On November 14 and 15 in Toronto, the 2012 Digital Trends Showcase (DTS) featured a variety of turnkey digital signage systems, customized for the application needs of specific vertical markets.
The event took place at LG Electronics Canada’s new headquarters (HQ) on Norelco Drive, near Steeles Avenue and Highway 400. It was moved there after outgrowing the originally allotted space at the Toronto offices of Vertigo Digital Displays, the digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising division of Chillin Solutions. LG and Vertigo managed the event in partnership with Dot2Dot Communications and Intel.
“This event is growing larger and faster than we imagined,” said John Husband, vice-president (VP) of sales for LG Electronics Canada. “We are excited to host what will be the new standard for ‘digital solution’ shows in our industry at our new, world-class Canadian HQ.”
More than 40 screens were set up, displaying high-definition (HD) content that emphasized visual ‘pop,’ but without the frantic nature typical of earlier digital signage content, as well as less blur.
Another clear trend, in terms of hardware, was a tendency toward screen configurations that resemble giant Apple iPhones or iPads, with clean, slim, smooth frames and curved edges.
Design Science, based in Pickering, Ont., exhibited battery-powered outdoor digital signage units that can reportedly last up to 13 hours before recharging. These are intended not only for DOOH applications, but also as integrated retail displays, e.g. for temporary ‘pop-up’ stores (see Sign Media Canada, September 2012, page 100).
APG Displays, an audiovisual (AV) trade distributor based in Mississauga, Ont., showcased NanoLumens’ flexible, thin and waterproof light-emitting diode (LED) displays, which can conform to concave or convex surfaces, including columns. These had recently been used outdoors in downtown Toronto to promote a charity screening of the James Bond movie Skyfall.
Some exhibits featured interactive components, such as a Deeley Harley-Davidson Canada digital signage kiosk (see Sign Media Canada, September 2012, page 121), which was designed by Planet-Tek Systems in Richmond Hill, Ont., to use Intel’s Audience Impression Metrics (AIM) Suite to guess the gender and number of people looking at its screen. There were also touch screens and ‘mobile marketing’ campaigns that used near field communication (NFC) technology from Crosscliq, based in Markham, Ont., to connect on-screen content with nearby smart phones.
For the most part, the displays were configured with five vertical markets in mind:
- DOOH advertising.
- Quick-service restaurants (QSRs).
- Corporate communications.
“These displays are the result of all the host companies collaborating and designing stunning visual media and innovative applications,” said Ralph Idems, Vertigo’s marketing director.