Q. The industry usually walks away from Digital Signage Expo with a couple of clear themes on the direction that digital signage is taking. What do you anticipate are the themes of DSE 2014?
A. You’ll see more large-scale signage and also signage incorporating live feeds. We are witnessing a boom in multi-display installations. Network content and network content hybridized with local and captured baseband content are becoming more prevalent on both single-display and multi-display installations. You don’t have to look hard to find examples—sports bars, retail outlets, large venues like stadiums and airports…
I think we’re going to see a lot more multi-source video wall installations at DSE. I also think a major theme this year will be player PCs showing a hybrid of locally rendered content combined with content streaming to a region of the display from a separate network source.
Interactive signage will be another major theme of the show. When customers can engage the content there is feedback and following customers down their path of interest provides advertisers with the opportunity to collect critical data and perfect future campaigns. We’ll be demonstrating compatibility between 3M Multi-Touch Displays and Matrox multi-display products including the Matrox DualHead2Go. I’m sure we’ll see other examples of touch-screen interaction on the floor as well.
For proximity displays, interactivity intersects with the push for 4K so that you could fit a lot of really eye-popping, high-quality content in front of the user. Cheap player PCs aren’t going to cut it in this space. For displays that are far away from the customer, banks of HD displays being powered by ever-richer content and special effects will continue to run away with new high-profile installations. Matrox is powering this advance with many components to help OEMs and integrators build video wall controllers of many different types.
I think we’re also seeing a lot of energy being deployed into tapping the mobile devices being carried by individuals. Far from being widely deployable technology, we still feel that 2014 will see strong strides towards personalizing advertising based on user profiles. One of the reasons Matrox has invested significantly into our Network API software layer is to be able to receive basic commands from other widgets on a network that is engaged with mobile devices in proximity.