Trade shows are as much about getting a glimpse into what you might be purchasing three to five years from now as they are about seeing the technology you are going to buy today.
If you have the money to be a bleeding edge, early adopter most of what was shown at DSE can be had for a premium price. And as is the case with all new technology –- just wait and the price will come down.
A few years ago multi-touch was the big buzz and the price made it untouchable. Touch and multi-touch it was almost a given in every display booth and at a price point that makes it seem like a standard rather than an option.
4K was clearly one of the biggest buzzes at this years DSE. Display manufacturers such as LG Electronics, Sharp, Planar Systems, Viewsonic, were all showing panels that were already available or “coming soon.”
While many scoff and say, “But there’s no content for 4K,” that’s not completely accurate. For now, these displays have some very targeted uses and fill a need where the end user is creating the content and needs to see every fine detail. These ultra-high-resolution displays are used in situations such as medical imaging where details are critical, for CAD and DCC professionals and with some government applications. Already the 4K, multi-touch displays are being shown to be the best solution for detailed maps and wayfinding.
If a client such as Porsche wants to deliver the highest quality image and experience and create original 4K content to put on display in a dealership, then there’s a Sharp display for that.
It’s not the size that matters. I know you can’t convince the “big guys” of that, but this year it has become abundantly clear that digital signage comes in all shapes in sizes. With consumers being so familiar with tablets there are a new crop of tablet manufacturers as well as current companies are ready to serve the digital signage boom. They are quick to point out one of main differentiators is a three-year warranty, where as the most popular consumer tablet — well not so much.
Well this is the case at every show. However this time isn’t just for the sake of screen envy. Larger single panel displays are changing the way companies think of delivering content and creating efficiencies with the use of LED technology.
Last year we saw many display companies showing transparent displays for use in applications for retail and museums. Transparent displays were a “future technology,” but are now being deployed. I also saw some refinements in the designs and some differentiation this year. For instance Planar’s LookThru Open Face Installation Kit, is made to be applied to the front of a glass refrigerator door rather than the inside. Mounting the display inside has been known to compromise the seal of the door. That just makes sense.
It’s easy to get caught up in the wow factor of 4K, 3D, transparent panels, bazillion-touch, amazing color, “the world’s largest,” and even demographic profiling technology (I was happy to have been profiled as being 20 years younger today). Lest we forget the purpose of these magnificent displays: They are not for sitting back on the couch and watching a movie. These displays are on a mission. Without content they are no more than an expensive, pretty face. There were many companies that specialized in content creation, management, distribution and strategy. Most of the digital signage display manufacturers provide content solutions as well. If they don’t provide them directly they almost all have a close alliance to ensure that your message is going to work for you.
I’ll post an update to day two as soon as I am back in the office. If you were at DSE and would like to share what you thought was new and noteworthy that I missed, drop me a line. Two days was not enough time to see everything!
See you at the next show!