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Green Kiosks Interact with Mobile Phones, Part 2

Dec 23, 2008 12:00 PM, By John W. DeWitt

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Would you call yourselves a “Web 2.0” digital-signage provider?

We see ourselves more as an interactivity company than as a digital-signage company. The call to action could be on screen, or could be on a beer mat or on TV or radio. It could be a coupon while you’re riding the bus. That’s why we say our platforms are independent yet integrated.

We don’t consider ourselves a Web 2.0 company, but we like what’s going on. It’s a challenge, once you install your screen, to keep it fresh—and one way to do that is to tap into that user-generated content that’s out there.

How do you separate what’s useful and what’s not in social media content?

Of course, not all user-generated content is relevant. For example, with a photo upload application, the photo could be bad or irrelevant. So goes through a moderation process that’s part of our application package.

Our text-to-screen application, AerChat, is nothing more than a keyword that tells our system that this wants to be shown on this screen. And if the content goes through moderation and is text-based, it can have automatic filters. The filters could be very strict, or if a nightclub, allowed content could be risqué.

Do you work with third-party AV contractors and others in the channel?

We work heavily with VAR [value-added resellers] and system integrator channel. We have a channel partner program where they get to make real revenue and good margin on all our stuff. We offer systems integrators a way to diversify their offerings—there’s declining margins with displays and other fixed hard-goods types of stuff. We come in and say, "This is the new thing, we’ll train you, you can make a little more margin, and a lasting margin," which can compensate for declining margins on the screens.

You’re collecting a lot of information with interactive applications. What happens to that?

We provide very valuable metrics to everybody. When people are a little drunk, you wouldn’t believe what they will vote on in a nightclub! So all of those metrics over time give you a real picture of who the shopper is.

We saved 100 percent of our data from day one. As you can imagine, it’s going to be very valuable over time. Due to privacy issues, we abide by opt-in and double-opt-in standards—and then make data available to customers as products, where they can analyze it and can see patterns.

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