ISE2017 trends and insights


Well, it has been another ISE, yes, bigger, more packed, but: What did we really learnt from this? Read for the best impartial comments on the show…

LED display walls everywhere. In fact, the chinese manufacturers have literally “occupied” half of hall 8 (the Digital Signage hall). Hall 12 was not enough…

More LED from (all) the monitor manufacturers. We have seen LED dot videowalls at Samsung, NEC, Philips, LG, etc. They all announce that will be selling those this year. From pitch 0.9 to pitch 26!. Even one of the “big” ones (not allowed to disclose which) shared with us they will be entering the football field business.

Digital Signage Software manufacturers, where did you go? We are observing two trends here. First, is that some software are INSIDE the monitor manufacturers booths to help them promote their SoCs (System-on-chip), and avoid competition from external player manufacturers. Second (and most feared): software (again) is seen as a secondary part of the Digital Signage chain. Hope that what happened in Hall 8 of the show will be only temporary.

The “war” between QLED and OLED. LG’s OLED monitors in the show now included videowalls. Curved, tiled, transparent, etc. And they talk about Digital Signage! Meanwhile Samsung stresses that the “future” will be QLED (Quantum Dot Displays). Although both have not yet jumped on to that technology for their professional ranges, we will watch the trend. More on the difference between QLED and OLED in a future post.

“Stretch” monitors. Here we also regard a different approach from LG and Samsung. While LG announces a new 88″ (wider) and heavily promotes their successful 86″, Samsung openly comments that they welcome customer feedback on this kind of units and will follow up accordingly

Mirror displays. We have seen better (more transparency and contrast),  so we believe the moment has come for that technology. Apps are flowing in for that technology, such as hotel lobby sw, kinect gaming, dressing rooms, bathroom mirrors…

And of course, Video distribution /encoding / transmission,  Collaboration and Control. Although not in the business we work in, we observe growth in those areas too. Look for comments in other blogs!

More to come in a following post…



Carrefour digitizes point of sale with Digital Signage

Carrefour implements jointly with Neo Advertising a digitalization project using screens and interactive kiosks at points of sale across the Spanish territory. The aim of this project is developing a new means of communication with the customer: direct, multi-channel and effective.Carrefour proyecto DSAs the pioneer of the concept of the actual hypermarket, Carrefour commits on improvements and innovations in their stores. This has let it become the first distribution group at European level and the second worldwide. The retail company has taken a further step in this process of innovation, with the development of the digital experience in their stores with Digital Signage. This new communication channel broadcasts digital and interactive content at the point of sale, via displaying devices connected to its data network.

The main objectives driving the project are: providing information to optimize purchasing, foster interest in products, and promote sales. For this purpose, new applications have been developed to display content in real time via interactive websites, queue management or interactive catalogs at the wine bar or childcare areas among others, thus promoting cross-selling.

 Aéreo y gestión de turnos.jpg

Innovation and interactivity

Carrefour customers are enjoying now an innovative and interactive point of sale. Catalog stock queries through the screens help facilitate the purchasing process at many store areas such as bed ware, home appliances, fitness or electronics. The new features are designed to enhance consumer experience and encourage multichannel customer communications.

Quiosco bebes

 Neo is responsible for procurement, installation and configuration of hardware and software nationwide. It is also responsible for content management and technical support and maintenance of the entire system. Solutions installed in the project are all customized and integrated in the furniture and layout of the store.


Santander’s affluent customers deserve LEDs, mass customers just stickers

It is a while ago since I wrote the post on posters in bank branch windows. Since then, those strategies have become common ground in (an unfortunate) branding communication strategy on the street.

Until today: we just saw this Santander Select‘s branch (designed specifically for affluent customers). Equipped with a lot of Digital Signage equipment inside, the bank has opted for a LED videowall communication system on the outside, instead of sticker posters. Although still looking like a pilot installation (pitch too large, size does not fill window), we appreciate the effort towards dynamic communication.


Hope this is going to stay and the rest of banks replicate the strategy. And not only for affluent customers, but certainly for certain branches based on location, number of passers-by, visibility, size…

So many lost opportunities…

When JC Decaux Madrid MetroI go to work, or when I travel, this is a recurring issue in Spain: DOOH screens everywhere, but little paid content (Ads!).

These networks complement their well earned paid content with local advertising (lower prices), infotainment, quizs, or even video feeds.

It makes me think of all the companies that are spending their money on creating new networks: at the underground, the airports, the shopping centers, our motorways… So where are the advertisers? What are they thinking now?


In the past they said that audience was not measured, or effectiveness, or impacts. That TV was better. That DOOH was expensive. And now? All has been achieved with success. Campaigns do integrate with social media. They are interactive. Their uptime is fantastic.

This is a call to advertisers: you have the screens and the networks waiting for you. Use them! It is money well spent. Thank you.Image Animo TV Plaza Norte

Note: Pictures of networks appearing in this post resemble just a few of well designed, well placed DOOH screens around Spain. There are many more, of course, that would deserve to be in it. Sorry for the lack of space.

What I have told my friends about the ISE2014 show

Yes, the show was great.

Talk was business, business, business. No time to waste in there. Crisis was over last year, so now nobody even remembers it. Attendance was 51.000, a new record (last year it was 44.000). However, my belief is that this year it was really more crowded.

I really appreciated InfoComm‘s gift for their training (two sessions free of cost). I certainly liked Robert Simpson’s on Tech trends in High Res Displays.

Some of the big guys – not all – focused on innovation. I preferred the ones presenting new solutions in a clear manner (LG clearly knows how to).

2014-02-04 12.02.56Surprised to see a Projectors comeback, both for Digital Signage as for home or cinema use.

And yes, there were FREE SPACES in Pavillion 8 (Digital Signage). The only one at the show with empty slots. Obviously Digital Signage is all around the show, so perhaps that was due to small companies finally not attending.

2014-02-04 12.13.354K: Those words were everywhere, from projectors to LEDs, from Digital Signage to control and distribution equipment. Altough panels are ready for buying, some of the equipment that manages 4K will be available along the year incorporating H.265, HDMI 2.0, etc.

And now with the SMALL things, the ones that make a show enjoyable. That little gimmicks that may become the big successes of the future. The ones you will find in small boths at the corners of the halls.

We found an interesting audio for digital signage solution for smatphones via App at Barix. Worth watching for Digital Signage at train cars, and indoor places with very long waiting times.2014-02-05 14.39.35

We loved the E Ink shelf labels, obviously not a Digital Signage solution, but one that certainly has2014-02-05 14.21.21 come to stay and that (pity) will make obsolete the tiny TFT shelf displays that did include Digital Signage content.

We also loved some applications on LCD mirror displays. Worth watching for lifts and hotel lobbies (even at hotel rooms!)

2014-02-04 10.22.44

We too liked the Digital Signage displays with colour lighting  for meeting room booking  at Grassfish. Not a new solution, just an extension to their SW platform. It can be decorated with printed information that personalizes each room

2014-02-04 11.33.39And a final mention to a surprising solution for faking real windows with displays using a Kinect camera at easescreen. Pity it can only work with one guy watching at the time (otherwise it will keep moving the picture).

And now on with the answers to the questions to our previous post:

  1. Do we really need 4K monitors for Digital Signage? And curved ones? 4K will be a success with videowalls, and – perhaps – touchscreen monitors (the ones you have to look really close). Otherwise, at this point in time, it is a waste of money. Curved displays are dedicated to home use.
  2. Now that LED prices have dropped to a feasible level: May we now use the right PIXEL density for window shop applications? And for indoors? Which is it? The answer is YES. P1.9 LEDs were at the show, and some Shenzhen guys promised they will have P1 (!!!!) by the end of the year. So if you can pay for it, now you can have the right LED for virtually anything.
  3. Have we readily come to a winning solution in Audience Measurement? Surprisingly, after last years explosion on solutions, this year little attention was paid to this. Intel is integrating AIM into RCM (their new DS SW) meaning that other DS SW integrators working with AIM are worried about the future of it.
  4. Do videowalls with the new-smaller bezels really make a difference? We saw the 3.5 mm bezel and honestly, it is STILL A BEZEL
  5. Is it the end to video rear projection cubes (large or small)? Christie, Samsung, Eyevis, they still show their small products and we do not think this solution has come to an end. Regarding the large ones, we are not so sure.
  6. What is the future regarding Digital Signage external players? Strong and healthy, With the upcoming of 4K you will need a lot of processing power.
  7. So Digital Signage now became a commodity – or is there a place for mamooth DS SW companies? We believe there is room for all. This year we have not seen any concentration movements in the sector
  8. Is OLED technology ever going to happen? Not in 2014. Still very little production and problems with life time of displays.
  9. OMNICHANNEL marketing: are killer SOMEDOOH applications (social media @ digital out of home) on show? Not on show (well we saw some mention to it). Perhaps ISE is not the place to be seen with this – pity.
  10. And finally about the show itself: is bigger better? The show was very good indeed, it was a little bit bigger, but certainly it is still the right size for me. Please DO NOT EXTEND IT TO THE WEEKEND (as someone mentioned), it will kill its spirit. And for next year we want this WEATHER again!!!

2014-02-05 13.34.23

10 questions I am taking to the ISE show (Amsterdam, 4-6 February)

Next week I will pay the obligatory visit (this is my 5th year) to yet another promising ISE event. As usual, we are flooded with news regarding new HW and SW, some recently announced or displayed at the previous CES show. But to be honest, I am taking a lot of questions to Amsterdam. And I cannot promise I will have the answers by the end of next week. So watch this blog just in case…

  1. Do we really need 4K monitors for Digital Signage? And curved ones?
  2. Now that LED prices have dropped to a feasible level: May we now use the right PIXEL density for window shop applications? And for indoors? Which is it?
  3. Have we readily come to a winning solution in Audience Measurement?
  4. Do videowalls with the new-smaller bezels really make a difference?
  5. Is it the end to video rear projection cubes (large or small)?
  6. What is the future regarding Digital Signage external players?
  7. So Digital Signage now became a commodity – or is there a place for mamooth DS SW companies?
  8. Is OLED technology ever going to happen?
  9. OMNICHANNEL marketing: are killer SOMEDOOH applications (social media @ digital out of home) on show?
  10. And finally about the show itself: is bigger better?

The (Final) Solution to Audience Measurement in DOOH Screens: open APIs

This is not the first time we deal with the issue of Audience Measurement in the blog. However, after months of (useful) discussions with media executives, Big Data experts, Digital Signage people and audience control agencies, we have started to produce some ideas. The first of the (raw) material comes out in this post, and has to deal with API use.

Firstly, let me recommend reading of this COMPUTERWORLD article on Open APIs.

So if the World Bank, Bloomberg and others have launched open API initiatives, then why don´t we do the same with DOOH advertising?

World Bank API

The obvious answer is: we do not have enough data. That may be right, but has an easy solution: more audience measurement stuff.

Our perspective on wide usage of cameras and related devices for measuring audiences in DOOH (commercial) displays have in the past been pessimistic. Those camera systems, on top of monitors or totems showing advertising, used to have problems :

  • Too expensive: therefore few systems in place and little info to work with
  • Hard to extrapolate valuable, consistent and standardized information

But that is a thing of the past!


I must say one event has changed our view: Amscreen’s Quividi deployment at Tesco petrol station stores. This 100% screen audience measurement deployment is definitely changing the way we see the world of metrics.


Let us for a moment check the state-of-the-art of DOOH metrics:

  • Average Unit of Audience (AUA)
  • Opportunities to See
  • No. of viewers
  • Cross data between the above

Also we may use certification agencies to provide proof of data, although I do not see this is as compulsory. Experience tells many “certifiers” will appear in the market to do so, few will survive. Product manufacturers (the advertisers) will rely on them, biggest retailers will not.

Every new network from now on will necessary need 100% measurement. That is: EVERY SCREEN MUST MEASURE ITS AUDIENCE. Cost level is affordable (although manufacturers should make an effort on this); the technology exists (and is mature enough). Time is now!


Let us say first that 100% screen audience measurement IS NOT ENOUGH IF WE DO NOT MANAGE THE DATA. Let me dream of a world in which we can play with the data coming from petrol stations all over the world (not only Tesco’s). And compare with other Tesco stores, or Lidl’s, or Intermarche’s, or Ahold’s, or Mecadona’s…

And what about shopping centers? We could be able to examine our campaigns’ success in our shopping malls, but also on our competitors! And of course, all in real time, so we could have the ability to change along the way…

Audience measurement 2013-04-11 13.17.36

So please Audience Measurement SW and HW companies: give away your APIs to independent SW apps designers in the world. What would the market benefit from it is obvious: it is the end of the metrics discussion in DOOH. From that moment on, this medium or channel would be as measurable as the Internet, far – far better than static OOH advertising, TV, press or whichever other existing channels in which we are used to advertise.

Imagine of a world where we can analyze sales effectiveness by every desirable parameter (perhaps advertisers would be allowed to have the key to unlock the name of the product, only for themselves to know).

  • Connect all the screens where your product is being advertised
  • Compare how your product is selling in relation to the advertising, under different typologies of stores: petrol stations, large shopping centers, convenience stores, low cost, etc.
  • Cross information with social media on line shopping apps (Milo and RedLaser use BBYOPEN API), with on site selling data, with local weather, with local health data, with news, with competitors data, with … ANYTHING
  • Combine with data from interactions: Tactile, NFC, QR, etc.
  • Review all historical information
  • Plan according to what you just got


We expect new large DOOH deployments to include 100% audience measurement (cameras) with every screen. This, together with offering open APIs from specialized SW and HW analytics companies, will help develop SW apps to crunch this information with any imaginable source, with unforeseeable marketing results.

Welcome to the world of BIG DATA and DOOH Measurement. Nothing will be the same from now on.