Seeing is believing on Avnet digital signage tour

Showcase article on Avnet and new technology being developed including Intel AIM Suite incorporation.
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With a technology medium as new -- and as visual -- as digital signage, sometimes seeing really is believing.

So global technology firm Avnet Technology Solutions decided to deploy digital signage throughout the Avnet Global Solutions Center -- with digital signage serving both as tour guide of the facility and as proofs-of-concept for potential deployers.

Avnet recently hosted a grand opening and ribbon cutting of its new digital signage video tour and a digital signage showcase, bringing in ecosystem partners and the media to tour the new digital signage additions to the 228,000-square-foot integration and logistics facility in Chandler, Ariz.

To start, tour guides led guests on tours of the facility, where at designated stops they would see digital signage presentations about the facility. Previously on tours, Avnet employees would deliver a presentation to guests, but now each tour guide swipes an RFID card at each stop to activate a digital signage tour presentation. The RFID cards of the guides allowed Avnet to track tours' progress, and each station showed the appropriate video content for that section of the building.

Each station, though, also showcased a different way to install digital signage, from a single, wall-mounted display to a four-by-four video wall high on a warehouse wall to screens mounted on mobile stands rolling on casters.

Finally, the tour terminated in a digital signage showcase, where Avnet has displayed solutions like such as Intel Corp.'s AIMS suite that detects the demographic information of screen viewers and a screen showing glasses-free 3D content from Magnetic 3D.

The idea is to show prospective clients and current clients, particularly those who might be unfamiliar with digital signage, what digital signage can do, Avnet executives said.

The open house and ribbon cutting drew industry figures from across the spectrum of digital signage solutions providers and Avnet ecosystem partners, from Intel toSamsung and from NEC to Real Digital Media -- most of whom also had products on display in the tour or the showcase.

Real Digital Media President Mike Baron said, after the tour, that he thinks what Avnet is doing with its tour and its efforts to go end to end with digital signage "is kind of unique for the distribution world."

"They really are integrating all the elements to create a complete solution," he said.

That's Avnet's strategy, said Chuck Kostalnick, senior vice president for Avnet Embedded, using its global scale and reach and its partner network to be able to deliver everything for digital signage, from site surveys to hardware and software to installation and post-installation services and maintenance.

And having the digital signage tour as part of its showcase facility allows Avnet to demonstrate both the company's commitment to the digital signage sector and the possibilities digital signage creates for its clients.

"Seeing really is believing," he said.

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