves that digital signage is everywhere. You can’t go anywhere without a screen showing some type of content,” she said. “Small business owners who want to get on trend are realizing the best way to communicate with their customers is to put something on a screen. But, it has to be compelling content. People want the right content.”

At the Digital Signage Expo, for example, more people were requesting bilingual content.

“Customers don’t just want waiting room content anymore,” Jacobs said. “Customizable will always be a part of the equation. You can no longer just throw up anything on the screen and expect it to resonate. This is how we realized the more content we aggregate, the more customers we aggregate.”

Retail is Wovenmedia’s largest sector. Jacobs said health care continues to grow and there has been a “huge leap” in automotive within the past year.

“We are constantly looking at how to approach these sectors from a content perspective, and we have to work with them to understand their demographics and what content will make sense,” Jacobs said. “There are givens across the board, such as entertainment or comedy, health and fitness. However, occasionally the asks are more specific, such as a bilingual clip or a behind-the-scenes prank show. We are working hard to make sure the content in the library is fresh.” 

Total Economic Impact on QSR Drive-Thru Media

Lyle Bunn of BUNN Co. has published a commentary on the Forrester Research whitepaper titled “The Total Economic Impact™ of Samsung Outdoor Digital Menu Boards: Cost Savings And Business Benefits Enabled by Outdoor Digital Drive-Thru menu Displays In the Quick-Service Restaurant Industry.”

“Various methods are used for dynamic media investment analysis. Cost/benefit analysis, Return on Investment, Total Cost of Ownership are examples. Total Economic Impact (TEI) has been used by Forrester Research in a paper that examines the potential return on investment (ROI) quick-service restaurants (QSRs) may realize by deploying outdoor digital menu-board displays in their drive-thru locations. The purpose of this study is to provide readers with a framework to evaluate the potential financial impact of outdoor digital menu boards on their restaurant’s business outcomes. The Forrester paper is sponsored by Samsung, which like several other firms, offers dynamic media suitable for drive-thru menu and promotion boards as well as order confirmation.” – Lyle Bunn

To view this whitepaper, please visit the BUNN website.


Case Study: Avesta Communities

Mvix: Solutions For the HD Planet

“Powered by the Mvix platform, Avesta’s 39 community locations throughout Texas and Florida feature employee communication displays that drive and optimize the employee experience.

The displays, which are remotely controlled, display performance metrics such as open maintenance tickets per community, average apartment tours per community, applications received per community, occupancy trends and more. The displays are also leveraged to promote togetherness and community despite the geographical distance by displaying and celebrating employee achievements, anniversaries and birthdays.

| Avesta Communitiesavesta-logo-new

Avesta is unique in that they take an employee-first approach. Since its founding in 2010, Avesta has acquired over 12,000 apartments throughout Texas and Florida, assembling a world-class team drawn from the best companies nationwide. Though the company primarily concentrates on the acquisition, redevelopment, ownership, and operation of apartment buildings, Avesta’s first responsibility is to build a sense of community among tenants. They strive to be the most resident-focused company in the world.”

To read about Mvix’s installation in the Avesta Communities,  view the complete case study here.


Baanto’s new Modular Touch System underscores larger trend in digital signage

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.

The Modular Touch System was created to make assembly and installation easier.

“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.

Baanto’s ShadowSense technology has low latency, high resolution, ambient light immunity and more.

“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.

Digital journey in retail: how to win the customer

On 8th of June 2017 international conference “Digital Signage – no alternative!” was held for the 7th time. This year for the first time the conference was organized in new format as a part of the Russian Retail Week.

Today business doesn’t need explanation what for it needs Digital Signage. On the conference was discussed how to get maximum effect from Digital Signage projects. Compared to previous events this time speakers focused on practical issues: statistic, case-studies, advises about implementation.

Special guest from marketing association POPAI UK, Phil Day opened the conference. According statistic he showed in the presentation 70% of shoppers plan to shop in stores as much as they did last year whereas active development of on-line shopping. However 76% of customers would like to use touchscreens. How to create Digital Signage that will solve business problems? On the example of UK retailers projects (Heinz, Unilever, Vodafone, Boots and others) Phil Day gave practical tips to the conference’s visitors for each step of Digital Signage project: planning, execution and measurement stages.

Digital Signage end-users presented their projects on the event. Moscow jewelry factory shared its experience in using Digital constructions in store interior. According Egor Vaganov, CMO of Moscow jewelry factory, LED columns in its new flagship store helped to increase visitor’s traffic to the store thus increased conversion.

Andrey Ushakov, Digital Marketing & E-commerce Manager McDonald’s Russia, presented how Digital solutions helped the company brought to life its new concept “Made for you”. Now in McDonald’s each order starts to cook only after its sending. Moreover the client can change the ingredients of the dishes, for example to take off the onion from its burger. With using Digital Signage the company improved the quality of its products and services while cut the dwelling time, increased sales and re-organized staff’s work more effectively.

New approach to navigation and visitor’s flow control in shopping malls showed Nikolay Alaev (LG Electronics) and Dan Polonskiy (CEO of Horizont shopping mall). They demonstrated new navigation system with using ceiling digital signs implemented in Horizont shopping mall. The solution doesn’t only catch the visitors’ attention but also helps to show information about special offers in different stores.

Presentation of Denis Sologub, Executive director of Azbuka Vkusa, caught special interest. In its presentation he explained why the company didn’t want to install Digital Signage.

About nuances and pitfalls of Digital Signage projects which are clients very often didn’t take into account spoke Damian Frunza (Eutron, Romania) and Stefan Pittl (easescreen, Austria). They stressed that Digital Signage project must be flexible, scalable and had wide functionality. Digital Signage project in the main Romanian bank was shown as an example. In 523 branches was installed more than 900 displays which are successfully run for more than 2,5 years and the project is still developing.

Representatives from Intel shared their view on retail technology trends. IoT is developing very fast and provides unlimited opportunities for personalized and target communications with a client.

Gamification and interactivity become trends in Digital Signage projects. All speakers in some way told about interactive solutions for retail: interactive shopping windows, augmented reality, touch kiosks etc. About the possibilities that such technologies give to retail spoke Dmitry Schklyar, Screemo (Israel).

All speakers agreed that any Digital Signage project would be waste of time and money without right content. How to keep the balance between branded and advertising content, take into account all features of different Digital constructions and get the attention of visitors told Alexey Panfilov, Commercial  director of WorldMirrorGroup on the example of realized project in Oceania shopping mall.

Electronic shelf labels, touch kiosks, LED constructions, innovative OLED displays, digital signs and other technologies speakers were talking about the visitors of the conference could see in live. From 6th till 8th of June on the Russian Retail Week the exhibition of Digital Signage technologies was held where all the main industry players were presented.

“We were thinking about what to do with the conference, because we consider that for several years it outlives it selves. And we found such a great partner as Russian Retail Week, which suggested new format. Also thanks to our partner we could gather interesting speakers for the event.  From our point of view this conference is one of the best due to interesting and useful information for business”, – told Vladimir Kozlov, CEO of DigiSky group and the founder of Digital Signage Moscow conference.

We would like to thank our partners and sponsors for their participation in the 7th international conference “Digital Signage – no alternative!”: LG Electronics and easescreen (Platinum sponsors), Intel (Gold sponsor), SES-Imagotag, CTC Capital, iiyama, Софтинг, Addreality, LOOK, Shuttle, IMS, АМС, Nexcom, BenQ, initium (Silver sponsor), Viosobox (Partner).

You will find more information on the conference’s web-site.



Millennial consumers driving interactivity technology

Digital signage is entering a new phase of interactivity, driven largely by digital-native millennials. It is familiar to them, mostly because of their prolific use of mobile technology.

“Interactivity is quick, which is good for those on the go. Not only is it familiar and intuitive, but it offers speed of information gathering. It cuts out the middle man,” explained Todd Mores, director of emerging technologies at Peerless-AV. He presented the benefits of interactive technology and how it applies to outdoor environments during the recent Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas.

Todd Mares, Peerless-AV

Cutting out the middle man, Mores adds, equals a quicker ROI and additional revenue from ads.

Interactive technology is being in a variety of applications, including:

  • Digital signage, to create a compelling brand experience
  • Corporate users, to drive productivity and brands
  • Hospitality industry – self-service kiosks are now deployed at more than 50 percent of locations

“Why interactive for our client? It allows for more direct marketing and interactivity for the end user,” Mores said. “Content can be tailored to what the individual expresses interest in, such as wayfinding at airports or in malls; sales, such as at a big box retailer; or special purposes, such as a photo or ticketing kiosk.”

Technology options for interactivity in an outdoor environment include infrared and projective capacitance.

Infrared vs. PC

Infrared is the less expensive option of the two. It also provides excellent optical clarity with no need for an additional cover glass.

“(Infrared) allows us to see an image without distraction,” Mores said. “The drawbacks are it could create false touch effects in direct sunlight.”

Conversely, the technology for projective capacitance is more complex and evolved, but it’s better for larger formats and is faster and more reliable. It translates well for multiple points of touch.

Mores further breaks down the advantages and disadvantages of both:

Advantages of infrared touch overlays

  • Withstands severe environments
  • Adjusts to changing light conditions, including direct sunlight
  • May be more appropriate for shaded areas
  • Stable/no drift calibration performance due to HID compliancy
  • Standard mouse driver, no external drivers needed
  • Idea for rugged applications
  • Sealable to contaminants
  • Parallax-free performance without added cover

Advantages of projective capacitance

  • Multi touch is better for this technology
  • Better for larger formats
  • Fast and reliable with “excellent” optical clarity
  • Long-term stability over large temperature swings
  • Doesn’t require shade from sunlight

Mores added that disadvantages of PC include susceptibility to EMI noise; it requires an air gap to avoid interference; and wire traces can be detected in certain instances. It’s also higher cost than infrared and more immune to debris.

There are a handful of scenarios that are especially driving this interactive technology, including multiple points of touch (anywhere from one to 40 points of touch); ambient light immunity, which is needed to work in outdoor environments; and static object rejection, which allows for natural interaction.

The biggest takeaway Mores kept revisiting during his presentation was the force driving the technology – millennial consumers.

“We need to get used to what they’re expecting and this is what they’re expecting,” he said. “They’ve grown up with interactivity.”

Featured image link.



Keywest Technology execs: Digital signage users now more educated, purposeful

Matt Weiss, an account executive at Keywest Technologies, recalls the first few years he and his colleagues attended the Digital Signage Expo when the show was relatively new (the first DSE was in 2004). Attendance was anemic and enthusiasm was low.

Matt Weiss

Keywest decided to take a couple of years off from the show.

“It wasn’t a good investment for us to be there,” Weiss said.

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