Will Wi-Di Change Retail Signage?

Andrew Neale

Intel CEO Paul Otellini used his CES keynote speech to launch a new display technology called Wi-Di which we believe could significantly change the way digital signage in retail is architected.

Picture courtesy of Engadget*

Intel Wireless Display (or Wi-Di for short) uses Wi-Fi to wirelessly transmit video from PCs running Intel’s latest generation of Core processors to HD television sets.

Screens will require a special adapter made by companies such as Netgear. These adapters which will cost around USD 100 receive the wireless video signals.

The focus at CES was on how “users could download or stream HD content on their laptop, and watch the footage on a large HD screen at the press of a button” – all true but we think the technology will likely have a big impact on digital signage.

in the context of DOOH mind you this type of technology has been around before – specifically wireless AV but the challenge has always been twofold; the deployment costs for hardware AND the limitations on signal strenght (especially with Retail).

Many who have tried this before will have experienced a lot of interference so this is something that Intel and its partners have to demonstrate that they have clearly figured out.

The other big issue is if you should do audio – it’s easy for everything to fall out of synchronisation – especially with HD.

The other challenge facing Intel here is the competition with all the new displays that have or will have on-board processors that run Android and flash on a chip – in those instances of course you don’t even need a PC in the back room!

Up until now Avocent has pretty much been the pioneer in this arena so it will be interesting to see how it plays out. Magenta Research has some new stuff coming out shortly and it will be interesting to see if they support this new standard with any vigour.

Paul Otellini also gave an update on Intel’s optical interconnect technology called Light Peak, which was first shown at its developer forum last autumn.

Light Peak is a 10Gbits/sec technology and was used to send 3D footage between a PC and HD television on stage. The technology will be in PC’s in a year or so.


4 Responses to “Will Wi-Di Change Retail Signage?”

  1. Dave Haynes Says:

    Less wiring = less installation labour cost, so that’s always a good thing. But I’d want to see this working flicker-free in a busy, cluttered environment before I got too wound up about it. This stuff has for years looked pretty cool in the controlled environment of a trade show, but …

  2. Howard Smith Says:

    Sounds interesting but makes me wonder about RS232 for screen control & monitoring, so may not be to everyone’s taste, and if you need to lay cable for control then you may as well use that for video/audio also.
    However If one transmission can be picked up by multiple receivers it will be good as a sort of Wifi DA which would be cool!

  3. Bryan Crotaz Says:

    And this is fine in a domestic environment with only one sender, but when you have multiple senders, how much bandwidth is available for those multiple streams? At 10Gb/s that’s a lot of spare radio bandwidth required!

  4. Vince Faville Says:

    This will be great if it works. I still believe in pulling wire. I have tested Avocent in many of its different versions and was not comfortable enough to deploy them anywhere. Time will tell.

Leave a Reply