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My 2 Favorite Blogs

January 6, 2012 Leave a comment

If you were to summarize my top two interests in business, they would easily be categorized as entrepreneurship & digital signage. I mentioned yesterday that I’ve been blessed by having great inspirations & with that being said, I want to give a shout-out to two of my favorite blogs & a quick summary for why I read them:

Digital Signage Insights – This is the first blog that I ever read on a consistent basis. It is written by David Weinfeld who has become one of the leading brains in the digital signage business. This blog has helped me tremendously, going all the way back to 3 years ago when I first entered to the digital signage market. David is by far the most passionate technologist that I know. He is laser focused on the world of digital signage & all the ways the technology interacts & impacts advanced marketing/advertising & strategic branding. He is a thought leader, an excellent contributor, & I’m honored to call him a friend.

10,000 Start-up hours – This blog is written by David Cummings, one of the top technology entrepreneurs in Atlanta. David’s contribution is a daily message covering an area of starting-up an innovative business. Having done it a significant number of times, his knowledge and advice is wise. His bailiwick is SaaS & b2b marketing and he knows it cold but David’s top contributing areas is in his executive leadership advice, strategies & tactics. I’ve learned a ton by reading his work & love the fact that his posts are daily and short.

Both of these blogs made a great impact on me in 2010. I look forward to reading more from them next year and hope you can enjoy
their work as well.

Digital Signage Insights

10,000 Start-up Hours

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Foursquare Day & a Social Media/Digital Signage Good Time.

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s no question that Location based services are getting huge. The ability to connect and reference people with places in the digital world will enable unheard of advantages for brands, local businesses, events and most importantly just plain fun with people & games.

Last night was a big example of that. 4/16 or 4 “squared” is the date for the big annual Foursquare party. I was privileged to play a part in the event by setting up the social media signage. Using the most exciting venue digital signage app out there- LocaModa, we enabled individuals to communicate to the crowd through the screen via twitter, text, email & photos.

Here are the stats on the interaction followed by my favorite 6 pics that were sent up to the screen:

  • 554 Tweets which included #4sqATL
  • 39 Photos-to-screen
  • 11 Text-to-screen messages

The Largest Name nobody thinks of in Digital Signage

April 7, 2011 2 comments

My colleague and I were in Tampa last week for the AVI-SPL National Sales Convention. If you’ve never heard about these guys then pay attention. They have set themselves apart in the commericial Audio & Visual industry and are steaming into the digital signage marketplace through integrations and relationships with a majority of top US company’s and venues for digital integration. I could write pages about the stuff I learned this week, but in the effort of keeping it short and sweet (just as I like my blogs), here a few key takeways:

  • Its all in the numbers: AVI-SPL does over a half a billion USD in annual sales. They have approximately 40 offices around the world, 1400+ employees, and have done over 3500+ AV projects annually through the recent years.
  • Technology agnostic: These guys are not dependent on ANY technology. They can implement any digital signage software, player, OS, screen, projector, connectivity equipment, mount, enclosure, etc.
  • True experience: The employees typically have experience ranging back more than 10 years in this business…most of them doing screen installs & connectivity before “digital signage” was a recognized term.
  • Culture & Leadership: Led by executives, Don Mastro, John Zettel, and their fearless founder Marty Schaffel (who procures some fantastic cigars – I had the privilege to join him for one for a half hour). These guys make AVI-SPL a place that can acquire and retain the top talent in this industry.

I was very impressed with the company, the people, and the event, and I am super happy that NanoLumens was a part of the party. Here is a quick image of our setup in the hallway connecting the two major areas of the facility.

We strongly believe that you will be seeing some mutual projects between our companies throughout the rest of the year!

Categories: Digital Signage

Gearin’ up for Digital Signage Expo

February 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Over here in Norcross, GA, NanoLumens is finishing packing and getting ready for the Digital Signage Expo! Taking place again in good ole Las Vegas, next week’s event is on track to be the best in its relatively short life.

This will be my 3rd DSE. More importantly however, this  marks the one year anniversary for NanoLumens & our début of the 112″ flexible video display. It seems like forever ago, but it’s only been 12 months since we launched our product to the digital signage world. Last year, we came to the show and hung our first display over the main entrance to the exhibit hall welcoming everyone to DSE. This year we’re an exhibitor and are bringing three displays, one of which will be at eye level so that everyone can understand NanoLumens in detail.

While this will also be the first time that I am attached to a vendor booth, it certainly won’t stop me from getting out on the floor and learning everything new that I can about the industry. Now more than ever we are hearing about fantastic project opportunities. These projects just don’t happen without every element of the digital signage ecosystem including content ideas & services, SW & HW platforms, mounting, monitoring and connectivity technology. In order to add the most value to our prospects and customers, I need to be informed on these topics. I’ll definitely be checking out the other display products in the marketplace, but I’ll also be deep in the weeds furthering my knowledge on the rest of the core elements that make up digital signage.

None of this matters without personal relationships so above all else, I’m looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new digital signage people. The connection opportunities are what truly make DSE shine.

So please stop by booth #216 and share with us what’s new in your world. Our products have unique characteristics that make them the only solution for so many opportunities. We’d love to spend time with you and hear your ideas for new applications! Please travel safe, don’t lose your shirt at the tables and we hope to see you at the show!

Homemade iPad integration

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

I was a little bummed when I first learned that the iPad wouldn’t natively mirror to a tv. So after a short period just dealing with it, I decided to go seeking for solutions on the webs. This evening, after a bit of research and a call to trusty @mattstech, I went all rogue and jail-broke my iPad.

Next up, me and Rick found the “displayout” app from cydia and not too much longer after that, I was gaming away on the 112 inch NanoLumens display.

While this was obviously lots of fun. I did it for a reason. I am extremely interested in how the digital signage industry can improve advertising impressions for brands through remote integration and by bringing exciting experiences to out-of-home displays. Gone are the days of dumb billboards as we’ve seen a new breed come into town like the ads of American Eagle & Forever 21 in Times Square.


The rapid improvement of technology has enabled this industry the ability to build exciting systems that just last year were unheard of…So i’m interested in how we can use these technologies to give something to brands that is not available by itself on the web, the TV, or on mobile phones. But something that folks will immerse with while they are out of home and in public. This silly example is by no means an end product but it got my creative thoughts flowing with ideas to bring tech to life in new ways. I’m hoping that it evolves into something effective for us in the digital out-of-home space. Please watch the video below and let me know if you’d ever like to come by the office and play games on the 112″! …and yes, I realize I left one evil green pig standing, they can be pesky little boogers!

Sign of the Times (Square)

January 12, 2011 2 comments

Bad weather cancelled a meeting today so @wamos80 & I decided to take advantage of our free time by going on a little digital out-of-home tour. After compiling a short list of ads we wanted to see, we hit the road and headed to the mecca of signage- Times Square. Below are the places we visited with a pictures from our phones sprinkled in. I will be diving deeper into these applications over the coming weeks as I learn more and compile my thoughts on their effectiveness & the pros/cons.

CEMUSA Digital News Stands

Launched by an all-star team of industry suppliers (Wirespring, Display Devices, Show + Tell, and of course CEMUSA), these digital newstands effectively bring the concept of billboards down to the street level. There seem to be around a dozen or so of these throughout times square and each of them consists of 5 digital displays (2×2 on the back & 1 portrait on a side). I’ve been anxious to see these ever since first reading about them in DailyDOOH. Here is a link direct from CEMUSA’s site that talks about them from a media buy perspective.

American Eagle Billboard w/ Photo-to-Screen

I’ve read that the American Eagle billboard is the largest in Times Square and today it was the most exciting. Inside of the store, AE has a photo shoot setup that customers can take a part in if they have purchased an item. After making up a message “Team NanoLumens”, where I’m from, and an email address, they put our ugly mugs up on the big screen! The geek in me will tell you that this alone was worth the trip!

Forever 21 Interactive Billboard

This is another billboard that I have really been looking forward to seeing. Its created to interact with the crowd so as you watch the screen (camera feed), models come into view and play with the audience in unique ways. In this example, they took a picture of us and showed it up close. I believe that these types of marketing campaigns are bellwethers for the future of the out-of-home advertising industry.

During the trip, we also visited Penn and Grand Central Stations. These areas are mostly static signage but have a lot of opportunity to go digital so i’ll write about them down the road. All in all, we had a blast checking out these ads and look forward to playing a part in future innovation for this space. What ads in NYC did we miss? Are there spots like these in any other cities that you have found to be particularly exciting?

#DigitalOOH Advertising owned Georgia’s Spirit of Endeavor Awards

January 7, 2011 Leave a comment

Just don't try to pick it up by the ring...

Last month we went to the 8th annual Spirit of Endeavor Awards hosted by TAG & TechAmerica. Its an event that honors local technology companies. In addition to our company NanoLumens walking away with an award, I thought that it all really represented a huge win for the digital out-of-home advertising community. For starters, lets take a look at the 6 awards that were given out during the event:

In my opinion, I would classify 3 of these companies as part of the digital out-of-home advertising industry (Digital Assent, SoloHealth & NanoLumens). Here is why:

Digital Assent’s product is the PatientPad. This is an electronic replacement for the “paper clipboard” found at the check-in counter of most hospitals, clinics and doctor’s offices in the United States. While the patient is using it to fill out all of their information, Digital Assent makes money by serving up targeted & interactive digital advertisements to the digital display.

SoloHealth’s product is EyeSite, a self-service eye examination kiosk that runs in grocery stores, malls, superstores, etc. It helps customers diagnose potential eye health issues and refers them to doctors for examinations. Like the PatientPad, EyeSite generates revenue by running targeted and specific digital advertisements on their LCD monitors.

Both SoloHealth and Digital Assent are able to show strong targeting, relevancy, and dwell time to their clients. Their ads are composed in a digital format that is hard for the consumer to miss based on their interactivity with the medium. This enables them to charge a premium for their ad impressions & click-throughs.

Lastly is my company, NanoLumens. We build large, thin, lightweight & flexible video displays which we supply to the digital signage and out-of-home advertising market. Our screens fill a market need for OOH advertisers by working in environments where traditional displays fail.

The fact that these three companies are some of the most talked about and now award-winning start-ups in the city speaks volumes for the industry and hints that it is gaining more traction and making an impact on the way that brands place their advertising dollars.

Who are some other Atlanta technology start-ups that are focused on digital out-of-home advertising?

Product overviews for the companies mentioned:

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