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Signage Seen as R&D Boon for 3D

3D systems. The UK-based research firm says vast numbers of static poster sites are prime candidates for replacement by 3D digital billboards, while theme parks, museums, casinos, and flagship retail stores also offer optimal real estate for installations.

According to a new research report from Futuresource Consulting, digital out of home (DOOH) signage systems offer a fertile proving ground for "no-glasses" 3D systems. The UK-based research firm says vast numbers of static poster sites are prime candidates for replacement by 3D digital billboards, while theme parks, museums, casinos, and flagship retail stores also offer optimal real estate for installations. Research suggests that brand recall could be as much as four times higher for 3D campaigns than their 2D counterparts.

But in order for the potential to be realized, there are obstacles to overcome.

"One of the major issues we're facing is the limited amount of 3D content available today," said Mike Fisher, convergence and new technologies consultant at Futuresource. "And both the high cost of creation and a shortage of trained content designers will remain significant barriers to industry growth.

Fisher said that mainstream consumer adoption of auto-stereoscopic (glass-less) technologies was at least five years away, which means the business-to-business market will provide first-mover opportunities for the major CE vendors, allowing them to develop revenues, field-test products, and build investment in their R&D labs with a view to advancing the technology for the home market.

"Our research indicates that by 2012 nearly 8 percent of all B2B panels sales will be 3D, rising to 30 percent by 2015," said Fisher. "The real battle will be fought at consumer level, and any competitive edge that can be gained within the B2B market will hold a vendor in good stead for the consumer marketplace."

Though expanding rapidly, Futuresource says the DOOH market remains a relatively immature industry, with key developments required in order to build commercial traction.

"Traditionally, innovation within the digital out-of-home marketplace has been driven by the niche network owners, while the first tier outdoor agencies have tended to adopt a more conservative approach," said Fisher. "However, premium consumer brands will start to demand integrated 3D campaigns as a core component of their promotional mix, necessitating serious investment from first-tier outdoor agencies.



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