Industry News

JOAN 9.7" Limited Edition Launches at Orgatec

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Joan 9.7

Visionect reveals a new JOAN 9.7 Limited Edition room booking solution at ORGATEC, the international trade fair for office in Cologne, Germany.

The new display features the larger 9.7-inch E Ink screen and the Visionect technology that offers impressive battery autonomy--up to half a year of power.

The 9.7 Limited Edition display is a meeting room booking solution that connects to wi-fi and company calendars and displays detailed information on meetings and meeting participants, providing an overview of meeting activity.

It seamlessly integrates with office design and attaches to any surface via a specially designed magnetic mount that requires no tools. Running on advanced Visionect technology with a 9.7-inch screen, the device is cordless in operation.

The 9.7 complements the existing JOAN room booking solutions and is aimed to satisfy the needs of larger organizations looking for a premium designer product.


Thin Client Maker Enters Digital Signage

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Ilumineye DS Suite

VXL enters the digital signage market with Ilumineye DS Suite a software and media-player package to make high-quality digital signage available to everyone at a more affordable price.

Headquartered in India (with offices in EMEA that sprouted up during 40 years in the IT business), VXL is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of thin-client hardware. Their thin client background lead them into digital signage.

VXL’s VP for Worldwide Sales, Frank Noon, says the cost of current digital signage solutions puts it out of reach to many businesses. “We believe,” says Noon, “that the potential market size could actually be far larger if the technology was opened up to a wider customer demographic. That’s what we aim to do with Illumineye DS Suite.”

Illumineye combines a Windows-based software suite – Illumineye DS Suite – and dedicated media player – the Illumineye IQ-L Player, sold as a bundle at a one-off price.

The Illumineye software handles the creation of campaigns – building from supplied templates – as well as the deployment of campaigns locally (over a LAN or over the Internet). Digital campaigns can be created quickly, incorporating text, images, tickers, video, audio and much more. They can also be interactive, as Illumineye supports touchscreen displays.

The Illumineye IQ-L Player is a thin client, based on an Intel processor. With no moving parts, it’s built to be reliable and run at a low cost. It’s small and can be mounted on the rear of most screens using the inclusive VESA bracket.

The whole package is, according to Noon, designed to be incredibly simple to use. “We’ve built Illumineye DS Suite so that it can be used by everyone,” says Noon, “not just design professionals. It’s ideal for organisations of any size – from one person upwards, as Illumineye’s software can manage and schedule content on any number of displays.”

“Our software and media player stands – in terms of features – at least shoulder-to-shoulder with leading solutions. But we want to create a ‘desktop publishing revolution’ in digital signage, where organisations of any size can access the kind of power previously only available to professionals. It’s a complete package – customers just add their own display.”

Illumineye is available from VXL’s worldwide partner network. The bundle has a recommended retail price of US$399 / €363 / £305 for single units, with discounts available for larger volumes. (Prices are based on exchange rates as on 1st July 2016 and could change depending on currency fluctuations.)

Go VXL Illumineye

Digital Signage, Pro Displays: 7m Units in 2020

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IHS market estimate

The global market for digital signage and professional displays (public displays, public-display TVs and consumer TVs used in digital signage and professional applications), will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8.3% (from 4.4 million units in 2015 to 7.7 million in 2020), says IHS Technology.

Public display growth in Q1 2016 was fueled by higher unit shipments of 32” and 49” displays and a rapid shift towards larger sizes in the education and corporate market. Displays sized 60” to 69” are the most popular category, and those between 70” to 79” are the fastest growing size category in the education and corporate collaboration verticals, according to IHS.

“Consumer TVs will continue to limit the growth of both public displays and public display TVs,” notes Sanju Khatri, director of digital signage for IHS Technology.

“As technology improves and prices fall, more customers will risk buying consumer TVs for use in commercial environments, because businesses that do not need to display sophisticated content may find consumer TVs perform well enough for their purposes. We’ve already seen two major consumer TV brands position their products in the public display space, and we expect this trend to increase in future.”

IHS Public Display Market

Digital signage and professional or public displays are intended to be used in out-of-home (OOH), public environments, and by multiple individuals simultaneously to convey information, advertising or other forms of messaging.

Public-display TVs are low-cost, all-in-one displays designed specifically for the signage market. For example, LG Electronics SuperSign and eZ-sign and Samsung Electronics Smart Signage TV.

Consumer TVs, while not originally intended for this purpose, are sold through business-to-business channels and often used for signage and professional displays applications. Hybrid displays, combining features of hospitality and commercial products and sold into the public display market, are also included in the consumer TV category.

The public display TV category targets small and medium-sized businesses for their retail signage needs. Shipments of 40”, 48”, and 49” public display televisions increased, due to more competitive pricing.

Go IHS Public Display Market Tracker

Stratacache Buys Control of Scala

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Stratacache acquires super-majority control of Scala.

What does Scala have that Stratacache wants? "Stratacache has great admiration for the Scala platform, the Scala team, the Scala Reseller Channel and the great history of the company," says Chris Riegel, CEO of Stratacache.

Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE

"With the Stratacache acquisition of Scala, we believe that we can help Scala and its partner channel realize the runaway success that Stratacache has experienced in the digital signage industry, while significantly improving the depth and breadth of products and services for Scala customers and channel partners worldwide."

Stratacache goes on to say in their press release: "Combining the largest U.S. digital signage company with the largest international digital signage company will provide significant operational synergies and allow both firms to deliver enhanced solutions and services to customers across the globe. Stratacache's strong balance sheet and large-scale operations will enhance Scala's competitive edge-- and Scala's global channels and significant reseller and partner network will fuel Stratacache's growing business outside of the United States."

So the main driver in the deal is that Scala has the international footprint and channel partners that Stratacache feels it needs to grow the business internationally. Scala has over 25 years' experience across wide-ranging industries (like retail, finance, education, healthcare and more) with a world-wide network of partners and developers spanning more than 100 countries.

The acquisition could bring operational scale and cost advantages to Scala and should benefit the Scala dealer channel (as Stratacache is publicly making a commitment to additional channel investment, resources and solutions to broaden the scope of offerings for the reseller channel.)

"Our offices will continue to remain separate. However, we will be growing our European footprint," the company told us today. "Stratacache will maintain both brands. For example, Toyota + Lexus=Toyota is a good way of looking at it. Multiple versions with different features, costs and capabilities are common in many industries."

The acquisition accelerates Stratacache's goal to reach $1 billion in annual sales by 2020. Their last acquisition (less than one month ago) was the Vertigo QSR Outdoor Digital Menu product line from Civiq Smartscapes (with patented “DACS – Direct Air Cooling System.")

A $500 million company with 270 employees (160 employees in Dayton OH headquarters), Stratacache works with major retailers, banks, stadiums and fast food restaurants. Among its biggest customers is McDonald's which implements Stratacache products in thousands of its restaurants.

"The changing nature of marketing is driving its growth as companies like McDonalds look at ways to automate some processes to cut costs. If a digital advertising product cuts other costs 3% or 5%, it quickly pays for itself," Riegel recently told Dayton Business Journal. He also told them Stratacache is "seeing its first $700 million project now."

"Our industry is changing greatly thanks to consolidations, and we're a leader in that," Riegel said to Dayton Business Journal. "We're going to continue to grow and accelerate our pace." Riegel said he's eyeing a third of the market share-- in an industry he thinks could grow to $3 billion to $4 billion.

Go Stratacache Acquires Super-majority Control of Scala

Joan Earns Red Dot Distinction

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Red Dot Award

More than 5000 entries wanted this year's international Red Dot Award for Best Product Design— and yet someone from our own industry won this prestigious prize.

Joan Meeting Room Assistant took home the Red Dot Award, the first-ever Red Dot winner for a meeting room scheduling solution (and digital door label) to win this highest of international distinctions for high quality product design.

Joan is a next generation room booking device using an E Ink e-paper display with 180° viewing angle, great visibility and no glare (even in direct sunlight).


The award recognizes Joan's elegant design, reflecting modernistic simplicity with no buttons and an intuitive interface. (Our editors believe the judges might have also recognized the beauty behind an anthropomorphic branding of an elegant product with the face of Joan to personify a room meeting assistant.)

Developed by a global market leader in electronic paper signage, Visionect designed Joan exclusively for room booking signage. Dedicated from birth to its task, Joan is installed in minutes (without cables as it is easily attached to any surface) and she leverages the existing wi-fi network to connect to popular online calendars and to hold conversations with the smartphones and tablets of room users.

Joan is the greenest digital door label on the market with a power consumption that the maker says is 99% lower than other room booking signage solutions. Joan lasts up to three months on a single battery charge, with a lighter environmental footprint. If the battery runs out, Joan even lets you know with an email reminder.

Joan Digital Door Label

Earlier this year, America's famous event, CES, applauded Joan’s extreme energy efficiency by awarding Joan the CES Innovation Award for innovative design and engineering.

While the fundamental appeals of Joan are its accessible price (RRP EUR 349) and ease-of-use, its intelligent technology and appearance, Joan fulfills the needs of a modern workplace that is rapidly morphing to fit the habits of an internet age and its new generation of workers.

Joan’s development has indeed been influenced by its earliest users – Microsoft, Dell and Dreamworks. Microsoft’s “New World of Work” campaign recognizes Joan as one of the tools that improve productivity and rethink how things get done in a modern workplace.

Joan has been entrusted with meeting rooms at more than 100 companies and organizations because—besides being a pretty face—Joan pays for herself by increasing productivity. Those annoying no-show meeting (ghost meetings!) cost business as much as $30 million per year in USA alone— and other organizations (churches, government, museums, non-profits, military...) may not quantify the loss in the same way but they still suffer from similar disruptions.

Joan’s "Check into" meeting function eliminates no-shows (ghost meetings), saves money and time-- and helps optimize valuable office space (allowing the ghosted conference or huddle room to be reallocated for immediate use).

Born in Europe, Joan is also very Continental with a host of languages she can speak. By localizing the technology that employees will use daily—like any good room meeting assistant-- Joan improves communications and efficiency.

She is constantly adding new languages, including some out-of-the-world choices just to show how easily Joan picks up language.

Should any Klingons break free from their space on Star Trek to meet and congratulate her on winning the Red Dot Award, Joan is capable of greeting them properly in their own language.

All we can say is, YI’el, Joan!

Go Joan Learns New Languages

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