ESSEN, Germany -- Innovation was in the spotlight as the 2010 editions of Kiosk Europe and Digital Signage Expo showcased the latest technology for self-service equipment and programmable displays. This year was the third in which the shows were held together. The first Kiosk Europe show was staged in 2007.
"Interactivity and intuition" were leading themes at this year's show, according to the event's organizers. Emerging technologies on display included facial-recognition systems for kiosks, 3D imaging, enhanced interactivity with mobile devices, advanced multi-touch and gesture interfaces, and "augmented reality."
An overview of the present state of the art was provided by the Open Forum, at which digital signage experts from leaders like JCDecaux, Futuramedia, Metro AG-Media Markt/Saturn, Harrods, Monopoly Media and IMTV discussed the challenges and opportunities of out-of-home networks. They also presented retail case studies from Harrods and MediaMarkt, discussed the content demands of effective digital signage, and concluded with a review of the outlook for digital signage in Europe and the United States. Workshops devoted to mobile interactivity and museum installations rounded out the education program.
Joining in the yearlong celebration of Essen and the surrounding Ruhr area of North Rhine-Westphalia as a "European Capital of Culture," the joint Expo's own "Interactive Museum" proved to be a crowd-pleaser. Interactive exhibits ranging from 3D kiosks and gesture-based digital book readers to outdoor informational kiosks and holographic works of art all demonstrated that museums around the world can benefit from interactive solutions that appeal to contemporary visitors.
The Futures Parlour at the show enabled universities and other research organizations to display prototypes suggesting the future direction of interactivity.
The European Association for SelfService presented its 2010 awards for best self-service solution and most innovative self-service project. The first went to 3M for its work in Vodafone's stores across France, which integrates multi-touch into customer marketing. The second was won by Coffee Nation UK (London, England), which operates self-service "luxury coffee" dispensers in high-traffic locations including business and industry clients, universities and leisure centers. Coffee Nation is looking to expand into other European countries.
Kiosk Europe Expo 2010 was organized by hf media & events (Cambridge, England), publisher of Kiosk Europe. Digital Signage Expo 2010 was organized in conjunction with Platt Retail Institute (Chicago).
Show organizers report that evidence of the joint event's success is the rate of rebooking while it was in progress. Jens Schindler, managing director of hf media & events, reported that many exhibitors have already reserved space at next year's shows, and a substantial number of these plan to increase the size of their displays in 2011.
Kiosk Europe Expo 2011 and Digital Signage Expo 2011 are scheduled for May 24-26 at Messe Essen (Germany).