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The new James Bond movie "Skyfall" has been a spectacular box office success since its Ds at Zurich Bond openingrelease — at the time I wrote this I still hadn't seen it yet myself, but that wasn't going to stop me from doing a "Bond-themed" blog entry after seeing this.

I was very excited by the images forwarded to me by Andy Bohli of Imaculix, one of our European integrators who were responsible for the eye-catching signage concept, dynamic content and execution at the Zurich premiere of 007's "Skyfall" on Oct. 26. They show a series of ten perfectly synchronized screens driven by solid-state media players. Not your average video wall!

This is just one example of how the line between solid-state players and PC-based signage solutions has largely disappeared. With the addition of PC-class features and top-of-the-line video performance to the arsenal of solid-state players, we see the emergence of signage-in-a-box solutions that can't be beat — PC-class performance, reliable hardware, intuitive and feature-rich software and networking solutions, all wrapped up in a beautifully compatible package that simply works.

DS at Zurich Bond openingWe've only begun to see the difference that this will make. Another example — bars and restaurants have been using strategically placed displays for years now to play sporting events or other live HDTV programming. But until now, traditional solid-state media players were not capable of displaying multiple videos, playing HDCP-protected live HDTV content, or promoting the house specials on the same display that was showing the game.

That's changed. Venues can now combine live broadcast video with promotions, news and other digital content of their own on the same screen using an affordable solid-state digital signage player. With new and powerful video engine capabilities and the ability to play live HDTV, every bar and restaurant can be turned into a profit-boosting environment that is worthy of a visit from 007 himself.

We will see many other examples of the advances being made in digital signage next year, largely because of the advantages and newfound capabilities of solid-state players. You're going to start to see digital signage appear in places you never expected to see it. Personally, I'm very excited about this shift and I can't wait to see where it takes the industry as a whole in 2013 and beyond.

(Images courtesy of Imaculix.)

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BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings joined BrightSign in August 2009 while it was still a division of Roku Inc. In late 2010 with digital signage activities growing so rapidly, BrightSign became a separate firm. The holder of eight U.S. patents, he also has a history of tech industry leadership, including as president of mp3 pioneer Rio.
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