Insight and Wisdom for the Digital Signage Industry

Dave Haynes

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Top Stories by Dave Haynes

I keep seeing press releases like this popping up in Google Alerts, announcing new Intel Atom-based micro PCs and boards that are perfect for, among many things, digital signage. Safely hidden away in the turret of my mountaintop compound near the windswept shores of Lake Ontario (OK, a spare bedroom in suburban Toronto), I don't have a bench to test gear, nor would I know what the hell I was doing in assessing whether any or all of these new, low-cost x86 platforms are actually capable of doing as billed. But I suspect a lot of companies are, for three simple reasons: 1 - Form factor - Aopen gets a TON of business in this space because it has a small PC that CAN push out 720P video and smooth Flash. But by today's standards the Aopen DE box is expensive, and even more so because a lot of vendors slap on$200-$300 of inflated margins 2 - Fanless - There are people w... (more)

Tempest About Teens Using Twitter Stirred by Twits

One of the reasons I decided to strike out on my own and focus on writing for this industry was to perhaps help influence the way companies are presenting themselves to the industry and media and also calm down some of the crazy hype out there. I just, for example, read something about a software company making a "quantum leap" in something or other. Adrian's crew flagged that one. I read press releases all the time that are suspect, and increasingly, in this frenzied effort to feed the 24-hour news beast, stuff that then gets written out of that PR without much thought as to wha... (more)

Nice Screens, Shame About the Dancing

Microsoft Developer on Ulitzer I have not seen the stores in person, but from a distance I really, really like what Microsoft has done with its retail presence. Sure it looks vaguely familiar to Apple's stores, but big whoop. The wall to wall screens are brilliant. However, I am now second-guessing whether I'd actually want to step inside a store and be trampled by line-dancing geeks rocking out to Will.I.Am and Fergie. Sheesh. I'd love to see the look on the guy who walked up to cash to buy his Windows 7 upgrade and got stuck watching this horror show. "Umm, can I, excuse me, ... (more)

Clever and Useful Move with iPhone App

I am at a bit of a disadvantage here because (oh, the horror) I don't have an iPhone and I am not all that conversant in Stratacache's software. But, that stated, I am nonetheless thinking that developing an iPhone app for its ActiVia software is a pretty clever move. Yes, if you have a wireless phone and a browser, and your platform is Web-based, you kinda sorta have an app anyway. But from what I know of many browser-based platforms - including one I had a demo on yesterday - they'd all be a pain in the butt to use on a small handset screen. This is a special-purpose app that u... (more)

Interactive Projector Turns Surfaces Into Touch Screens at CES

Lotsa, lotsa new gadgets emerging from the CES show floor in Lost Wages this week, with the one that caught my eye a little laser projection thingdoodle from a UK company. Light Blue Optics' Light Touch is an interactive projector that turns any flat surface into a 10-inch touch screen, allowing it to make information, images and video available when projected on to a table or wall or other surface. Light Touch not only frees multimedia content from the confines of the small screen, but also lets users interact with that content in the same way as they expect to on their other ... (more)