Industry News

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

Go Joan Partner Program

Christie Appoints Stampede Europe

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Mark Wilkins

After years of success taking the Christie brand, products and services to the North American market, Christie now appoints Stampede Europe as a distribution partner for its Business Products, LED and Video Wall Solutions.

“For years, Stampede has served as Christie’s largest value-added distributor in the United States, Canadian, and Latin American markets, helping to establish the company as a pioneer in the display and projector industry,” says Stampede CEO Mark Wilkins. [Shown in photo at top left.]

“Christie offers an unprecedented combination of consistent product and high-quality service, allowing us to offer our resellers the right product targeted to the right application, and be completely confident of support. And now, with the opening of Stampede Europe and the acquisition of UK-based Just Lamps, we have the sales and marketing infrastructure in place to extend a very successful distribution partnership to the UK and beyond."

Dale Miller

“Christie has a long and successful relationship with Stampede in North America so it was natural to continue that with their expansion into the UK market. We found that Stampede NA has a fresh, dynamic marketing dimension and have been a proven force in marketing terms to deliver our products and services to a wider audience,” says Dale Miller, Executive Vice President, Global Sales, for Christie. [Shown in photo at right.] We’re confident that Stampede will be able to leverage from their NA experience to help drive forward in developing the market place in new territories.”

Simon Smith, Vice President, Christie EMEA [Shown in photo at bottom left] echoed the sentiment, adding,“In recent years Christie has introduced a huge number of new products and services. For example, we have award-winning flat panels and LED. Christie has the widest range of projectors spanning 1DLP, 3DLP and LCD, and pioneered new illumination sources and technology platforms with laser phosphor and true native 4K. We have here an established and important market for Christie.

Simon Smith

"When you consider the range and level of performance we can offer tailored to specific applications, this is a great time for Stampede to extend the consistent growth we have enjoyed with our existing distributors.”

According to both Wilkins and Miller, the newly-signed agreement currently includes the UK but the plan is to continue to expand the Stampede-Christie network globally.

Go Christie Digital Systems

Go Stampede

DSS Europe 2016 Breaks Own Record

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DSS Europe

This year’s Digital Signage Summit Europe broke its own records: the event saw more attendees, more exhibitors and more speakers discussing more important topics for the future of the sector than ever before.

All in all, 503 attendees filled the two-day DSS Europe conference to listen to 40 plus speakers and the 40 exhibitors making their way to the Munich-based conference. Despite summer temperatures, all presentations and panels were well attended.

Florian Rotberg

This year’s DSS Europe was also historic: the largest and most successful conference to-date was also the event’s 10th anniversary. Furthermore, with the news of Brexit running parallel to the event, questions were raised regarding the inevitable changes both to the economy in general and the digital signage industry as a whole.

Aside from both of these external factors, the DSS Europe could be a historic conference for other reasons: the rising trends IoT and smart cities, two of the most important topics at the event, both set to have a huge impact on the world -- for companies, individuals and potentially all vertical markets.

After 10 years of DSS Europe, the organizers say the event has taken place in the Hilton Airport for the last time. From 2017, the event will most likely take place in Munich’s ICM.

While the DSS Europe may be over for another year, there are many reasons why 2016’s event is sure to be remembered as a turning point. Organisers invidis and ISE hope that everyone made it back home safe and sound and would like to extend thanks to all people and companies that made 2016’s DSS Europe an extremely special one.

Go DSS Europe News

Scala Names Harry Horn as General Manager of EMEA

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Harry Horn

Scala names Harry Horn as VP and General Manager to lead their EMEA operations. Horn will oversee efforts in sales, marketing, finance, services and support and daily activity in the Sittard, Netherlands-based EMEA office.

Horn will continue overseeing Scala’s marketing strategy as Global Marketing Vice President. Scala has digital signage solutions driving more than 500,000 screens worldwide, connecting networks of digital devices and has operations throughout the EMEA region including Norway, Germany, Spain, UK and UAE.

“Harry’s marketing efforts have consistently supported and reinforced Scala’s sales and services goals, and his broad knowledge of the EMEA digital landscape and partner network makes stepping into this role a natural fit,” says Rune Halvorsen, chairman of the Scala board. “This also brings continuity to the EMEA leadership.”

Leading to his new role, Horn has worked to align sales, services and marketing to ensure a consistent, cohesive message and high-quality digital solution is delivered to customers and communicated to partners. Horn joined Scala in 2010 with more than 20 years of experience and in 2012 took over the direction of the global marketing strategy driving digital marketing, events, thought leadership and communications, awareness campaigns and prospect nurturing.

As general manager, Horn will extend his current presence in lending his expertise to speaking engagements and industry interviews.

Go Scala Names Harry Horn as GM for EMEA

Rising Adoption of Digital Signage in Corporate Spaces

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Nielsen Offices

Based on feedback from 500 organisations across W. Europe and the US, Futuresource Consulting says, the corporate vertical continues to show a strong propensity for growth in the adoption of digital signage at a time where the wider market is beginning to show signs of maturity (in some segments) and emerging territories are posting declines in the face of worsening economic conditions.

In short, look to the corporate market for growth.

The corporate market offers a large addressable audience, existing communications infrastructure (which signage solutions can leverage) and the growing desire of companies to communicate with employees and partners in increasingly diverse ways.

Ben Davis, Senior Market Analyst, reports annual volume growth for commercial Large Format Display (LFD) product (excluding videowall and interactive whiteboard product) reached just 6% globally in 2015, down from 10% the year before and 20% in 2013.


“Large chained installs in sectors like automotive, QSR and retail banking continue to prop-up rising volumes in larger Western markets but a growth ceiling is becoming an increasing concern for suppliers as penetration in these early adopter verticals rises.

“Over 30% of organisations surveyed in our latest round of research are using screens outside of meeting spaces for the purpose of digital signage. Large organisations with headcounts of 500+ show the highest rates of adoption but it’s the SME market, below the top tier of enterprise, which provides the largest addressable opportunity in terms of scale. Requirements in this sector are typically heavily cost driven, often based on small networks running template driven signage, with the potential to overlay signage content on existing screens used to deliver broadcast content.

“From a supply side perspective, the last few years have seen increasing diversification of solutions as vendors seek to align products to individual verticals, opening up new customer bases. A key facet of this strategy has been the rising availability and declining cost of lower end solutions designed to service small network environments like those seen in SME office spaces.

“The rising penetration of SoC solutions in screen hardware, the decreasing cost of low end media players and the increasing availability of template based content management solutions have all made digital signage more accessible to corporate customers. Penetration in the segment is rising and this positive trend is highlighted by our survey with 14% of companies that do not currently operate digital signage in office spaces expecting to do so during the next two years.


“A primary driver for the adoption and expansion of digital signage networks in the corporate space is the increasing influence of IT managers and IT integrators on AV purchase decisions. This trend is happening at a time when the AV signal distribution market is making its first significant inroads into replacing conventional matrix switching products with IP based solutions. Residing on a company’s central network, these video distribution platforms sit alongside other network based communications tools, providing IT and communications managers with opportunities to create increasingly centralised and integrated solutions.

“IP solutions account for a small proportion of the AV matrix switching market at present (<5%) but the cost of these solutions is falling as the cost of Ethernet switches comes down and video compression standards improve. These solutions can offer numerous benefits and significant cost saving potential for larger networks spread across corporate campuses. Perhaps most importantly for the signage market is the flexibility these solutions offer. Any screen in any location can receive any video stream on the network and adding additional screens is as simple as adding an additional Ethernet switch to existing infrastructure. Over 50% of companies we surveyed which currently use digital signage in their offices expect to expand that network within the next two years.“

Davis adds, “The future adoption of IP based video switching solutions will aid network expansion and help maximise the utility of signage installs in office spaces.”

Go Futuresource Consulting

2016 Digital Signage Tendencies In Russian Retail

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Sergey Galeev

by Sergey Galeev, CEO, AddReality

According to Rosstat (Russian Federal State Statistics Service), the retail business in Russia has decreased by 10% in 2015, including a 15% drop in December. The main factors that have caused this situation include an insufficient demand from the population, high taxation level, lack of financial resources. The retailers are now faced with the goal of increasing an average bill, improving customer loyalty and attracting new clients.

Resources control and rational management are very important for retail businesses, especially large chains with a wide network of shops. There are many solutions in the market that aim to automate business processes in retail: warehouse and sales management, systems for procurement departments, software for the management of digital POS-materials.

The IT expenditures of Russian companies have decreased by 10-20% in 2015. The retailers prioritize those IT solutions that directly influence additional revenue attraction or cost saving, solve everyday tasks: for example, cutting the cost of marketing materials and increasing the sales of high-marginal goods. Fashion and beauty retail are actively implementing digital POS-materials- since the beginning of 2016 screens, video walls and sensory panels have been installed in many clothing, shoes and cosmetics shops.

Digital POS is a worldwide trend and due to the solutions for centralized media content management, the investments for the installation of digital screens pay themselves back very fast. The expenses for the logistics and manufacturing of printed banners recede into the past, as any marketing campaign is now created, renewed and launched remotely in every shop of a chain in a few minutes- from a PC or a tablet.

Alongside the optimization of expenditures, another factor that drives the transition to modern digital devices in Russian market is the introduction of EGAIS in 2015 (Unified state automatic informational system-- a state system dedicated to the control of alcohol production and turnover) and the new requirements for cash registers. The use of modern equipment, software and online data exchange instead of legacy devices with the limited functions helps to utilize the cash desk for marketing purposes. Integration with the analytical services and digital POS-materials provides retailers with an opportunity to optimize marketing funnel, monitor the effectiveness of advertisings in real time- for example, to track how a particular marketing campaign has influenced sales of a particular SKU.

There is a definite dependency between the retail and IT industry- we live in a time of a consumer type change and the retail is obliged to comply. What do the modern shoppers, the so called “Generation Z” need? They are the adepts of modern digital technologies and don’t want to watch “everyone’s” advertising- they need a personalized offer. They are open towards the virtual reality, put less and less trust in “real life” sales- including the shop assistants.

Russian retail is becoming more and more technological- and that is the forecast for the upcoming years, not only 2016. Digital technologies open a wide range of opportunities for retailers to optimize the expenditures. The main benefit of the digitalization of a shop is that the customer behavior, effectiveness of every marketing campaign, interaction of the visitors with the touch devices, quality of services- are now becoming measurable, meaning that the control and adjustment of retailer’s expenses will be faster and more efficient.

Sergey Galeev, CEO of AddReality. Sergey is the ideologist, co-founder and general manager of AddReality LLC. Has an extensive managing and entrepreneurial experience in IT, advertising and retail, directed the realization of complex digital projects. Sergey has conducted joint work with the industry leaders Ratmir Timashev, Steve Blank, David Cooks and many others. Sergey is a regular speaker at international conferences and an acknowledged expert in Digital Signage and retail.

AddReality is a cloud-based Digital Signage platform, enabling enterprises worldwide to create, edit, manage and deploy digital content. The solution comes with an intuitive editor for marketing campaigns personalization. AddReality provides a powerful tool for centralized remote management of the entire network of digital devices at the Point of Sale: audio players, tablets, video walls, touch tables, interactive kiosks and mirrors. The platform is especially effective for clients in retail, banking and HORECA businesses, governmental and educational organizations. AddReality customers include Microsoft, Nike, Yves Saint Laurent, Lancôme, Russian Railways among others.

Go AddReality