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The product range of digital signage has rapidly expanded, offering options for all types of retailers. We check out what’s hot in this market.

Visual marketing has always played an important part in retailing, to attract and inform customers, and of course to entice them to buy more. The digital age is bringing a whole new range of options for retailers, and digital signage is revolutionising the way retailers use visual marketing.

Network Solution

Sony (www.sony.com.au) has recently introduced the NSP-1 Network Player to its digital signage range. Essentially a graphics platform to store and forward video footage, the NSP-1 also offers MPEG2 and Flash video capabilities.

The NSP-1 can be hooked up to liquid crystal display (LCD) and plasma screens of any size, and can display both stored video footage and live video feed. It can handle up to five layers of display, including high-quality graphics, text, and video. There are also multiple layers of audio, allowing background music or narration to play alongside video audio tracks. In addition to graphics and audio, text can be displayed in any location on the screen, and can be scrolling, flashing or still.

Using the NSP-1, retailers have information sent to their display screens according to a pre-determined playlist. The NSP-1 can also display live and regularly updated websites on screen. The screen display can change between formats, from live video to pre-recorded video footage, graphics, Flash or text, according to the set schedule. The display can also be rotated to play in either portrait or landscape modes.

Touch Tech

Touch screen technology has gone a step further, with the release of a variety of interactive glass technology specifically for retailers. The new technology from Command Australia allows customers to tap on glass displays to interact with product information. It can be used as part of a shop front, a stand-alone glass display or a tabletop. By simply touching sensors, customers can interact with an LCD, plasma or projection display. The customer can tap on up to 16 sensors and the corresponding information will be displayed on a monitor.

The Intelligent Vibrations Tap Glass option even facilitates voice recordings, with activation through voice reverberations. This has been employed in a real estate office, where customers can interact with the glass technology to find out about properties they are interested in, and they also have the option to leave a message requesting further information.

Ubiq’window glass technology, featured in the Hollywood movie Minority Report, allows customers to interact with a multimedia presentation with general hand movements. The system allows users to select and rotate folders and images on the display without the use of touch.
A customer can move their hand as if to pick up a product and a media presentation of that product will be automatically presented. More info on the latest glass technology for retailers can be found at www.commandaustralia.com.au

Multiple Screens

Pixsell Display Systems (www.pixsell.com.au) has developed a number of digital signage options. Their Multi-Monitor System allows for the display of up to 12 screens from one hardware unit, using LCD, plasma or projector. This method of digital signage can prove more economical than the option of using one player per screen. Multi-Monitor Systems can be instantly updated from a central location anywhere in the world, allowing retailers to save time and money, and they ensure the display information is always fresh. They can be custom-made to fit with the colour scheme and layout of retail stores.

Other Pixsell systems range from portable three-screen display units through to customised installations for entire window displays or showroom floors. Pixsell screens are able to run content from digital still images and movies, to virtual tours. Rotating, scheduling and updating Pixsell systems is done from one central location on the internet. All Pixsell packages come with a three-year support package, including installation, configuration, training and telephone or remote assistance.


According to Village Green Media (VGM), 70 percent of purchase and brand decisions are made inside stores, and they believe in-store advertising can have a huge impact for retailers. VGM (www.villagegreenmedia.com) offers small-sized screens called Talking Point Advertisement Players. The advantage of these screens is they can be positioned at the point-of-sale, for example on a shop shelf beside the product advertised on screen.

Talking Point can play video, display JPEG images and Macromedia Flash files. A Compact Flash Card is inserted into the Talking Point screen to determine content, and can be changed easily by retailers. The technology requires no training or infrastructure and is relatively low cost.

Talking Point Players are available in a number of models and sizes to suit particular retailing requirements. The system is operated via an infrared remote control device, and everything is digitised so content will not suffer wear-and-tear. They can also be adapted for shop windows, walls, in washrooms, beside ATMs and in waiting rooms.

Curved To Fit

Computronics (www.computronics.biz) have developed digital signage in a new curved design, allowing it to fit the particular designs of a retail outlet, for example around counters and worktops. The curved design of the display model also means it can be seen from any angle, allowing retailers to promote a range of products simultaneously. This is achieved by scrolling the information continually through the display. Graphics can also be displayed to enhance the message.

Computronics offers a number of other digital signage options specifically for retailers. The Animator LCD screen comes in 10-, 15- or 20-inch sizes and can display still images and video, with sound. The unit is controlled by a remote control and has a host of features for retailers. The Animator LCD Totem option has the same features as the Animator LCD, but comes in sizes of 6.4- or 10.4-inch screens.

A more advanced option is the Animator Pro, which features a 15-inch LCD screen, with wide angle and high resolution images. Animator Pro displays images and video with sound and also has the option of displaying text in a choice of four colours. The software is Windows-based and has a multiple page display facility and other special effects. There is also a page timer facility and up to 25 pages can be programmed.

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