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The second day of Digital Signage Expo is always a bit of a madhouse. In the midst of trying to see and talk to everyone you can (and you always miss at least half the ones you want to hit), there’s also trying to take the show in as a whole, catch everyone before they leave and maybe have a few substantive conversations in between everything else.

Today we’ll look back at some of the highlights of day two at the show, some of which we’ll dive into a bit deeper in the coming days.

As usual, the day starts off with educational sessions, ranging on day two from “Emerging Digital Communications Technologies: Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should” to “How to Generate Data-Driven Content.”

Then it’s off to the races.

Display manufacturers LG Electronics and Samsung both had their usual variety of screens, but both also seem to be branching out a bit with screen formats and taking broader approaches. As with NEC, the approach is more … perhaps holistic is the word.

Everyone is realizing digital signage is more than just a 40-inch screen with pretty pictures, and display makers are now trying to cover all the bases, from 10- and 22-inch interior displays all the way to outdoor LED signage, or taking an approach of solving particular problems for vertical markets, whether it’s offering a turnkey QSR drive-thru solution or a ruggedized and protected display for transit shelters.

Planar Systems also had a brilliant LED display on hand, and generated what appeared to be fairly continuous buzz with the demo model of its OLED display, which is probably a year away from rolling out in a big way.

Intel Corp. recently announced a big Internet of Things play, and they had some interesting things to say at DSE when it comes to future of incorporating Big Data into digital signage, while also taking into account the sure-to-be-rampant privacy concerns. Intel is focusing on providing personalized experiences for retailers and other vertical industries served by digital signage, creating one-on-one engagements with data derived from connected devices such as smartphones and wearables. And despite what some predict as to consumers giving up their privacy in return for a perceived good, Intel says it is designing products with an eye toward makinng sure consumers’ anonymity is maintained, collecting data only from those who opt-in and making sure it’s protected thereafter.

Completely coincidentally, my last two booth tours of the day were almost mirror images of each other. While the particulars aren’t exact, the bigger pictures were very similar. At the Christie booth, the talk was about doing more than just providing display technologies and providing experiences with the combination of Christie and Arsenal Media, now Christie THREE SIXTY. And at the Barco booth, our old friends at X2O Media (now a part of Barco) and Barco execs spoke excitedly about making displays smarter and creating combined solutions rather than just offering a display. X2O and Arsenal aren’t exact analogs, but the symmetry is clear –— and the other display providers are taking similar approaches either through acquisitions or partnerships — and the case is compelling that the digital signage business, whether it’s LCDs, LEDs, OLEDs, projectors or fill in the blank, is about providing experiences.

All of which aligns with several off-the-cuff and off-the-record conversations held throughout both days of the show, the overarching themes of which could be summed up as essentially this: The digital signage industry, inasmuch as it can really be called an industry, is really the small shaded section in the middle of a Venn Diagram in which the bigger circles of many other industries — whether it be transportation or branding or signage or foodservice — all overlap and meet. Hardly revelatory or revolutionary, but that seems to get lost in the shuffle sometimes. It’s all about communicating with the consumer, and it’s all about giving them an experience that moves them in the desired direction, either figuratively or literally. Digital SignageToday

Are you ready to get on board?!? Contact SignCast Media to kick start your digital signage project(s).