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Top 5 Digital Signage Trends Spotted at ISE 2018

26 Feb 2018

Integrated Systems Europe 2018 (ISE) saw a record attendance — with 65,686 people making it the world’s largest AV and systems integration show this year. The annual Amsterdam event has continued to grow since its launch in 2004. This year nearly 1,300 exhibitors showcased the latest technology and products from across the globe.

​ISE 2018 Venue Amsterdam

Highlights of ISE 2018 included the European launch of Samsung’s The Wall Professional and Flip digital flipchart. Other manufacturers also displayed innovations, such as Sharp’s Big Pad, and Barco Unisee’s apparently bezel-less video wall.

Here are the top 5 digital signage trends and our insight as to what they mean for your signage business.

1. 4K and 8K displays

At ISE 2018 we saw both 4K and 8K technology pushing boundaries of typical applications and increasing the possibilities of digitalization.

Sharp’s Big Pad is another interactive whiteboard — but it’s the first one to feature true “4K reading and writing” that offers the same level of detail and accuracy that you get on paper. This realism — combined with tools for technical drawings, maps and spreadsheets — makes it a perfect solution tailored towards medical, architectural and design industries. To further improve the accuracy, it also has an automatic palm rejection feature that will mean your hand will not accidentally write smudges on the screen.

Samsung Display is pioneering the 8K panel technology and showcased some industry leading solutions. What distinguished the SDC solution was its true 8K sub-pixel rather than some other competitors who achieve the 8K resolution with a white sub-pixel. We expect 8K to be a leading technology driver in 2018-2019.

Samsung UHD Signage

Business insight

High resolution displays will increase their share of the pie in the nearest future. 4K may soon be the new normal — with 8K signage gaining share faster than expected.

2. Video walls — Extreme Narrow Bezel LCDs

Leyard Planar introduced their new video wall system, Clarity Matrix G3. This 3rd generation LCD wall system uses the industry’s thinnest profile Extreme Narrow Bezel LCD. The tiled bezels have widths of only 1.7mm, helping the video wall panels to join seamlessly and minimizing any interruption to the visuals.

The system’s other specifications include windowing capabilities — meaning that you are not restricted by the boundaries of a panel and can use picture-in-picture, so that video sources overlay each other across panels. It also has built-in intelligent management software so you do not need an extra content management system.

Planar ENB Video Wall

Barco Unisee also demonstrated their bezel-less and modular platform. To achieve this, Barco worked on both mechanical and optical gaps to secure uniformity and a no shadow effect near seams between screens.

The display is also complete with special mounting system, improving the user experience by making it easy to install.

Barco Bezel-less LCD Video Wall

Business insight

Video wall market continues to be a significant growth opportunity. The focus on minimizing bezel width continues, one can expect new innovations that make the bezel almost invisible.

3. Interactive displays

Samsung’s Flip caused lots of excitement at its European debut. The product is part of a new generation of interactive displays, smart whiteboards and meeting technology. It responds to demands for flexible, collaborative working. The Flip allows multiple people to produce content and annotate together. Written information is equally easy to erase and retrieve, and materials can be sent to the Flip wirelessly or through USB, PC and mobile ports.

The technology was created to simplify workplace meetings and does so by its innovative use of digital displays. Screens can be mirrored so that colleagues can view the same content on their mobile phones as the flip chart. The continuous stream also reduces time wasted looking through multiple papers and sets of notes to find a particular comment.

The Flip may be new — but it has already won two 2018 Top New Technology Awards and is set to change the way we conduct meetings, bringing digital displays into the workplace.

Samsung Flip Digital Flipchart

Flip was not the only interactive display showcased at ISE. Other notable interactive technologies included: 

  • MultiTaction’s stackable displays, which can support unlimited touch points;
  • Google’s Jamboard that works seamlessly with G Suite products;
  • NEC’s ShadowSense Touch, which recognises multi-touch gestures such as swipes, pinches and double taps.

With screens like this in workplaces, interacting with displays may become increasingly common and it will take greater interactivity to impress with immersive digital signage experiences.

Business insight

High resolution and innovative display applications promise to boost display adoption in office and other collaborative environments.

4. QLED, MicroLED and OLED screens

ISE served as the European launch of Samsung’s The Wall — the world’s first modular MicroLED 146” TV — and the introduction of The Wall Professional — a modular, large-format indoor MicroLED display.

The Wall has a 146” diagonal and is based on a .84mm MicroLED pixel pitch wall, giving a superior visual experience when up-close. The Wall comes pre-calibrated from the factory with ready-to-go panels.

The Wall has been designed to give the best visual experience for customers. The technology enhances the colors and contrast, creating breathtaking visuals. The Wall Professional’s modular design allows businesses to display these high quality videos beyond or below its 146” standard size.

Samsung also showcased its leading QLED displays designed to enhance color purity, where quantum dot technology is most successfully employed in this new generation of LED-backlit LCDs.

One of the benefits of QLED is that there is no burn-in that OLED screens suffer from. However, OLED technology still impressed as ISE, despite this drawback. One of the impressive OLED applications was the transparent OLED. There is potential for this technology to be adopted in corporate or retail environments.

Samsung Display QLED Signage

While The Wall was featured as the biggest screen size, Leyard Planar impressed with their debut of the industry’s smallest pixel pitch. At just .7mm pixel pitch, their DirectLight LED video wall allows for 4K resolution at 30% less square meter area. This opens up 4K video digital signage to smaller spaces.

Business insight

Quantum dots are making a splash with their best-in-class color and brightness performance. MicroLED and LED video walls are making steady progress to minimize the pixel pitch, thus offering new options for the signage customers.

5. Diversity of applications

Digital signage is becoming an essential part of the daily life — from smart transportation screens at bus stops to wayfinding installations, use in quick service restaurants, vending machines and more — displays at the show reflected this trend as well.

Novisign, for example, showcased the possibilities of digital signage software solutions and how they can interact with IoT devices. A retail example saw the integration of a barcode reader — a customer would scan a product they want to know more about, and relevant information would then be displayed on a digital screen.

Even within the familiar industry of advertising, innovation is still happening. Samsung showcased its Target Ad Signage Solutions at ISE. Combined with cameras, the display can show adverts with demographic-specific content. Artificial intelligence (AI) can identify criteria such as gender of passersby and show appropriate advertising. The screen is not only beautiful for people to look at, but can also be customized to display the relevant content that its viewers want to see.

ISE 2018 may be remembered as the year of the interactive whiteboard, but there were many other impressive digital signage innovations. From the technological improvements to the new uses, ISE was an exciting four days for the industry.

Here’s what Dave Haynes — the founder and editor of digital signage publication Sixteen:Nine — made of the show:

Business insight

Fusion of technologies — display, IoT, AI — are expanding the scope of signage applications into more value added segments. The future looks promising and prosperous!