Story image

Trend watch: Display technology

01 Mar 11

Here are some trends from 2010 that have emerged specifically from the commercial grade display market and some predictions for the market in 2011.

The future of LED and 3D in digital signage
There was a lot of movement in the consumer space with LED (backlit displays) and 3D in 2010, but the professional display market is still in a growth phase when it comes to these emerging display technologies.
Keith Yanke, Product Manager at NEC Display Solutions, predicts however that there will be a large push in 2011 to move to LED-backlit displays.
"They have lower power consumption, so they’re definitely greener,” he said. "And then there is the depth of the unit (usually a few centimetres) that allows it to be used more flexibly.”
3D is more of a specialty application. Again, it was the rage in the consumer space this year, but since public digital signage can’t require viewers to wear glasses, the market has taken to autostereoscopic 3D, or "no glasses” technology. The 3D effect gets better with these displays every year, but is far from perfect. Look for display companies to continue partnerships with third party 3D suppliers, while finding applications where 3D makes the most sense.

Touch straight from the manufacturer
Touch capability for digital signage is nothing new; it is typically an aftermarket enhancement to the screen by a third party touch technology provider. Yanke says that going forward we’re likely to see manufacturers continue working with these third party providers, but branding and offering the screens fully integrated from the manufacturer.
"As we migrate from using dumb mobile phones to smartphones and iPads, we’re quickly becoming a society that wants to interact with displays,” Yanke said.

A market need for entry grade screens
NEC, along with several other manufacturers, launched lines of entry-level commercial grade displays this year, telling us something we probably already knew: there are a lot of people out there who want to install digital signage that get sticker shock when quotes roll in. With many SMB-type customers on a limited budget, entry level lines of screens provide the reliability and manufacturer’s warranty of a commercial grade at a price that is better associated with consumer grade products.

Innovative technology being restrained by price
LG has had its Stretch Screen on the market for a couple years now, and just this year NEC released the X431BT, a similar 43-inch wide screen with a 16:4 aspect ratio. The screen size has a lot of promise given its strange size and novelty, especially in the gaming and QSR spaces. But due to the odd size and the custom-type manufacturing involved, the price for these screens is more than their full 16:9 size brethren, leading most buyers to opt for bigger screens for the same price.
We’re out of the recession, but 2010 still remained a year of practicality for most decision-makers, not novelty.
Digital signage bundle solutions
Partnerships were abounding in 2010 between screen manufacturers, software providers and even chip manufacturers. It began with the announcement in January at NRF that Intel partnered with Microsoft and NEC to develop a set of digital signage standards, resulting in a proof-of-concept all-in-one digital signage prototype. While the idea behind the solution is highly innovative, futuristic and wishful, it still remains a concept and likely will for a while.
November presented a more practical bundle offering when LG partnered with BroadSign for the LG SuperSign Premier all-in-one solution, and Panasonic and Haivision/CoolSign announced a bundle in December.
Many screens now are being manufactured with slot options for media players and software, so look for other big names to partner together in order to move more product in 2011.
Product lines expanded to suit market demand
With more companies eyeing digital signage than ever with dramatically different budget needs, manufacturers have had to adjust their product offerings to suit a wider range. NEC, for example, divided its line up into four tiers, the P-, S-, V- and E-series, which respectively decline in price and features.

"We found that not every application needs everything, but not every application can get by on a low-cost screen,” Yanke said. "There was definitely a need for a good, better, best scenario.”

InternetNZ welcomes Govt's 99.8% broadband coverage plan
The additional coverage will roll out over the next four years as part of the Rural Broadband Initiative phase two/Mobile Black Spots Fund (RBI2/MBSF) programme expansion.
Dr Ryan Ko steps down as head of Cybersecurity Researchers of Waikato
Dr Ko is off to Australia to become the University of Queensland’s UQ Cyber Security chair and director.
Radware joins Chillisoft’s expanding portfolio
The cloud DDoS prevention, app delivery controller, and web app firewall expert is another step toward a total enterprise security portfolio.
Commerce Commission report shows fibre is hot on the heels of copper
The report shows that as of 30 September 2018 there were 668,850 households and businesses connected to fibre, an increase of 45% from 2017.
Wearables market flourishing - fuelled by smartwatches
A market that has stuttered in the past now has a bright forecast as adoption of wearable technology continues to thrive.
The tech that helped the first woman to sail around Australia
Lisa Blair used devices from supplied by Pivotel to aid her in becoming the first woman to circumnavigate Australia non-stop.
Why there will be a battle for the cloud in 2019
Cloud providers such as AWS, Azure, and Google will likely find themselves in a mad scramble to gain additional enterprise customers.
WLAN market picks up thanks to high-end products
Dell’Oro Group have released a report showing that the WLAN market picked up in 2Q18 as 802.11ax saw its first shipments.