Digital Signage at Federated Department Stores

The recent deluge of trade magazine articles on digital signage makes it seem like every business, school, airport and government facility should immediately jump on the Digital Signage bandwagon, or be left behind. But digital signage is just another way to use otherwise traditional video displays to present dynamically changing content like video, still graphics and text.

The issue is that the digital signage solution is complex. It involves the intricate marriage of several disciplines: display hardware, high-speed network connectivity, and content creation and management. Most digital signage customers do not have an internal technical expert to drive a successful digital signage initiative. To meet this growing need, Thorburn Associates can act as the owner’s “technology expert.”

We recently worked with Federated Department Stores (parent of Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s) to help develop their prototype digital signage system. Acting as the technology expert for FDS, we worked with AdSpace to implement their Coolsign digital signage product (recently acquired by Clarity Visual Systems). TA helped bring AdSpace up to speed on FDS’ construction and facilities standards for their multimedia systems and made sure that FDS got a system that performed as intended. MEM Systems provided integration and project coordination.

The net result of this team effort is a repeatable high-quality installation that we have been told will help add to FDS’ bottom line. The system includes 42-inch, 50-inch and 60-inch plasma displays and Tablet PC’s installed in custom fixtures and connected to centrally located players over Cat5e cable. Each display is individually monitored for status and can be remotely operated from AdSpace’s headquarters in Burlingame, CA. AdSpace also handles the challenge of content creation. As we have stated in the past, Content is King – without good content the system is just a bunch of expensive gear. A well-installed digital signage system with great content will work year after year.