For 2014, the Digital Signage Expo featured more than 200 exhibitors at the Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, and also included pre-show conferences, educational seminars, and industry roundtables all dedicated to the digital signage industry. Exhibits highlighting hardware, digital signage players, software, interactive technology, and digital out-of-home networks showcased solutions for businesses of all shapes, sizes and vertical markets to create enhanced digital signage experiences.
Many exhibitors this year showcased a variety of technologies – ranging from super-narrow bezel video walls, Open Pluggable Specification (OPS) compliant digital signage players, Ultra HD displays and content, and multi-touch interactive displays.
LG Electronics revealed a range of new products to expand on their existing lineup. Most notably, the world’s largest 105” Ultra HD display with a 21:9 aspect ratio and resolution of 5120x2160 (5K). With a release planned later this year in September, LG also introduced their 98” slim direct-LED Ultra HD premium display, 98LS95A, with a bezel width of 14.6 mm and resolution of 3840x2160, which can be mounted both horizontally and vertically to suit a variety of applications. For Q2, LG is releasing two 55” direct LED super-narrow bezel video wall models, LV75A and LV77A, with a bezel-to-bezel measurement of 3.5mm that allows for seamless integration between displays, and is compatible with LG’s Super Sign V content management software.
Samsung Electronics America, Inc. introduced their new D Series line of commercial displays, ranging from 32” to 75”, featuring replaceable bezels to allow for greater customizability. As a part of their Smart Signage Platform initiative, the Samsung D Series commercial displays now include an enhanced system-on-chip (SoC) technology that provides support for more advanced applications and eliminates the need for an external PC or media player. Samsung also showcased their new 85” Ultra HD commercial display, UD55D, used for video wall installations that feature a bezel-to-bezel measurement of 3.5 mm, along the new interactive Magic IWB 3.0 whiteboard for corporate and educational environments.
Planar debuted its all-new 84” 4K UltraRes Touch interactive display with Extended Ruggedness and Optics (ERO) technology featuring Corning Gorilla Glass, making it extremely durable and scratch resistant, ideal for digital signage and public spaces applications. The new UltraRes interactive display offers 32 simultaneous touch points, narrow bezel of 1.3”, native 4K resolution, and also comes equipped with Planar’s MediaPlex software.
BrightSign showcased its all-new 4K solid-state commercial digital signage media player for the first time in the North American market, featuring native 4K playback at 60 fps via HDMI 2.0. BrightSign’s 4K player is the first to utilize H.265 technology, the next evolution for video compression standards, along with supporting HTML5, JPEG, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, HEVC, IP streaming, and live data feeds.
SEEYOO Electronic Technology Co., Ltd., a digital signage solutions provider headquartered in China, showcased a brand new 55” full HD LED multi-touch interactive whiteboard display that incorporates an OPS-compliant design targeted primarily for conference rooms, exhibitions, and educational purposes. Also available in 65”, 70”, and 84” size categories, these interactive whiteboards are ideal for their infrared sensor technology combined with multi-touch, gesture recognition, high definition, and intuitive functionality.
Edge I&D, a South Korea-based ODM for interactive education tools and commercial digital signage applications, touted their L Series model, an 84” 4K Ultra HD interactive electronic board with Intel’s 4th Generation Quad Core i7 processor. Also available in 65” class size, the L Series features optical sensing technology with 4 to 10-point touch capability, supports full HD and 4K content, and offers dual Windows 8 and Android OS support. Edge I&D also displayed an OPS compliant digital signage player they call the ‘Smart Innovation Kit,’ complete with full HD and 4K Ultra HD resolution support.
iBASE Technology, a Taiwanese-based embedded PC manufacturer, displayed their new SI-22 solid-state digital signage player, equipped with AMD’s embedded G-Series SoC and also capable of supporting 4K content playback.
The plethora of 4K Ultra HD displays and digital signage players supporting 4K content emerges as a leading technology, and IHS expects the shipments of Ultra HD displays to reach an estimated 145,000 units for 2014, a clear indication that Ultra HD will no longer only be a niche market.
Recent advancements in super-narrow bezel products allow for video wall capabilities to expand from their early usage in control room applications to vertical markets such as retail, transportation, public spaces, and other corporate installations. IHS expects the retail and public spaces sectors, especially in the U.S. and Western Europe, to generate the most momentum for the super-narrow bezel displays, especially demand among high-end luxury retailers.
This year, many companies from the Asia Pacific region were present, looking to expand their business into the North American market, among other regions, especially manufacturers headquartered in Taiwan and China. These new entrants to the market will challenge industry frontrunners by offering similar products at much lower price points, allowing for cost competitiveness.
All-in-all, the extensive breadth of technology product offerings, platforms, and services on exhibition demonstrates the significant strides the digital signage industry made in a very short time. Emerging trends include incorporating interactivity, real-time data and analytics integration, and all-in-one solutions for the industry. Based on these advancements, IHS believes the total world market for digital signage will surpass $15.3 billion in revenue in 2014, an increase of 7.1% from 2013.