In light of the recent news of a partnership between Kodak and Haivsion last week, we had a lot of questions that Gerry Smart, worldwide director market development at Eastman Kodak; Peter Maag, executive vice-president marketing and business development at Haivision, and Lou Giacalone, founder of CoolSign (now owned by Havision), teamed up to answer.
- We’ve been hearing whispers of a joint partnership between Kodak and CoolSign for some time now. Tell us about the project.
Smart: We are proud to bring our long history of Kodak imaging technology and our expertise in digital picture frames to the digital signage market. We have developed fully managed, small-screen and inexpensive digital signs utilizing the CoolSign server technology.
- What do you mean by small screens?
Smart: Kodak has produced two versions of the Digital Sign product, a 7” and 10” that
are currently available in the U.S. through our distribution partner, Synnex.
- Can you describe how this product came into being?
Giacalone: As you know, I have been talking about the future of small screens for years now. Recently, Kodak produced a number of products that are remotely managed – have an email address and can be powered off and on, etc. – and that structure became the basis of our joint project. After almost eight months of development, the Kodak Digital Signs can be managed directly from CoolSign, alongside your existing large screens.
Who can buy the screens?
Maag: The Kodak product will be available through distribution to Haivision-approved resellers. If anyone is interested in either purchasing Kodak Digital Signs or becoming aHaivision reseller, you can find more information on http://www.haivision.com/kodak
- What are the key features of the screens?
Smart: The Kodak Digital Signs have all the functionality that you would need from a small display, including WiFi connectivity, movies and still content playback. Bi-directional communication with a CoolSign server allows content scheduling, health and status monitoring, and even ad-hoc content pushing to any screen or group of screens.
- Where do you see the Kodak Digital Signs being deployed?
Giacalone: There’s an enormous opportunity in two key areas that CoolSign has been traditionally strong in, Retail and Advertising networks. All it takes is to get your hands on one of these Kodak Digital Signs and you know immediately: these could go anywhere! At the cash register, as an end-cap display, next to every cell phone. I keep asking “Where can’t these go?”
Maag: in addition, we see huge upside in Haivision’s historic institutional verticals:Medical/Healthcare, Military/Federal, Education, Enterprise and Sports and Entertainment.
- Where can interested parties see the Kodak Digital Frames in action?
Maag: Currently, Kodak and Haivision will be showcasing at Integrated Systems Europe(Feb 1-3), the National Grocers Association (Feb 13-15) and Digital Signage Expo (February 22-25). We have more shows upcoming in March and April – including CETW West – and we will make our schedule known in the near future as it develops.
This is Kodak’s first entry into the Digital Signage Industry. Clearly this is ‘Cool’ but where do you see this going?
Smart: We think the combination of low cost, high screen quality and CoolSign’s management technology will lead to the first true volume market in the digital signage industry. There are literally unlimited environments where the ‘one-to-one’ communication is preferential to the traditional ‘one-to-many’ digital signage deployment, and our solution fits perfectly.