Samsung shows off latest digital signage technology

Joe Interisano, an IT solutions engineer with Samsung Canada, gives a preview of what this major electronics vendor is bringing to market in the way of digital signage. Among the surprises are the first LED screen for commercial use and a touch screen vending machine panel.

Check out the video to see the screens in action or read the text to get the scoop on what Samsung plans over the next few months.

What is the difference between consumer televisions and commercial digital signage?

Commercial digital signage displays are displayed in a public environment and are typically used [for more] hours in a day. They also need to be brighter — probably 40 to 50 per cent brighter — and you can use the panel from 12 to sometimes even 24 hours per day. They have a three year warranty, which is important when using it in a business environment.

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We are standing here in front of a “video wall.” What is this exactly?

It’s a 3×3 video wall comprising nine displays put together on a self standing mechanism. The key points here are its high brightness, and that the gap between the glass is less than 7mm.

It would be fun to watch the World Cup on this in my living room, but I don’t think it’s quite for the retail space. What sort of scenarios would something like this be used in?

It’s going to used for digital signage in retail spaces, behind large counters. It will be used on public walls, and in sporting facilities. If you go into the Air Canada Centre, you’ll see these panels along the wall.

How do you manage an image this big across so many monitors?

Each of these monitors has it’s own computer. With the PC over here, what I can do is send the video to each of these panels and it has its own computer that will break it up and tell it what portion of the video to show and keep it in sync.

We were talking about the difference between televisions and commercial digital signage. Now here we have a product that’s coming out to market soon. Tell me about what this is.

This is our first commercially available LED backlit signage display. The reason it’s important is we have LED technology giving you a better [range of] colours and better brightness and it’s easier to manage. It’s lighter, thinner, easier to install, plus it uses less energy – about 40 per cent less than traditional commercial LCD panels, so it contributes to lowering the carbon footprint.

But will it still stand up to outdoor conditions?

Yes. It’s built to be commercial, just like our other panels. It’s built to run in a commercial environment. It has a commercial backend built onto it, stronger components built in, better heat management. We’re also increasing the brightness 33 per cent.

This panel over here you say is used for educational purposes. It has a lot of great touch features an interesting white board program. Where is this going to be used?

This is our e-board and it’s going to be used in education, medical institutes, classrooms, universities, corporate board rooms. The reason is, it’s an all-in-one unit and with my pen or my finger, I can write just like I would on a chalk board. I can annotate over top of graphics, I can put text in, and in a classroom environment, I can hook up to a student’s notebook and have interactive play back and forth. I can see the student’s notebook and the student can take over the e-board.

This sign is not on right now, but we can see that it’s meant for outdoor use. Tell us about what sort of situation it would be used in.

This is an outdoor signage application. It’s a self-contained unit, it’s got it’s own heater and air conditioning. It has a coating on it that will resist paint, and it has a shock sensor on it so if it is shocked it will turn a camera on and take your video. It’s primarily designed for use outdoors, and we live here in Canada where there’s four different seasons. So this can go outside and operate by itself.

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  • We are definitely moving into an age where pen and paper is seldomly used. Never thought that we will reach it this early. The market for digital signage has significantly increased. Pretty soon, it can be seen in almost every corner of the city to display information on somethings like advertisements and news updates. –