Exponation’s Chris Gibbs on coronavirus and DSE 2020 and Samsung’s Quiroz on The Wall for Business and the company’s NCAA Division II partnerships
Digital Signage Expo 2020 is set to launch at the end of the month, but amid the chatter of great new displays, innovative software, and certification workshops, are grumblings about coronavirus, which has already seen a few global tech conferences canceled as the infectious respiratory virus continues to spread worldwide. To quell concerns and in a show of confidence, DSE organizers issued a lengthy statement last week invoking the great British 1939 pre-World War II slogan, “Keep calm and carry on.”
“I think the media in the U.S. has really ramped up a lot of coverage on it,” says Chris Gibbs, Exponation’s President and COO, when asked about DSE’s statement on Digital Signage Digest episode 13. “It started to feel like some people maybe questioning going to events in the U.S. We feel that DSE is largely a domestic show; most of our international attendees are from North and South America. And, because of the travel ban from China, a large number of the exhibitors from China won’t be at the show this year because they can’t get here. We felt the media here currently was really overstating a lot of the concerns. There are a lot of unknowns that surround this virus, but there is not currently an outbreak in the U.S. They are a few people from a cruise and a few others, but there’s not currently an outbreak.”
Gibbs says that DSE has been working closely with the Las Vegas Convention Center to set up sanitizing measures while encouraging listeners not to panic and to come out to the show, outlining what attendees to DSE 2020 should expect, including key sessions that might be of interest to new and previous attendees alike.
Samsung’s New Wall for Business and NCAA Partnerships
One the highlights of Samsung’s booth at ISE 2020 last month was the addition of The Wall for Business to the company’s lineup of MicroLEDs — a commercial-grade iteration of the popular, customizable displays.
“The technology is basically the same. The difference is it’s an expansion to the portfolio by adding the two models — 1.2 and 1.6 pixel pitch,” says Mark Quiroz, vice president of marketing for Samsung’s Display Division, on what sets the The Wall for Business apart from its older series siblings. “It gives us more scale to touch more customers, more use cases.”
Quiroz explains that The Wall at sub-1mm pitch had an exclusive clientele, mostly high-end, high-cost corporate applications, but the two new SKUs allow integrators to bring costs down and subsequently allow their clients to envision new visual, cost-effective applications. It builds on the good-better-best model that has worked across commercial AV integration for decades.
Samsung also recently announced that it has partnered with six NCAA Division II conferences as the official digital display partner, including California Collegiate Athletic Conference, Great American Conference, Great Northwest Athletic Conference, Lone Star Conference, Mountain East, and Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. The two-year agreements allow any conference school to order Samsung’s video display solutions at partner prices.
“Our business that was behind those partnerships is our Live and Spectacular business,” says Quiroz. “It leverages our Prismview technology with our outdoor LED technology that we have integrated into Samsung formally — that happened in October of last year. What we were trying to do with that was to really identify organizations and associations that we wanted to work with collectively to bring those new technologies to bear within the organizations and venues those organizations work with. The way it was brokered was around seeing the technology.
“A lot of the universities are either going through renovations or looking to expand the experience just like professionals are; everybody is trying to compete with staying home,” Quiroz continues. “You have to get fans out of their homes and into the seats, into these venues, so it’s no different in the university landscape.”
The partnerships give Samsung the ability to raise the visibility of its display roster and solutions while gaining insight into how to evolve the technologies for the university landscape and “stay ahead of the game.”