Digital signage notes from DSE 2012

The mood at DSE 2012 was markedly different than last year, with most of the folks I spoke with reporting significant sales increases over 2010 and optimism for the remainder of 2012—and as the DSF has reported, the show had record-breaking attendance.


The mood at DSE 2012 was markedly different than last year, with most of the folks I spoke with reporting significant sales increases over 2010 and optimism for the remainder of 2012—and as the DSF has reported, the show had record-breaking attendance. So, what are the contributing factors that led to this growth? Proving ROI? Massive video wall roll-outs? Improved analytics? Perhaps, but I think a big part of it simply comes down to more vendors providing all-in-one solutions with better channel incentives. This has translated to not only new customers, but repeat customers, which, as we all know, is a good sign for any supplier. Drilling down a bit further, I would also mention continued growth on the Enterprise/Corporate side, and better system monitoring capabilities to limit truck-rolls (the bane of any video network operator).

In IMS Research’s last signage study, I had forecast 2011 growth for the overall industry at 11.3%. The numbers are not all in yet, but it looks like this CAGR is close, although perhaps a bit conservative. We will see if 2012 can top my earlier forecast of 14.4% growth. It should be noted that IMS Research’s view of digital signage is inclusive of displays (including those under 30 in.), LED arrays, media players and STBs, PCs, software, M2M cellular modules, digital cinema projectors, mounts and cables for both enterprise and consumer-facing installations. The next edition of our study will continue to spotlight growth in touch screens as well as taking a deeper dive into embedded vision and NFC. At the show there was limited discussion of the latter two topics, which is not surprising given how nascent they are. However, I did have interesting conversations with PrimeSense regarding embedded vision (or natural interaction), Symon for NFC and Four Winds Interactive for quick response code. Panphonic’s ‘frame zones’ technology for geographically-contained audio is also something I intend to investigate further. Some other notable trends include:

- Smaller screens closer to the audience
- Increasing share of displays with expansion slots
- More i5 and i7 players
- Using the web to bridge multiple device types

For more detail on digital signage developments please read next week’s newsletter from IMS Research’s Consumer Electronics Group or the upcoming study titled The World Market for Digital Signage – 2012 Edition. Simply contact me at shane.walker(at) to be added to our newsletter list, or to receive more information on the upcoming study.

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