Blog
December 13, 2017

London Real Estate Use Impactful Digital Video Wall


London-based real estate agency, Dexters, decided to deploy 4K Ultra Digital HD images onto digital video walls throughout their 55 locations. 150 digital screens were used to achieve their goal, which came out looking flawless. How can you use this same high-quality imagery to create dynamic content in your establishment?


December 7, 2017

3D: New Personal Assistants in Hospitality


Originally posted on Kiosk Marketplace. Photo courtesy of Umajin.

Intelligent virtual assistants offer an opportunity for hospitality services to improve the customer experience. Hotels can offer guests a more personalized experience by offering them a touch and/or voice virtual agent via digital signage, self-serve kiosks or smartphones.

David Brebner, CEO of Umajin, described ways that hotels can use virtual agents during a presentation on the digital concierge experience at the recent Global Gaming Expo at the Sands Expo Center in Las Vegas.

By offering a virtual agent to customers, a hotel can enable a guest to select services in the hotel using touch or voice commands.

Taking the form of a two- or three-dimensional avatar, the virtual agent can help the guest select a TV show to watch, control the hotel room lighting, order room service or access a hotel service directory. The virtual agent also enables guests to communicate with each other, making it convenient for groups of people staying in a hotel and doing things together.

The avatar can take the form of cartoon characters or realistic-looking figures.

"If you want it (the virtual agent) to be Mickey Mouse, and you have a 3D model of Mickey Mouse, you just upload the file," Alec Korba, Umajin's vice president of sales, told Kiosk Marketplace. "The platform can load any type of images or logos or animations the brand might already have. If they don't have anything, we can design it for them."

Integrating with artificial intelligence

The virtual agent can use artificial intelligence "backends" such as IBM Watson, Cortana or Alexa – or simply use voice-to-text services directly on the device, be it a kiosk or a smartphone.

"Alexa is something we would use as a component of the digital agent," Korba explained. "Alexa is what does the voice recognition and then puts a command in. We're using Alexa inside of the platform to generate digital experiences."

"It's not a standalone tool," Korba said in describing the virtual concierge. "It's something that kind of layers on top of everything else."

If the customer wants to use Siri, for example – an intelligent personal assistant that uses voice queries and a natural language user interface to answer questions, make recommendations, and perform actions by delegating requests to a set of Internet services – the hotel's virtual concierge can integrate it.

"People feel they're getting a personal experience with these digital agents," Brebner said. "It gives you a huge amount of information."

The technology is especially effective for branded establishments looking to support their brand identity, Brebner said.

A management tool

In addition to improving guest experiences, the virtual concierge simplifies many hotel management functions. It comes in handy in use cases where kiosks display information to groups of employees. A virtual concierge can include access to the hotel's CRM data, security system or valet parking program.

A virtual agent can direct employees, for instance, to conduct inspections of elevators, HVAC systems and bathrooms.

"If you have an employee that needs to identify where things are on a map, it (the virtual concierge) makes it very easy to do that," Korba said.

If the hotel needs to combine data from their property management system with their security system, Umajin can create a user interface for this task as well.

"A lot of the employee use cases are about getting the right data to the right people at the right time," Korba said.

"All of these things are not digital processes today, and you can digitize them really easily," Brebner said. "It acts as a skin on top of other systems."

The technology has application beyond the hotel environment. At one airport, for instance, the virtual concierge allows employees at an airport to get alerts associated with their tasks.

'Gesture' technology arrives

Umajin has also introduced a three-dimensional "gesture" interface that enables users to control activity on large digital screens simply by pointing. This can turn a kiosk or a video wall into a shared interactive experience.

The limiting factor for gesture technology is there is no standard protocol or what different hand motions mean, Korba said.

"If you open our palm, close your fist or touch with two fingers, what does that do to the screen?" he said.

It is possible to use gesture interface in a closed environment to establish such standards, however. The technology is beneficial when working in areas where large groups of people need to share kiosks, such as airports or hospitals, or areas where food is being served.

Another example is retail showrooms, where virtual products can be displayed on kiosks and digital screens. Users can view and rotate three dimensional versions of a building or a vehicle.

Another application is wayfinding kiosks in large, multi-level indoor spaces.

Still another example is a medical operating room where the surgeon's hand movements communicate something specific.

The intelligent virtual assistant, also known as the personal digital assistant, gives companies an opportunity to leverage their existing digital infrastructure to offer personalized assistance to customers and associates.

Contact BLR Sign Systems to create your digital assistant, wayfinding kiosk, or digital wall.


December 1, 2017

Event Based Signage & Graphics Experts

When is your next event? Diablo Valley Signs is steeped in experience with event based signage and graphics - both large and small.  From Levi Stadium to The Fairmount San Francisco and many venues in between we understand how to deliver on time and on budget.

Let's get started!




November 28, 2017

Digital Signage Expo 2018 Seminar to Present “Operating Digital Signage Networks on Campus”

AtlantaDigital Signage Expo (DSE), the world’s largest international trade show and educational conference dedicated to digital displays, interactive technology and digital communications networks, announced today that its Digital Signage Higher Education Seminar Program at DSE 2018 designed specifically for end users in the Higher Ed sector, will feature an hour-long session titled, “Operating Digital Signage Networks on Campus.”

On Wednesday, March 28 at 9 a.m., Brad Simons, Director of Student Affairs Technology Team, and Stephen Wright, Technology Analyst both of East Carolina University, will co-present a session that will identify some strategies that will help with the process of effectively implementing a campus-wide digital signage network, including the possibility of consolidating existing signage networks on campus; identifying stakeholders and establishing their roles; management and maintenance of hardware, management, creating and collaboration of content; and management of budgeting.

 

“One important key to the success of major projects on higher education campuses that cannot be understated is the need to work with people who have a stake in accomplishing the university’s collective goals,” said Simons.

 

“There are many crucial items to consider when implementing a campus signage network, or when deciding if combining existing networks is right for your campus, but collaboration across departments is vital,” said Wright.

 

Registration for the DSE Wednesday, March 28 session, “Operating a Digital Signage Network on Campus,” or any of the DSE 2018 educational conference seminars, which are sponsored by BroadSign International and are eligible for Digital Signage Expert Group (DSEG) certification renewal credits, is available online at www.dse2018.com

 

Mark your calendar now: DSE® 2018 is scheduled for March 27-30, 2018, with access to the Exhibit Hall March 28-29 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas. To reserve exhibit space, contact Andrea Varrone at (770) 817-5905. For more information, visit www.dse2018.com.

 

You can follow DSE on Twitter (@DSExpo) or Facebook (facebook.com/DSExpo). For all DSE 2018 updates, use #dse2018. For year-round news and information on digital signage, visit DSE’s Digital Signage Connection web portal at www.digitalsignageconnection.com.

 

###

 

About DSE

 

DSE, produced by Exponation LLC, is co-located with the Digital Content Show, and will be held at the Las Vegas Convention Center March 27-30, 2018, with access to the Exhibit Hall March 28-29. DSE is the world’s largest and longest-running conference and trade show exclusively dedicated to showcasing innovative digital communications and interactive technology solutions for customer- and employee-facing organizations. Launched in 2004, DSE was the first event for the digital signage market and has been a significant contributor to the growth of this fast-paced industry. Professional end-user attendance represents decision-makers from key industry categories such as retail, restaurant, healthcare, education, hospitality and transportation, as well as other key stakeholders, including advertising executives, brand marketers and systems integrators.

 

More than 200 exhibitors feature technology and services including hardware, software, network, delivery and content from around the globe. DSE also offers the largest and most diversified digital signage and digital out-of-home educational program anywhere in the world, with more than 125 educators and the largest variety of educational opportunities, including a live installation tour and structured curriculum leading to professional recertification in eight educational tracks. The 2018 program will be comprised of 10 pre- and post-show educational events, 32 general conference seminars, plus a specialized keynote presentation for each educational track, and 10 Emerging Tech Talks, as well as 28 free presentations staged in on-floor theaters.

 


November 21, 2017

Long John Silver's New Digital Menu

LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Long John Silver’s will install the most technologically-advanced digital drive-thru platforms in the restaurant industry, laying the groundwork for a fully automated drive-thru in the future, the company announced today. Up to 400 Long John Silver’s flagship units will be transformed over the next two years, with the new platform that includes three 55-inch, high-definition video screens, high-definition audio and a computer platform that will dramatically improve the ordering process for Long John Silver’s customers. Long John Silver’s partnered with Allure, a division of Christie Digital Systems USA, for this next step in the legendary brand’s revitalization and transformation program.

“We have made tremendous progress in revitalizing Long John Silver’s,” said James O’Reilly, Chief Executive Officer. “As we transform and update our restaurant base over the next two years, we want to make a bold statement to our drive-thru customers. More than half our sales occur at the drive-thru and we want our customers to enjoy that experience with the best technology available.”

The Allure platform provides digital order confirmation and full-color, high-resolution animation, video and graphics for an engaging and interesting experience for customers. Importantly, the new system allows for quick updates of menus and promotional updates. Promoted specials can be linked to historical sales trends, special events and local weather forecasts.

“Allure’s drive-thru digital signage provides accurate information and engaging food displays while delivering a positive drive-thru experience for Long John Silver’s,” said Craig Chapin, President of Allure. “The data-driven digital signage installed outside the leading seafood restaurant chain is proven to increase ROI, reduce operating costs, and enhance guest experience,” he added.

About Long John Silver’s:

Long John Silver’s is a classic American brand founded in 1969, and stands today as the nation’s largest quick-service seafood chain with nearly 1,000 franchised and company-owned restaurants nationwide. Long John Silver’s is famous for its pure, wild-caught Alaskan whitefish, hand-dipped in its signature batter and lightly cooked to golden perfection. Learn more at www.ljsilvers.com or join the conversation via social media on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

About Allure, A Christie Company

Allure visual communication and retail transaction solutions connect businesses, brands and products with their consumers at points of influence and purchase in a variety of environments. Leveraging dynamic digital signage integrations to drive new revenue streams and create differentiated brand experiences, the company’s suite of intelligent solutions integrate advanced analytics, exceptional creative, software, and hardware with business applications to deliver engaging data-driven experiences, activate brands and achieve desired business outcomes. Allure software and services power more than 25,000 networked displays and devices that activate brands, environments and experiences…digitally.

Contacts

For Long John Silver’s
Hayley Pugel, 859-486-4543
Hayley@RunSwitchPR.com
or
For Allure
Gautam Chandna, 404-528-1909
gautam.chandna@allure-christie.com


November 15, 2017

Digital Signage Q&A: Touchscreen Edition


Originally posted on Digital Signage Today by Bradley Cooper

One way to get more people to "interact" with your digital signage is to integrate interactive elements such as a touchscreen. With a touchscreen, your customers can engage directly with your branded messages, rather than simply being a passive observer. They can, however, be a bit of a headache to integrate. As a company, you have to deal with the extra logistics of integrating and maintaining the screens, not to mention developing interactive content. You have to consider how much it's going to cost you vs. a traditional display.

Digital Signage Today spoke with Raimon Chikhani, regional sales manager at Elo Touch, to get his perspective on the biggest development in touchscreens and addressing the integration and cost concerns.

Q: What's the biggest development in touchscreen technology?

A: The biggest development in touchscreen technology is the pervasiveness of the experience. As consumers increasingly expect interaction from digital touchpoints, in particular for self-service applications, we'll see further blending of digital signage and point of sale or point of transaction solutions. The demand for self-service is creating new and exciting possibilities for touchscreen technology in essentially every commercial environment.

Q: What's the biggest challenge in integrating touchscreens?

A: The biggest challenge in integrating digital touchscreens is figuring out what you're looking to achieve through the installation. Without knowing this, it's hard to successfully integrate interactive touch technology to meet your business goals.

For example, a store may want to invest in a large-format touchscreen to attract more people into their stories, or a smaller screen if they're looking to achieve an intimate and personalized shopping experience. Some may even look at kiosks if they want to enhance their self-service options; it truly depends on the end goal. We often recommend that businesses start small with a simple installation and then see if there's a need to go bigger and invest in more touchscreens.

Another mistake stores make is investing in technology before ensuring their website or digital content is ready to support it. A well-designed and fully-functional website that's also been optimized for digital signage will help make a good impression on customers who are browsing an e-commerce site in-store. If stores fail to do this, it can hinder the potential of the touchscreens they've invested in.

Q: Is price still an issue?

A: No, price is not an issue anymore. Touchscreens are not just for big retailers and have become considerably more affordable for smaller retailers.

To add to that, the long-term value of the technology goes far beyond the initial investment. Many retailers who invest in touchscreen technology see a return on investment soon after. Digital signage and interactive point of sale terminals can act as an assisted selling tool for store employees. Stores no longer have to miss out on a sale because shoppers can now connect to an e-commerce site in real-time and purchase items that may be out of stock in-store. So, while there is an initial investment in hardware and software, the benefits it reaps far outweighs the initial cost.


November 10, 2017

5 Uses for Airport Kiosks



 

By Margo Bowie Originally posted on Kiosk Marketplace

 

For about a decade now airports have been implementing self-serve check-in airport kiosks to cut down on increasing wait times and give passengers multiple check-in options. As a result, major airports saw wait times drop 30 percent from 27 minutes to under 20 minutes average wait at check in.

 

After witnessing the immediate benefits of an airport digital signage kiosk, the self-serve technology industry began to plan what else computer kiosks could do for airports and the thousands of travelers passing through each day.

 

Following are the top five uses for airport kiosks.

 

1. Wayfinding and navigation

 

As we all know, airports can be difficult to navigate and oftentimes travelers may have limited time between flights to find what they are looking for. Nothing is worse than walking to the end of an airport wing only to find that the gate you are looking for is actually in the opposite direction.

 

By implementing interactive wayfinding maps on airport kiosks throughout the airport, this confusion can be greatly decreased.

 

Depending upon the wayfinding software chosen, users can be presented with a fully interactive overview of the entire airport with a clear indication of "you are here." This interface can allow the user to choose what they are looking for, whether it be a gate number, restrooms, food, gifts or anything else. The airport kiosk screen can then display the quickest route to that service and even print out a map for the user. Wayfinding services are often displayed alongside up-to-date flight information on these airport kiosks as a convenience for the traveler.

 

2. Hotel, food and entertainment information

 

We have all had the experience of exiting a long flight and having no knowledge of the area we've landed in. An airport kiosk can be placed right in the pickup/transportation zone that provides information about local accommodations, hotels, restaurants and entertainment. This is a great way for the city to advertise up and coming shows, concerts, casinos, sports events and more. By giving a visitor all the opportunity to get a taste of the city's best, they are more likely to come back. This improves the visitor experience, while increasing local tourism. A popular airport kiosk for this purpose is an outdoor airport kiosk with homepage software for easy navigation.

 

3. Lost and found

 

Losing something in the terminal or leaving something behind on the plane is an everyday occurrence. As a result, there are a number of lost and found software options available for airports to choose from.

 

Combine this software with an interactive airport kiosk to deliver the best solution for lost and found services. Depending upon the interface, the user can type into the kiosk what the missing item is, and the airport kiosk will let you know if the item has been found and what steps to take in order to promptly retrieve it.

 

A VOIP phone handset can also be installed on the airport kiosk to allow the user to call the lost and found hotline if one is available.

 

This system is a huge benefit for the traveler and can be a life saver depending upon the value and necessity of the misplaced item.

 

4. Advertisements and promotion

 

The average person is using touchscreen technology more and more each year, and we are trained as a society to pay attention to something when presented on a screen. As a result, airport kiosks are an ideal vehicle for advertisers to effectively get a message out to the public. This can be a great way to generate revenue to fund the kiosk or software options, engage tourists to use local businesses and communicate any other kind of promotion that might benefit the airport, such as parking notices or policy reminders.

 

This sort of function can be implemented in the form of smaller ads or reminders that accompany other select content or as large visual splash screens and screen savers when the airport kiosk is not being used. Not only is this ROI aspect seen in dollars, this is also a great way to incorporate customer surveys and get real public feedback about the facility and identify needs. Having satisfied customers is arguably the best ROI you could ask for.

 

5. Security warnings

 

Security is the top priority for airport authorities. One way to improve security in an airport is to enhance every means of mass communication to travelers to aid in urgent situations, and an airport kiosk is a very effective tool to push out that content. The content manager can suspend the current attract screen loop or interactive content and push out emergency messages.

 

The list of potential uses for airport kiosks is growing, with new and improved software platforms becoming available as well as custom solutions.

 


November 3, 2017

Industry Event: Digital Signage Expo 2018


LAS VEGAS CONVENTION CENTER
CONFERENCE MARCH 27-30
EXHIBIT HALL MARCH 28-29 Register


October 24, 2017

3 Ways To Achieve Successfull Restaurant Digital Signage

Many restaurants are using digital signage to boost ticket sales and customer service throughout their facilities: indoors, outdoors and on tables. Deploying these techniques requires 3 important pieces:

 

  • Logistics
    • End-user friendliness
      • Customer experience

Logistics

First, companies must consider both the hardware and software that are planning to be used. Both must work cohesively and seamlessly to be worth the investment.

In order to verify that the hardware and software work well together is to conduct many pilot tests to work out any issues that may arise prior to deployment. Jann Rider, director of digital merchandising for Dairy Queen, recommended running pilot tests at the oldest locations to identify key problems early.

End-user friendliness

Restaurant managers being able to use the digital signage is vital to its' success. If a manager cannot figure out how to change local specials - the technology ultimately causes more issues rather than solve them.

Chris Blatz, director of marketing at Margaritaville, said his restaurant was looking for a simple solution to showcase marketing materials on TVs in addition to music videos and sports programming. He emphasized that "simple installation and easy content switching" were key for this purpose.

There must be clear communication on how to work the system and responsibilities should be allocated to all parties involved.

Customer experience

Finally, the customer's experience with the technology must be taken into consideration. If the customer is unable to figure out how to use the technology, then it was a wasted investment. To make the best use of a restaurant's investment, the content and signage should engage customers in a way that they will feel important and likely to come back. Restaurants can use games to help entertain guests while they wait for their food. McDonald

's is one of several large companies that is already using touch tables with interactive games.

 


September 19, 2017

Don't Be Lazy - Boost Your Digital Content!

Adding digital signage to your business can increase sales and improve the reach of your promotions. While you can continue using traditional, static signs in addition to your new digital signs - it is important to remember that each one has unique features. Those features require various types of content.

Tip: Don't just use your static sign images on your digital platform!

Create new content for your digital signs and check how it looks before going live. Sit in various areas of your building and take note of how the content POPs of the screen - or could use tweaking to improve performance. Remember, digital allows movement - not just static images.

Tip: Think about ways to get people to interact with your content

Adding charging stations near your digital signs can draw customer's attention to your screens. The longer a person sits near the screens, the longer they have to see all the promotions and interesting information about your business.

Screens could also include a game or wayfinding information for guests to interact with. This can also be a way to improve key metric data by determining how long guest's are interacting with your content.

What are alternate ways you can engage customers with your digital information?

Request a FREE quote from BLR to learn more.