W3C Identifies how the Web will Transform the Digital Signage Industry

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http://www.w3.org/ — 18 July 2012— W3C announced today new momentum for making the Web the future interoperable platform for Digital Signage. W3C issued a summary of key topics and use cases for bringing Digital Signage to the Web, as well as a first gap analysis of enhancements to the Web to enable the transformation of the Digital Signage ecosystem.

"Digital signage expansion has attracted a lot of attention as a way to distribute media to the public," said Katsuhiko Kawazoe, Vice President, NTT. "For even greater growth we will need to reduce overall costs, and the most effective approach is to make the Web the future digital signage platform. At NTT we want to enhance communication between personal devices (phones, tablets) and widespread digital signage."

Digital Signage Market Growing but Lacks Interoperability

Digital signage covers a spectrum of display sizes and locations, from sports arenas and urban video terminals of every shape, to monitors in elevators, storefront windows, train stations, and public kiosks featuring rich interactivity. According to a study released by ABI Research in May 2011, "the global market for digital signage, including displays, media players, software, and installation/maintenance costs, will grow from nearly $1.3 billion in 2010 to almost $4.5 billion in 2016."

Though these projections are encouraging, lack of interoperability may prevent new opportunities or cost reductions. According to a November 2011 ITU-T report, "The fact that most digital signage solutions are proprietary systems impedes the integration of various applications across different networks or vendors. As long as products from different vendors do not interoperate, it will remain challenging and costly to build and expand large-scale digital signage networks."

Industry Identifies Interop Priorities

Interoperability means reaching more people on more devices. To that end, Mobile, Television, eBooks, and other industries have already turned to the Web, and the signage industry is poised to do so. Indeed, the authors of the ITU-T report discuss W3C standards HTML5, CSS, and SMIL in their assessment of the emerging digital signage standards landscape.

In June, an initial opportunity to discuss next-generation Web-based Digital Signage services drew industry stakeholders to a W3C Workshop "All Signs Point to the Web," hosted by NTT. Participants discussed a variety of use cases, including connections between public signage and personal devices. These connections allow real-time, location-based services such as targeted advertising, content adaptation, and new opportunities for social networking. Through discussion of advertising, automated vending, augmented reality, disaster notification, spot-renting, and other use cases, participants identified key topics to be addressed at W3C:

  • Trust (privacy, security, provenance)
  • User interactions (including accessibility)
  • Device interactions (including delivery context, discovery, multiple screens)
  • Authoring and content management

More than thirty companies and agencies (primarily from Asia) attended the Workshop in Chiba, Japan: Accessible Media Inc. (AMI), Canon, Digital Signage Consortium, Ericsson, ETRI, Fraunhofer FOKUS, Fujifilm, Future Web Technology, Hakuhodo DY Media Partners Inc., Hitachi, IAdea, INNES, Intel, JASPA, East Japan Marketing & Communications, Inc., KDDI, Keio University, Ministry of Internal Affiar and Communications of Japan, Mitsubishi Electric, Mitsubishi Research Institute, Nano Opt Media, NEC, Newphoria, NHK Enterprises, NTT group companies, Opera Software, Panasonic, Panasonic Digital Communications, SMART Communications, Smith-Kettlewell Rehabilitation Engineering Ctr. Toshiba, TTA, and Yahoo! Japan.

W3C welcomes people to join the Web-based Signage Business Group which is looking more deeply at these use cases and drawing up requirements for standardization.

About the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is an international consortium where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards. W3C primarily pursues its mission through the creation of Web standards and guidelines designed to ensure long-term growth for the Web. Over 375 organizations are Members of the Consortium. W3C is jointly run by the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (MIT CSAIL) in the USA, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics (ERCIM) headquartered in France and Keio University in Japan, and has additional Offices worldwide. For more information see http://www.w3.org/


Ian Jacobs, <w3t-pr@w3.org>, +1.718 260 9447

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