As the digital signage industry turns the page from an eventful, sometimes even turbulent, 2012 to write a new chapter in 2013, we've taken a look back at the year that was and given previews of what could be ahead in the year to be.
To wrap up our end-of-year roundup here at Digital Signage Today, now that the final days of 2012 have ticked off, we'll take a look back at the 10 most-read stories on the site.
(Editor's note: Two of the most-visited stories on the site in from Jan. 1-Dec. 12, 2012, actually were part of the previous year's prognostications for the year ahead in 2012. Keeping to the theme of "the most-read stories of 2012," we have omitted those in favor of the two next-highest visited stories on the site that were posted in 2012.)
So without further ado, what did you, the readers of DST, pick as the most important or most interesting stories of 2012? Here they are, starting with No. 10:
10: "InfoComm12: 7 digital signage trends"
Digital Screenmedia Association Executive Director David Drain took readers on a walk-through of the digital signage highlights he saw at last year's Infocomm, the biggest A/V trade show in the country. Digital signage tiles (smaller displays that can be tiled in novel configurations), transparent digital signage displays, large-format multitouch displays and digital signage displays in unusual shapes or configurations were at the top of his list.
9: "Fetch! DOOH lets NYC subway station go to the dogs"
Earlier this year, digital signage turned a New York City subway station into an interactive dog park where commuters could play fetch with virtual dogs.
The interactive branding campaign for Nestle Purina PetCare Company's Beneful brand dog food was launched by Inwindow Outdoor in New York City's Columbus Circle subway station, and similar installations were set to roll out to Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles and St. Louis.
The Columbus Circle installation featured a 64-foot-long interactive, motion-tracking digital billboard owned by CBS Outdoor. The billboard's virtual, animated dogs followed commuters as they passed by, pawing at the screen and yipping to get passersby to stop for a game of virtual fetch.
8: "Is the future of digital signage for sale, retail?"
In August, LG Electronics USA announced that it had struck a deal with retailer Fry's Electronics Inc. to feature an LG digital signage solution at the chain's 34 nationwide locations and on the retailer's website.
In announcing the move, LG said its aim was "helping more small business owners access affordable digital signage technology" by offering its popular LG EzSign TVs through Fry's retail channels.
"Given the increase in 'do-it-yourself' small business owners turning to traditional electronics retailers for business solutions, teaming up with Fry's to reach this customer segment was a natural fit for LG and a turnkey commercial product like EzSign TV," said Rick Calacci, LG's vice president of regional sales, in announcing the deal.
7: "Digital signage goes to the movies: Lessons learned"
In February, Rave Cinemas Director of Systems Development Bill Budwitz talked to Digital Signage Today about Rave's rollout, With Real Digital Media, of digital signage across a 1,000-screen, 20-state movie theater chain, providing important insights into the process.
6: "BMW digital signage turns passing autos into concept cars in NYC"
This short video feature posted just last month reported on BMW's eye-catching DOOH deployment in New York City in November that saw passing vehicles transformed into BMW concept cars in real time.
Using cameras, projection tech and some serious computing, the "BMW i Window Into The Near Future" digitally transformed passing cars into the all-electric BMW i3 and plug-in hybrid BMW i8 concept vehicles. (Apparently it was like driving by a mirror, but seeing a BMW concept car reflected back at you instead of your own.)
5: "Digital signage Carmelo Anthony opens up NYC kids sports store"
This short September news brief reported on the the customizable Tensator Virtual Assistant HD projection and audio-visual solution that allowed NBA star and Olympic gold medal winner Carmelo Anthony — in digital signage form — to join in the grand opening of Rookie USA, a New York City-based kids-only high-end sports brand retail concept store.
4: "Harris Corp. getting out of digital signage/DOOH"
May brought news that tech giant Harris Corp. was divesting itself of its Broadcast Communications division, which includes its digital signage business. A company spokesman insisted the division would continue doing "business as usual," and the division's top digital signage exec said in a later interview that the company would be remaining active in digital signage after its eventual purchase.
And December brought word that the Gores Group, a Los Angeles-based investment firm, had inked a definitive agreement to acquire Harris Broadcast Communications from Harris Corp. for $225 million.
3: "Trick or Treat: Video wall terrorizes elevator riders"
This fun October piece featured a commercial from LG Electronics showing a terrifying prank pulled in an elevator with the use of a cleverly-located digital signage video wall. The LG pranksters put a video wall in *the floor* of an elevator, with the video wall designed to look like the normal floor, until the floor falls away beneath whatever poor soul is riding in the elevator at the time.
2: "Hacking Times Square digital signage"
This March blog post featured the mysterious case of a (hopefully faked?) viral video that seemed to show someone hacking into the feeds to the digital signage displays in New York City's Times Square.
Maybe that one should have come out at Halloween, because if it were real the video surely would have terrified companies across the digital signage industry that their content streams might not be as secure as they thought.
1: "Top 12 benefits of digital menu boards"
This May infographic on the benefits of deploying digital menu boards, from centralized menu content control to compliance with federal menu-labeling laws, was the top traffic earner this past year. With the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act — better known as Obamacare — it appears digital menu boards are the dish du jour on everyone's menu.
Read more about digital signage trends.
Christopher is the editor of DigitalSignageToday.com. A longtime freelance writer and reporter, he's bringing a fresh perspective and critical take on the industry.