Stimulus Pkg Boost to Digital Signage

With the U.S. government Stimulus package, including an estimated $8.4 billion of the stimulus allotted to the Department of Transportation, there is likely to be a significant portion spent on IT, such as electronic public displays/digital signage. In addition, the need for consumers to reduce fuel consumption and pollution means more people are leveraging mass transit alternatives in metro areas. There are many projects deploying flat panel displays in public places on the drawing board, for advertising, train schedules, homeland security, subways/train stations, ferries or bus stops. Other large scale infrastructure overhauls are also helping to advance the conversion from printed poster boards to electronic digital signs. Vancouver, for example, is gearing up for the 2010 Winter Olympics with improvements to its mass-transit system already underway.

This topic, and others, will be addressed in the “Digital Signage Conference: Flat Panel Displays Go Out-of-Home”, part of the DisplaySearch’s Fall Conference Series, taking place September 1-3 in San Jose, California.

Other topics to be addressed at the conference:

Will LCD & Plasma Move Outdoors?
Plasma and LCD technologies have built a solid reputation for indoor applications like TVs, monitors, notebooks and digital photo frames, among others. However, plasma and LCD manufacturers are now looking at opportunities afforded by digital signage, whether they are used in displays for bus shelters, outdoor train platforms, or city-centric way-finding or advertising on street furniture. These technologies still have some hurdles to overcome such as ruggedness, sunlight readability and weather resistance in order to succeed. Successful deployments of super-large-scale LED billboards can be seen throughout many major metropolitan areas, but replacements for the 65-85” 4-sheet to 6-sheet printed poster boards used for bus shelters have been difficult to match in an electronic format that works well outdoors using LCD or plasma. Advancements in ruggedization as well as tiling of these displays with more seamless integration techniques may now make these transitions easier and more affordable.

Implementing Touch Technology in Digital Signage
Touch interfaces have been successful in mobile phones, portable navigation devices, gaming and other applications due to the ease-of use and intuitive interfaces they enable. While some display vendors have been reluctant to allow the public to interact with their technology, new techniques to make these displays more robust and touch technology continues to improve, causing many to re-think prior conceptions. These technologies allow for displays to be ”touched” while wearing gloves or even from a certain distance, making a digital touch display less intimidating.

Investing in Flat Panel Display Infrastructure
With LG Display investing in a Gen 8 LCD manufacturing facility and Sharp beginning production in the world’s largest Gen 10 fabrication line, will TFT-LCD manufacturers look to digital signage to supplement TV demand? Can they enable the transition from traditional media advertising to the next level, ushering in an era of digital signage?

Who is Financing the Digital Infrastructure?
The big question is who will pay for digital signage infrastructure, especially in the digital advertising sector of the digital signage market? Will it be FPD manufacturers, banks, venture capitalists, media companies or others?

The DisplaySearch Digital Signage Conference: Flat Panel Displays Go Out-of-Home will take place on September 1 in San Jose, California—bringing together the world’s largest flat-panel display vendors and partners with companies already well established in out-of-home environments, as well as brand new start-up companies that this brave new world of digital displays is helping to foster. Confirmed participating companies include HP, Ingram Micro, LG Display, Samsung Electronics America, Scala, National City Media Finance, Horizon Display, GDS, NEC and DisplaySearch, among others. To view the latest agenda and register for the conference visit www.displaysearch.com/digitalsignage2009.