TV Watching Role Reversal

For decades, people have slumped on the couch and watched TV. Well that role is about to be reversed. Samsung’s new 2012 top-end models are bristling with surveillance gadgets including HD camera, twin microphones, face tracking and speech recognition. Coupled with a vast array of apps and these always-connected cameras and microphones, it won’t be long before people start forgetting and unintentional living room (or worse, bedroom) footage makes it onto the web. Samsung’s own privacy policy is unclear as to what data it collects. It seems George Orwell was only 28 years off. My sister had a cover for her budgerigar at nighttime, maybe you should get one for your TV!

Atlantic Technology Debuts WA-5030 Wireless with Power Amp

The Atlantic Technology WA-5030 Wireless Transmitter/Amplifier System combines a brand new WA-5030-r zone amplifier and wireless receiver with the company's proven three-zone WA-50-t wireless transmitter. The WA-50-t transmitter can be sourced from any RCA analog audio line outputs or to a Mac or PC via a built-in USB connection. It broadcasts lossless, uncompressed CD-quality digital audio with a 48 kHz sampling rate over on the 2.4 GHz radio band. The wireless technology is highly robust with no data drop issues and essentially no time delay over distances of 150 to 300 feet depending on intervening structures. A three-position zone switch on both the transmitter and receiver allow up-to three separate WA-5030 systems to be used in close proximity to each other.

The system's WA-5030-r receiver/amplifier contains a matching 2.4 GHz RF section, digital-to-analog converter, and a high-quality 30-watts per channel stereo power amplifier. The receiver is is suitable for driving most compact bookshelf or in-wall/ceiling 8-ohm speakers to high sound levels with low distortion. The WA-5030-r also comes with an infrared wireless remote control, to allow users adjust volume and to mute the system. WA-5030-r can also be programmed to drive speakers in the bi-amp mode or to drive speakers in a commercial or distributed audio system.

Kinect for Windows Solution Leads to the Perfect Fitting Jeans

Finding the perfect fit so clothing conforms to a person's unique body shape is at the heart of the Bodymetrics Pod. Developed by Bodymetrics, a London-based pioneer in 3D body-mapping, the Bodymetrics Pod was introduced to American shoppers for the first time today during Women's Denim Days at Bloomingdale's in Century City, Los Angeles. This is the first time Kinect for Windows has been used commercially in the United States for body mapping in a retail clothing environment.

Bloomingdale's, a leader in retail innovation, has one of the largest offerings in premium denim from fashion-forward brands like J Brand, 7 for all mankind, Citizens and Humanity, AG, and Paige. The Bodymetrics services allows customers to get their body mapped and find jeans that fit and flatter their unique shape from the hundreds of different jeans styles that Bloomingdale's stocks.

During Bloomingdale's Denim Days, March 15 - 18, customers will be able to get their body mapped, and also become a Bodymetrics member. This free service enables customers to access an online account and order jeans based on their body shape.

TCL Unveils 110-inch 4K LCD TV

Beijing - Television manufacturer TCL said Friday that its Shenzhen-based China Star Optoelectronics Technology subsidiary has developed the world's largest 110-inch 4K HD 3D LCD screen.

The company formally launched the technology at a recent ceremony here by donating two of the mammoth screens to the Great Hall of the People for public display.

"The successful launch of the world's largest 110-inch screen once again proved TCL's research and development capabilities," Li Dongsheng, TCL chairman and CEO, said. "Not only will TCL benefit from the development of this breakthrough technology, all TV manufacturers in China and overseas, will be able to capitalize on this revolutionary product design."

There was no word yet on plans to introduce the LCD in the U.S. or how much the set will cost.

Read Full Article here:


Digital Signage Expo 2012 Shatters Previous Records, Sets New All-Time Attendance Milestone

Digital Signage Expo® (DSE), the world's largest and longest running International Conference and Tradeshow dedicated exclusively to digital signage, interactive technology and digital out-of-home networks (DOOH), today announced that its ninth show held last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center has officially shattered previous records, set a new attendance milestone and reinforced DSE's position as the digital signage industry's preeminent show.

While additional specifics will be forthcoming, show management has just confirmed that new all-time benchmarks established last week include:

*4,024 qualified attendees (excluding exhibitors) - a 9% increase over 2011
*Record conference attendance
*Record international attendance from a total of 69 countries
*Record exhibit sales: 62,440 net square feet - a 4% increase over 2011

Click here for Full Press release.

How digital menu boards help drive restaurant sales

Cutting edge visual displays and content creation and management systems were showcased last week at the Digital Signage Expo in Las Vegas.

For restaurants, the largest takeaways included a look behind best practices and usage at Dairy Queen and Wendy’s, where operators said digital menu boards and supporting technologies have increased sales, helped drive consumers to specific, margin-friendly items and helped inventory management.

“I get goose bumps thinking about it,” said Sue Culver, vice president of retail merchandising for International Dairy Queen, while discussing the potential of digital signage to more easily manage the presentation and promotion of 47 different menu types that exist for the chain’s DQ Grill & Chill, Brazier and “Limited” concept variations.

Read full article here:

Kaleidescape in breach of contract with DVD Copy Control Association

Kaleidescapes movie servers allow user to copy DVD (but not Blu-ray) content to their server’s hard disk for playback with the Media Server. Even though this content cannot be copied to another location, the  DVD CCA claims this is in breach of its contract with the DVD CCA. Kaleidescape and its agents and distributors cannot continue to sell the product and the courts agree. Moreover, Kaleidescape cannot provide any support related to the Content Scramble System (CSS) copy-protection scheme.

If this becomes a legal precedent, the DVD CCA could go after any vendor that creates a product allowing the ripping of DVD’s. This could be the shot in the arm that Project Phenix and UltraViolet need. Ultraviolet allows a digital copy to be freely copied and played on registered players and the new Project Phenix will create and license solutions that secure high definition and other premium copyright-protected content on local and portable hard drives, and flash memory products such as USB flash drives, SD™ cards and solid state disk drives (SSDs). Of course, industry-wide buy would be required and two big players (Apple and Disney) are not on-board.

In related news Walmart today announced its new Disc to Digital service for UltraViolet:


Best Buy snags Starbucks tech guru

Stephen Gillett, the Starbucks chief information officer who revamped the retailer's technological approach to selling coffee, is joining electronics giant Best Buy. The 36-year-old former college football player is charged with no small task: helping Best Buy go up against Amazon while continuing to sell products in brick-and-mortar stores.

Gillett joins Best Buy (BBY) Monday as president of the company's digital business, including its online stores, as well as replicating the information-systems responsibilities he held at Starbucks (SBUX). At the Seattle coffee company Gillett was instrumental in offering free wireless Internet service to customers as well as allowing payment by smartphones. The moves were credited with being a part of the rejuvenation of the customer experience at Starbucks under CEO Howard Schultz. In recognition of his efforts, Fortune named Gillett to its list of 40 top executives under age 40 in 2010.

How is Apple Getting its Fingers on Digital Signage?

Apple was recently valued at more than the country of Greece and there’s no denying its success in the smartphone, tablet and digital media market. Although, Apple doesn’t directly serve the digital signage market, the iPad is used for many DOOH applications, but there is an additional revenue stream for Apple in this sector.

Recently, Apple was granted 24 new patents for multi-touch technology. Several of the patents were related the Magic Mouse’s 3D curved substrate lamination, but it was also granted 10 further patents related to multi-touch to bolster the 11 it was granted in 2010.

So what does this mean for digital signage? Basically any vendor that uses multi-touch technology may have to pay royalties to Apple. In the digital signage world, this is likely to include kiosks, POS terminals, ATM’s, vending machines, e-ticket machines, etc.

Comcast Aims for Larger WalletShare with Cloud-Enabled Thermostats

Just when you thought your cable bill couldn’t get any higher, Comcast are planning to add a further offering—Cloud Enabled Thermostats—to their Infinity Home service.

Building on their foray into home automation and security, they recently entered into an agreement with EcoFactor, a provider of energy management solutions, to create a new service that optimizes the heating and cooling patterns of a home and integrates with the Xfinity Home platform.

"Through our Xfinity Home service, we've created a broadband and cloud-based platform for security, remote home control and energy management and we're always looking to collaborate with innovative companies like EcoFactor," said Mitch Bowling, Senior Vice President and General Manager of New Businesses for Comcast Cable. "With EcoFactor, we see an opportunity to bring new and exciting technologies to our customers through an automatic energy management solution that works in real-time."

Adding Xfinity home with a thermostat will add $40 to your monthly bill and will require an initial investment of $350.


No Surprises - Aereo Sued

In a move that should surprise no-one, Aereo is being sued by not one, but two groups of broadcasters (including ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox and the local PBS station) for allegedly rebroadcasting their content without permission.

Subscribers pay $12/month to access 27 locally broadcast TV stations that Aereo streams via the web. Billionaire owner Barry Diller's, who was previously CEO at Fox, believes the company is not infringing copyright because each user does have their own antenna.

The way Aereo works is that instead of rebroadcasting the signal from a single antenna, each watching subscriber is assigned a remote Aereo mini antenna. They just happen to be watching the channel with a remote antenna.

Aereo is due to launch its service on March 14th, exclusively in New York city., the new eMagazine has a greater focus on Commercial AV, Automation and Digital Signage, a leading Home Technology and Automation eMagazine, went live today with a freshly revamped website. The new look is designed with increased white space and easier to navigate features that will improve the reader's overall experience. Not to worry though, it's 16 years of archived articles, news and product information remains intact. It's just easier to find.

Along with the revamped look for HomeToys, the developers also formally announced the launch of their newest eMagazine, Following the same mission and format as its sister publication will have a stronger focus on the Commercial side of AV & Automation as well as the digital signage industry.

Click here to visit

Digital Signage Expos is underway in Las Vegas, NV

Digital Signage Expo (DSE), the world's largest International Tradeshow and Conference dedicated exclusively to digital signage, interactive technology and digital out-of-home networks (DOOH) is underway in Las Vegas.

DSE will present a total of 42 topics in its FREE On-Floor Workshop Program on March 6-9, 2012, in Las Vegas.
DSE's FREE On-Floor Workshop Program runs in three show floor theater areas - with the Digital Content Show Theater dedicated specifically to the all-important topic of content - from 10:45 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. and offers a rich variety of walk-up presentations on Wednesday, March 7 and Thursday, March 8.

Click here for list of topics:

Z-Wave Announces 600th Certified Product

The Z-Wave Alliance, the consortium behind the world's largest ecosystem of interoperable wireless control solutions, today announced that it has certified its 600th product. This major milestone solidifies its position as the leading consortium dedicated to Home Control and Smart Energy development. The 600th Z-Wave product is a Whole House Energy Meter designed to provide timely and accurate consumption data.

Six months ago, saw the 500th certified Z-Wave product: a goal that took almost 6 years to reach. Today, the announcement of a 600th product indicates rapid growth in Z-Wave. What are the primary factors for the growth? Read Mark's take on this here.


Retailers, service providers, and utilities are all entering the U.S. market for energy management, which will help drive annual subscription revenues from these systems to over $180 million by 2015, according to Parks Associates. The international research firm hosts Smart Energy Summit: Engaging the Consumer in Austin, Texas, February 28-March 1, an annual event focusing on new technologies, partnership opportunities, and consumer-oriented energy management solutions.

“Energy management is being bundled with home monitoring and control, security, broadband, and video services,” said Tom Kerber, Director, Research, Home Controls and Energy, Parks Associates. “Next week, we will hear insights into partnership opportunities that can generate recurring revenues, reduce customer attrition, develop value-added services, and engage consumers in new ways with energy management solutions.”

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

GreenPeak’s GP565 – ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

GreenPeak's GP565 - ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

The GP565 Smart Home RF chip for remote controls supports voice control, motion sensing and the new ZRC 2.0 protocol. The GP565 is optimized for advanced & low cost ZigBee RF4CE remote controls. • 120k or 248k Flash (8k or 16k RAM) memory • 40-pin footprint to support a keyboard scanner interface or other IO interfaces required for remote controls. • Reduced current consumption and improved receiver sensitivity and output power • Patented Antenna Diversity technology enables superior range and WiFi/Bluetooth interference rejection