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A Look into the Evolution of Digital Signage, Contemporary Terms Describing its Various Networks, Core technologies that Form the Basic Industry Infrastructure, Impact on Specific Industries and the Emergence of New Technologies that Synergistically Complement the platform

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Bsusser digitalsignageresearchpaper

  1. 1. Digital Signage Could Soon Emerge to be the Next Killer TechnologyA Look into the Evolution of Digital Signage, Contemporary Terms Describing itsVarious Networks, Core technologies that Form the Basic Industry Infrastructure, Impact on Specific Industries and the Emergence of New Technologies that Synergistically Complement the platform By Bradley Sean Susser November 29, 2011
  2. 2. Brief Table of Contents Introduction…...........................................................................................................1 1. Chapter One: Digital Signage.....................................................................................2-4 Defining Digital Signage Description of Digital Signage Screens In its Historical Technological Context 2. Chapter Two: Digital Signage Adversely Impacting Various Companies………………….4-5 Specified Examples of Technology Adversely Impacting Companies Company Examples of Financial Numbers Depicting Negative Impact 3. Chapter Three: Three Core Network Screens That Depict Digital Signage………………5-8 Point and Wait Network (POW) Point of Sale Network (POS) Point of Transit Network (POT) 4. Chapter Four: Digital Signage is an Information System…………………………………………8 Applying System Design Analysis to Digital Signage 5. Chapter Five: Digital Signage Infrastructure…………………………………………………………..9-17 Network Transmission Mediums: LAN, WAN, Satellite and Wireless Types of Digital Signage Software Hardware Media Players and Screens 6. Chapter Six: Preexisting and New Technologies Emerging Into the Digital Signage.17-20 RFID Technology and NFCs Company Specific Examples Social Networking Company Specific Examples Biometrics Facial and Gesture Recognition Company Specific Examples
  3. 3. 7. Conclusion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………….21 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………………………………22-25 1 Introduction The innovation and the speed at which new technologies continue to advance inmodern day society have been unfathomable to say the least and the evolution of the DigitalSignage industry is no exception. In fact this newest mass communications medium isanticipated to be one of the fastest growing media around the world over the next five yearsaccording to Magna Global’s latest forecast, with a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of15.2% from 2011 to 2016. That is three times the rate for the media business overall whichMagna sees growing at a mere 5% to 5.5% in the same time period.24 PQ Media, aresearch firm specializing in global media econometrics stated that worldwide 2009 revenuesgrew 16.3% from $5.56 billion in 2009 to $6.47 billion in 2010 and expects it to grow another16.9% in 2011 to $7.56 billion all in amidst the economic downturn which still continues to thisday.23 Revised recently in April of 2012, PQ Media stated Global digital out-of-home media(DOOH) revenues generated by digital place-based networks, billboards and signage operators,is expected to grow 19.2 percent in 2012.In the paper outlined below you will see why theformidable financial figures highlighted above are a reality, the definition of Digital Signage,how it has evolved, the three contemporary terms used to describe the various Digital Signagenetworks, the core technologies that form the basic infrastructure of these networks, the impactit’s had on specific industries and the emergence of new technologies that synergisticallycomplement this platform. Inclusive is examples of companies that are exploiting this technologyand making use of this burgeoning medium.
  4. 4. 24 Sass/Media Daily News, E. (2011, January 21). Media Post Global Digital Out-of-Home Revenues Will Double by2016 . Mediapost.com23 Sass/Media Daily News, E. (2011, April 5). Digital OOH Media Revs Soar 24.5% in 2010. 2 Digital Signage Could Soon Emerge to be the Next Killer Technology A Look into the Evolution of Digital Signage, Contemporary Terms Describing its Various Networks, Core technologies that Form the Basic Industry Infrastructure, Impact on Specific Industries and the Emergence of New Technologies that Synergistically Complement the platform 1. Chapter One: Digital Signage In describing the term Digital Signage it is often used interchangeably with Digital out ofHome Media, whose acronym is “DOOH”. DOOH is the presentation of targeted information viaa network through electronic screens, projectors or other types of display devices. Rememberthis is not broadcasting. Broadcasting transmits one to many people this is narrow castingtransmitting one to a selected targeted audience. Keith Kelson author of the book “Unleashingthe Power of Digital Signage Content Strategies for the Fifth Screen” gives a simplifieddescription of what he terms the five screens leading up to digital signage in its historicalcontext and as you will see all these screens start with the first in a series of technologicalmediums that reach out to a mass audience providing news, advertising and information.9 Thefirst screen he dubs the invention of Dickson and Edison’s Kinetoscope which was theconstruction of the first motion picture in 1894 during the gilded ages, patented in 1897.Dickson was actually an assistant to Edison who initially wanted to make use of the invention byconfiguring pictures with sound to work in conjunction with one another.30 Thomas Edison was
  5. 5. 9 Kelson, K. (2010). Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, Content Strategies for the 5th Screen. (1st ed.). (p. 20to 59). Burlington, MA/United States: Elsevier.30 Thomas A. Edison, Inc. Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division, Library of Congress (n.d.).“Three Acrobats.” 1899. 3hoping the new device would increase revenues of his phonograph but the device wasincapable of having pictures and sound synchronize with one another and at first only oneviewer at a time could watch a movie even though Edison’s intention was for mass audienceviewing. The Kinetoscope was a small cabinet and at the top was a peephole comprised of alens that a single individual could look through to view a short twenty second clip that moved ina cylinder like fashion. One of the first films the two produced together was called “Fred OttsSneeze” and they created one of the first film studios, the Black Maria back in 1893. Thesecond screen he described was the advent of television. The inventor of television was PhiloTaylor Farnsworth who filed his first patent known as the television system which was approvedin 1930.2 This invention not only allowed for families and friends to view images and soundsimultaneously but in a more relaxed setting. Here is where you could really entertain peopleand give them sufficient time to watch programs which in turn made advertisers recognize thatsuch an evolutionary device could really be complimentary to any company’s product andservice offerings. The third screen was the first digital one propagated 40 years later with thepersonal computer. This lead to the ability in the early 1990’s for people to first begin in massto access the Internet whereby they had the capability to view information anytime on demandthrough technology that connected millions of different networks on a global scale. The devicewe all know as the mobile telephone which configured the personal digital assistant (PDA) withcellular technology Kelson titled the fourth screen. This was another truly revolutionary devicebecause it was the first time you can be anywhere at any time while accessing informationholding a handheld screen. It is the Nokia Communicator 9000 which was released back in 1996
  6. 6. 2 Brigham Young High School Alumni (2011). Philo Taylor Farnsworth Mathematician, Inventor,Father ofTelevisionBrigham Young High School Class of 1924 . Brigham Young Academy. 4that combined cellular along with the PDA.31 Back than although you could communicate withpeople from any distance with a certain degree of viewer controls none of the screenscould deliver messages from a marketer, employer or other entity to inform the end user andguide decision making becoming the precursor for Kelsons final screen which is the thrust ofwhat this paper is about, Digital Signage! 2. Chapter Two: Digital Signage Adversely Impacting Various Companies Digital Signage has caused significant declines in revenue for many companies adverselyimpacting their primary business models that focused primarily on print media, radio ads, staticbillboards and even television due to other emerging technologies like the TIVo where youcould record your favorite shows and then view them at different times allowing you to skipover commercial advertisement’s significantly minimizing an advertisers bang for their buck. Ifad revenues are down through traditional print and television than where are capitalexpenditures being allocated? If you said Digital Signage than you right on! NewspaperMcClatchy Co. who owns the Miami herald reported in its latest 3Q a 21% decline in ad revenuefrom the same period a year earlier.18 E .W. Scripps Co. reported 3Q Television revenue down11% from the same period a year ago.21 The New York Times Co. and USA Today publisherGannett Co. reported smaller drops in 3Q ad revenue but drops never the less. Interestinglyenough Gannett Co. stated back in its January 2011 earnings transcript that its Captivate18 Ortutay/AP Business, B. (2011, October 21). McClatchy says 3Q earnings lower, ad revenue
  7. 7. 21 Pollock/Dow Jones Newswires (2011, November 8)L. EW Scripps Swings To 3Q Loss On Newspaper . The WallStreet Journal31 Viken, A. (2009, April 10). The history of Personal Digital Assistants 1980 – 2000 Technology. 5Network Division, which they acquired back in 2004, saw revenues up 44 percent.7 CaptivatesDigital Signage solutions along with Microsoft’s Windows Embedded Compact technology helpto power this extensive network of DOOH screens that you see integrated into many officeelevators and lobbies throughout numerous parts of the country. The Empire State BuildingWillis Tower (formerly Sears Tower) in Chicago and the Prudential Center in Bostonare some notable buildings that utilize Captivates Digital Signs. Captivate Networks screensengage almost 3 million viewers every day.3 This is one of the few spaces that Gannett hasbenefitted from helping to make up for losses in its more traditional business markets. In fact Iforesee consolidation and an increasing number of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity asmore companies begin to acknowledge the power of DOOH, knowing what it can do for themand their shareholders alike. Organizations particularly those that need to increase shareholdervalue and sales will need to grow not only organically but through acquisitions. Largerconglomerates who embrace Digital Signage sooner rather than later will clearly have acompetitive edge. Perhaps now you are beginning to notice a trend. 3. Chapter Three: Three Core Network Screens That Depict Digital Signage Three types of networks make up the core of the Digital Signage Industry and its variousvertical applications. The first we all experience a lot especially if you work or visit an officeyou will frequently come across these screens in elevators and lobbies. This is an
  8. 8. 7 GANNETT CO., INC. (2011, January 31). Gannetts CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript .SeekingAlpha.com3 Captivate Network A GANNETT COMPANY (2011). What is Captivate. Captivate Network. 6example of what is known as a point and wait (POW) network.9 These signs can also be seen inthe back of taxi cabs, waiting on a retail line to order food, in banks, located in bars ,restaurants, universities and they can be for internal corporate communications just to namea few. People who view these screens typically have sufficient time exposure to allow for longermessages with greater repetition. Messages can be changed faster, more easily and lessexpensively. In fact you can time your messages hourly, weekly and monthly. If you have everbeen inside McDonalds, the chain changes its Digital Sign messages continuously. In themorning the screen may promote Egg Mcmuffins during lunch they may change its sign topromote its salads or at night an Angus Chipotle BBQ Bacon Burger may be displayed. DigitalSignage used for corporate communication is also rapidly expanding. As soon as an employeeenters the building they can be made aware of the days agenda, where meetings will be held,any important issues that need to be addressed. This can be delivered by a digital sign tied intothe company’s information system, database via an RSS feed. Employees will not need tointerrupt workflow for staff meetings and announcements or sort through emails for pertinentinformation which all aids in increasing productivity. Manufacturing operations will becomemore efficient as real time supply chain information is relayed to employees through screens.Interactive touch screens may also be used to streamline process control and training contentcan be distributed throughout the facility without interrupting an employee’s workday. The second type of network is known as the point of sale network (POS).3 The consumers
  9. 9. are shoppers that encounter screens close to a product or service for sale and where consumersmake their buying decisions like in a mall or retail store. Retail market signage is being 9 Kelson, K. (2010). Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, Content Strategies for the 5th Screen . (1sted.). (p. 20 to 59). Burlington, MA/United States: Elsevier. 7driven by lack of knowledge of retail staff and a lot of employee turnover. Theneed to effectively, communicate ads and sales to customers on retail floors can reduce thenumber of employees needed helping to lower additional overhead costs. Wal-Mart in 2008deployed screens referring to it as the Smart Network to communicate timely and relevantinformation regarding product features and benefits about brands and content to customersaffectively. Wal-Mart completed its chain wide deployment in early 2010 monitoring up to27,000 screens. In February 2010 At the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas, the retail giant’screative director, Andy Johnson, said the Smart Network has proven, in the previous 18months, to increase sales for many of the products that it advertised. Sales increases bydepartment included electronics up 8%, over the counter up 23%, food up 13% andhealth/beauty up 28%.20 Finally the last network is the point of transit (POT).9 This type of sign can be seen whiledriving on a highway and on top of a moving taxi cab, bus or where there is high pedestriantraffic. Usually this is viewed when you’re in transit or you see something else in transit. Manyfortune 500 companies make use of POTs major highways around the country like the 405freeway in Los Angeles or areas such as Time’s Square in Manhattan, a major destination hubfor high pedestrian traffic. The deployment of these signs is so widespread there is no need toprovide detailed company specific examples however increased visibility in the use of a POT9 Kelson, K. (2010). Unleashing the Power of Digital Signage, Content Strategies for the 5th Screen. (1st ed.). (p. 1to 262). Burlington, MA/United States: Elsevier.
  10. 10. 20 Pinhammer, Sr. /Retail Technology Analyst, PlanetRetail, J. (2011, April). Customer Facing Technologies:Enabler for a New generation of Pinpoint Marketing Volume VII Issue II(p.28-30). PlanetRetail 8network is clearly advantageous to any organization who makes use of it. As a side note ClearChannel Outdoor Holdings and Lamar Advertising Company are two of the biggest players thatcomprise of the POT network. 4. Chapter Four: Digital Signage is an Information System Technically speaking Digital Signage is an information system that requires a methodologyin and of itself. Like with system analysis and design you can apply many of the same principlesfor a Digital Signage system. You can use system initiation to identify the opportunity orobjective, analyze and understand the objective, Identify solution requirements andexpectations, identify alternative solutions, choose the best course of action, design the chosensolution and implement the solution. Digital Signage is an ecosystem of interconnected andcomplex technologies that all act together in unison to produce images we see on a screen butequally important for any organization is to closely examine their potential return oninvestments (ROIs) and/or return on objectives (ROOs). Many organizations already have anetwork used for internal communications along with the Internet for data transfer but thatnetwork must be looked at carefully to see its configurability capabilities and evaluate itsoptions very closely when deploying Digital Signage. If used correctly organizations canleverage their existing networks to exploit the DOOH arena while significantly increasing both
  11. 11. top and bottom line numbers. 9 5. Chapter Five: Digital Signage Infrastructure The infrastructure of a Digital signage system or the ecosystem as Hewlett Packard coinsit consists of hardware, software and the network it will run on. Many providers offer turnkeysolutions but first will start with the basic components that comprise of a digital signagenetwork. As a footnote this paper will reference primarily large scale digital signagedeployments. The network consists of several different distribution methodologies that areused but let me emphasize if an organization has an internal network for example in making useof an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system that integrate business processes in sales andmarketing, human resources, finance and accounting and manufacturing into a single softwaresystem they must consider how to structure the digital signage network without compromisingother mission critical applications so in having said that lets explore the numerous physicaldistribution mediums that can be used in Digital Signage. These mediums comprise of satellite,Internet, Local Area Networks (LAN), Wide Area Networks (WAN) or wireless. Now if you are a large corporation you typically would have your own internal server butmay want to connect to a media player or multiple media players which in turn connect to adigital signage display via a virtual private network (VPN).5 A VPN typically works by using ashared public telecommunications infrastructure such as the Internet while maintaining privacy
  12. 12. through security procedures. VPNs encrypt compressed content at the sending end, decrypting5 Cisco Systems (2007, September). Digital Signage Distribution Methodologies Overview. 10and decompressing it at the receiving end, sending the content through a tunnel that cannot beentered by content that is not properly encrypted. An additional level of security involvesencrypting not only the content, but also the originating and receiving network addresses.Firewalls are also set up throughout a system via whatever network medium you use. In orderto save on leased line costs many companies install and configure VPNs over broadband. Theonly negative is lack of complete control as many Digital Subscriber Lines (DSL) or cableInternet Service Providers (ISPs) often constrain the amount of bandwidth in order to allocate itfor additional users on a single line to minimize congestion. This can limit the ability forstreaming content to the digital signage edge node over this type of connection. Preplanning ofcontent is extremely important and securing a proper failover solution which is a secondarysystem that takes over when the primary system fails can keep the digital signage networkoperational when connectivity is lost. Now on the other end a company can govern their own flows of data with a privateleased line which offers greater flexibility and control for streaming content.5 Through thisservice a firms own Information Technology team manages the data and lines between sitesexactly at the point of saturation. They do this by decreasing or increasing the committedinformation rate (CIR) from their service provider. CIR is really just the average bandwidthguaranteed by the ISP but the only downside is the increased cost.
  13. 13. 5 Cisco Systems (2007, September). Digital Signage Distribution Methodologies Overview. 11 Satellite links have been used to transmit video for quite some time as theyare multicast enabled so they are a solid distribution medium for video like using an MPEG-2format, the most common format used in DOOH today.5 Satellites use video encoders to digitallyencode a signal into a proprietary MPEG-2 format. The signal is sent through multicasting tosatellites beaming the signal down to antennas, than decoding it through an in housedecoder. It then converts back to an analog signal which can then be sent to the media recorderto be displayed on the digital sign. Cisco for example now offers a module for itsrouters that provides the ability to affectively move Internet Protocol (IP) traffic acrosssatellite links as a transport medium for Digital Signage. Cisco believes that the optimumtransmission medium for DOOH is broadband via a LAN or WAN connection however this maynot be feasible for many large scale deployments. Cisco does around $43.7 billion in yearlyrevenue and has cash on hand of around $44.39 billion compared to debt of around $16.85billion.4 Do to the amount of money this organization has you can take a good educated guessits poured a large amount of capital into research and development (R&D) to determine whichtransmission mediums would be the most beneficial to their clients. This is why you couldprobably take it to the bank that any opinion this organization has to offer is a solid one since itprovides services for all transmission mediums. After all this is one of the largest networkingand communication device companies in the world with extensive knowledge of The OpenSystem Interconnection (OSI) protocol suite, Transmission Control protocol, Internet protocol(TCP/IP) as well almost any protocol you can name.6 Digital Signage has been
  14. 14. 4 Cisco Systems (2011, October 29). Cisco Systems Inc. form 10Q for the Quarter Ended October 29, 2011.Securities and Exchange Commission5 Cisco Systems (2007, September). Digital Signage Distribution Methodologies Overview. Cisco.com6 Cisco Systems (2009, December 17). Open System Interconnection Protocols. 12a key part of Cisco’s efforts in the sports arena business, where the company has played a rolein such facilities as the new Yankees Stadium, football stadiums for the N.Y. Giants, N.Y. Jetsand Dallas Cowboys. Yankee stadium has screens almost everywhere and when a person getsup to go to a food concession stand or the bathroom they will not be able to miss a play. Theyalso can receive news, weather etc. The stadium is one of the most wired, connected andDigital Signage enabled stadiums in all of baseball and sales of tickets have risen due to Cisco’sdeployment.11 Cisco in February of 2011 announced in a release that more than 3,000customers have deployed its Digital Signage technology.32 When talking with Bob Kosar arepresentative of Hughes Network Systems, a division of EchoStar, like most mediums eachmedia player in the network will be provided a unique IP address (B. Kosar, personalcommunication, November, 2011). Now according to Cisco optimal configuration is attaching adigital media player endpoint directly to the LAN back to a central management station, aswired networks allow for multiple streams to run across a wired LAN producing optimalbandwidth with minimal effect on the LAN itself. The next option would be a wireless one. In fact Sprint has been pushing its latest 4Goption (fourth generation) wireless network services along with partners such as MediaTile aworldwide leader in cloud-based digital signage solutions.1711 Lawson/, S. (2008, November 13). Cisco plans networked screens at Yankee Stadium: The new Yankee Stadiumwill feature digital signs from Cisco that can show live game play all around the venue. PC World.
  15. 15. 17 NetWorld Alliance Media | Sponsored by Sprint (2010). Cellular-Based Digital Signage: 2010 Network AllianceMedia.32 Villazon/Cisco Systems, C. (2011, February 21). Cisco Reaches 3,000-Customer Milestone in Digital . CiscosTechnology News Site. 13This organization also has a venture with Verizon as well according to Melissa Oakes arepresentative of MediaTile (M. Oakes, personal communication, November, 2011). Now 3Gwhich it offers stands for the third generation of mobile standards and the networks are widearea cellular telephone networks which evolved to incorporate high speed Internet access andvideo telephony. Talking with Mrs. Oakes of MediaTile she exclaimed that the company offerstwo options. They have a separate media player which you will need a separate cell card for theplayer and attach it to the back of an LED or LCD display via an HDMI cable. The other optionis that they offer in their own displays embedded media player software and cellular technology.Mrs. Oakes further exclaimed one of the main differences between using 3G and 4G is that 4Gcan now offer live television feeds to the screens in conjunction with other content files.Sprint’s take on its 3G and 4G wireless technology is why go through the hassle of deploying anetwork when one already exists around you. The base stations are there, the cell towers arethere, the radio equipment is there. The project is 90 percent complete. The other 10 percent isfor the digital signage client to make the decision to use Sprint’s network.17 Now althoughSprint has been pushing its 3g and 4G technology you should always analyze and examine allwireless options. In further using Sprint as an example it provides unlimited data services for aflat fee unlike most of its large competitors which has caused the company to have a significantamount of data users and a shortage of wireless airwaves. This can cause further strain onSprints network and slow down data transmission speeds having a negative impact on any
  16. 16. 17 NetWorld Alliance Media | Sponsored by Sprint (2010). Cellular-Based Digital Signage: 2010 Network AllianceMedia. 14Digital Signage network. That is why continuous emphasis on the significance of evaluatingvarious vendor options is an essential element in optimizing your network. The next step after reviewing the various distribution mediums is the software. Softwarethat runs on a server acts as the brain of the system handling scheduling the distribution ofmedia to the player software. Server software can come in several different types ofconfiguration depending on how the user will interact with it and how it is run. The most basictype of server software controls the network or Internet enabled player software with the userinteracting with the server directly through a graphical interface. The server software in thiscase will allow the user to import content utilizing files like AVI, or MPEG video, WMV,standard graphics such as JPEGs, GIFs or TIFs, WMA, etc. into the system, manage the screensand publish data to the network.15 A more advanced server system may relocate the userinteraction to an entirely separate software component for management and scheduling. Thismeans the server here will accept incoming schedule information and content and distribute itto the appropriate screens. Another server type revolves around a specific model of signage software known assoftware as a service (SAAS) using cloud technology. This means the user will purchase asubscription to the server system which will have a web based control interface to allow forcontent importing, scheduling and screen management. The software is hosted by a vendor.
  17. 17. 15 NEC (2008, December 29). Digital Signage in Higher Education An NEC White Paper. NEC Unified 15This carries a monthly fee in most cases and removes the need for the user to purchase andadminister their own server system. Some software components may have separate schedulingand player management components that are not integrated into the server software. Thissimply means those functions exist in separate applications and will connect to the server via anetwork or the internet allowing flexibility in having multiple people interact with the system.This software will import content and create the schedule which can then be uploaded onto theserver for distribution to the software player. Some packages will also allow the ability tomonitor screen health through management software and may have playback recordingintegrated here as well. While on the discussion of software one company that appears to have a uniqueDemand Side Platform (DSP) with the incorporation of impressive analytical tools and just in itsinfancy stage is rVue Holdings (J. Kates CEO, J Wilson CTO, J. Bolt CSO, Attended Webinar,July 2010).22Although the company is still relatively small it has formulated relationships withscreen owners in which the company has access to 166 DOOH networks controlling 751,440digital screens. The business model is what makes this company intriguing as it’s very similar toeBay. Advertisers or agencies pay a transaction fee for negotiating and placing ads throughrVue’s web based platform that displays digital media advertising campaigns in a targetedmanner based on rVue’s partnerships with screen owners located in numerous parts of thecountry. These owners can also be situated in different business environments. rVue also
  18. 18. offers the tools for advertisers and advertising agencies to customize campaigns22 rVue Holdings Inc. (2011, November 11). rVue Holdings, Inc. Announces 2011 Third Quarter & 16for details, such as location, customer preference, product availability, currentevents, and other retailer needs. In addition, the company provides content productionservices, which include custom creation of informational spots, and technical services thatcomprise network monitoring, troubleshooting, and maintenance services. This is all done viathe company’s Internet website and is really the only organization that I have seen that offersthis type of DSP platform in this space. The next link in the chain is the media player where most of the network transmissionmediums have to be directly connected. This is the hardware that needs to be used to playbackthe content. At its most basic level a digital signage media player will accept incoming data froma software source either from a network or storage media and convert it into video format thatcan be output through a standard connector to a display device like an LED or LCD screen.There are so many variations of this media player theme but they generally breakdown into 2categories. Computer based players and standalone hardware players. Each player based on itsmanufacturer will have various options for video output to the display. Internal storage, digitalsignage software packages, peripheral inputs, control outputs and network interfaces. Mediaplayers are going to sit attached to a display and translate all information that comes in over anetwork or internet from the server and software into actual video the displays can handle.Computer based media players are the most common and then there is Stand-alone basedmedia players. Audio is an option as well but it is not as significant compared to the ecosystems
  19. 19. other components. Cables and connectors are often overlooked as being the weakest link in thechain but using poor quality cables and connectors can cripple the image quality of the display. 17Finally there is the displays themselves which come in various sizes and most of us have heardof these types of screens as they are used in many of our homes. I’m referring to DPL, LED andLCD monitors which are now being configured with all sorts of smart technology as you willsoon see examples of in the next chapter that follows.. 6. Chapter Six: Preexisting and New Technologies Emerging Into the Digital Signage Currently there are many new technologies that exist now or are rapidly approachingbut have not been utilized on a massive scale as of yet however virtual reality is becoming areality. Smart phones are now beginning to offer enormous opportunities in the area of DigitalSignage.16 For example IBM UK is taking advantage of high radio frequency identificationdevices (RFIDs) which can access a screen up to more than 90 feet or a subset of the RFIDtechnology, New Field Communication (NFC) chips which can only transmit from a maximumof twenty centimeters away are already embedded in many global phones which store a lot of ourpersonal information. In fact Apple is thinking of adopting RFID circuitry into their IPhone 5 towork as an electronic wallet configuring with any given wireless network. ClearChannel one of the biggest billboard players in the market has currently piloted RFID and evenBluetooth technology programs. Think of how this will work. A sensor inside the screen willidentify you and deliver you a personalized advertisement or you can download content fromthe screen itself via your cell phone like a coupon perhaps, join rewards loyalty programs or youcan use your mobile device to engage with games via the digital sign. In using an analogy thedigital sign can almost act like a PC which uses cookies to track your Internet movements. This
  20. 20. could be done in mass as the screen tracks your mobile phone. Social Networking will also be ahuge trend in digital signage. In the article titled “Levi’s and Facebook Prompt16 NEXCOM International (2011, November). Digital Signage Responds to its Audience. 18Your Friends to Improve Your Buying Experience” you can use your mobile phone evenif your friends are not currently present in the store with you. If you see for examplea particular style of Levis jeans you can scan the product and upload it to your Facebookaccount and get a response or opinion from your friends to see whether they like theproduct or not.19 This also allows the brand the ability to expand its marketing reach by usingan in store customer to subconsciously reach out to multiple friends whom they communicatewith on a social networking site via their phone. As you can see from above mobile phoneapplications offer immediacy, interactivity and ubiquity. This is quite advantageous toa retail establishment as the Digital Signage industry now has the ability to capitalize or piggyback off smart phone technology. What we are also currently seeing is the emergence of retinalscanning and facial recognition with cameras incorporated in digital sign’s determining your ageand gender. This was featured not long ago in an NEC ad which has a Digital Sign pull up an adand target you in such a way that it can determine your likes and dislikes, separating out oldercustomers from younger ones and a number of other functions that are out of this world. Theseintelligent devices know almost everything about a customer. Ironically the Japanese have beendeploying this type of technology for the last several years but now the global business world isfinally beginning to take notice. Biometric facial recognition technology which uses softwarethat measures and scans an individual’s facial characteristics will now allow displays to call aprospective customer by his or her name and deliver customer specific advertisements as they
  21. 21. 19 Owyang/ Industry Analyst at Altimeter Group, J. (2010, April 30). Social Commerce Breakdown: How Levi’s andFacebook Prompt Your Friends To Improve Your Buying Experience. 19come in close proximity to one another. In an October 17, 2011 press release NEC announcedthat it just provided Fast Retailing Co., Ltd., and their new global flagship store, UNIQLO NewYork Fifth Avenue with digital signs by which the retailer controls through NECs cloud basednetwork from its headquarters in Japan.26 The release also goes on to say that that NEC can alsoprovide Panel Director, a total digital signage solution that provides advanced facial recognitionand audience measurement technologies. As an additional benefit embedded screen cameras canalso provide security surveillance. When Microsoft released the Kinect motion gesture sensingcamera add-on for their Xbox 360 gaming console 2010 it was a game changer for sure no punintended.27 Some companies are creating Microsoft gesture-like biometric recognitiontechnologies configured with cameras located inside the Digital Signs. NTT Docomo one ofJapans largest telecommunications conglomerates as well as Microsoft licensed GestureTeksgesture recognition technologies whose interface applications include multi-touch and 3Dcamera tracking.1 The private company has been developing gesture based technologies for over25 years and although it has allowed for Qualcomm to buy up some of its gesture recognitiontechnology assets the company is retaining other assets in continuation of its gesture-controlledpublic display and digital signage business. Notice the key words in the previous sentence,“retaining assets of its gesture-controlled public display and digital signage business.” That’sprobably because they also recognize that by retaining these core assets they have the potential topenetrate a significant amount of market share in an industry that is on the verge of rapidexpansion. Now imagine walking past a store whereby just through the gesture of your hands26 Takahashi/NEC, M. (2011, October 17). NEC Provides Digital Signage for UNIQLOs Largest Global FlagshipStore, "UNIQLO New York Fifth Avenue".
  22. 22. 27 Terdiman, M. (2009, June 1). Microsofts Project Natal: What does it mean for game industry?1 Asmar, T. (2011, July 25). Qualcomm Acquires Gesture Recognition Assets from GestureTek. 20you can move various garments located on a screen to conform to your body type. There is nolonger a need to pick out specific garments and physically try them on in a fitting room. You justwalk up to the screen and virtually try a piece of clothing on. Table 1 Above is a Column Chart Depicting PQ Media Research Firms Global and U.S. Digital Signage Revenue Growth from 2009-2011. Numbers Were Highlighted Above on Page 1 Material Reprinted by Watershed Publishing (, 2011)
  23. 23. 21 7. Conclusion Throughout history there have been a number of advancements but very few were ableto crossover and impact a multitude of industries all at the same time which is what makesDigital Signage such a game changer. Some of these technologies have been around for yearssuch as the likes of the Internet which was created by the U.S. government in the late 1960’s,back then known as ARPANET. However it is only until the last couple of decades that we havethe applications to now make use of these technologies. The Digital Signage business modeltakes preexisting and emerging technologies such as the various transmission mediums,software analytics, hardware, 3D signage, mobile marketing, biometrics technologies, RFID andsocial networking just to name a few and merges those all into one very powerful marketingtool that I believe will enhance audience measurement, interactivity and targeted advertising toa level that is unimaginable. The question many people need to ask themselves is will thisindustry grow into becoming as profitable as targeted advertising has proven to be on theInternet? I anticipate it will unless regulatory constraints such as privacy issues limit itspotential. This is why to stay ahead of the curve the industry should take corrective action bydesigning default mechinisms and privacy controls that will disallow for the storage of personalinformation to appease both end users and regulators alike. In having said that DOOHtechnology will be beneficial not only to the organizations that choose to deploy Digital Signagebut more importantly engaging to the end user further leading to vast improvements in ROI andROO. If you can recall the movie “The Minority Report” which depicted the films time period tobe around the year 2054, ironically Stephen Spielberg who directed the motion picture back in2002 probably had no idea that the Digital Signs that were portrayed in his feature would be on
  24. 24. the verge of potentially becoming today’s next killer technology! 22 Bibliography 1 Asmar, T. (2011, July 25). Qualcomm Acquires Gesture Recognition Assets from GestureTek . Retrieved November from assets-from-gesturetek-126106248.html 2 Brigham Young High School Alumni (2011). Philo Taylor Farnsworth Mathematician, Inventor,Father of TelevisionBrigham Young High School Class of 1924 . Brigham Young Academy. Retrieved November 3 Captivate Network A GANNETT COMPANY (2011). What is Captivate. Captivate Network. Retrieved November from pagename=What_Is_Captivate 4 Cisco Systems (2011, October 29). Cisco Systems Inc. form 10Q for the Quarter Ended October 29, 2011. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved November from 5 Cisco Systems (2007, September). Digital Signage Distribution Methodologies Overview. Retrieved November from 0aecd805acf12.pdf 6 Cisco Systems (2009, December 17). Open System Interconnection Protocols . Retrieved November from Internet.html 7 GANNETT CO., INC. (2011, January 31). Gannetts CEO Discusses Q4 2010 Results - Earnings Call Transcript . Retrieved November from earnings-call-transcript 8 GANNETT CO., INC. (2011, September 25). For the quarterly period ended September 25, 2011. Retrieved November from
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