When I was in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago, I made a point of having a look inside a bar at the Venetian that had a big, fairly spectacular video wall. An industry friend had seen it, and said while the content was great, the wall badly, badly needed anti reflective glass.
I looked ... and it did.
Big displays and slick software get much of the attention in digital signage. I'd argue not enough attention gets paid to other components that may seem boring by comparison, but make or break installations.
One of those components is the glass in front of screens. Engineered glass can eliminate or minimize reflection. Reject UV. And protect very expensive screens from damage.
Great technology and great content doesn't amount to much if you can't see the damn screen because of reflection from the surroundings.
A company called Tru Vue - which has ginormous manufacturing plants in Illinois and Minnesota - does what it calls technical glass, or engineered optics. Their process applies a transparent coating to sheets of glass that kills reflection and can actually improve what people are looking at through that glass.
I was interested in talking to Tru Vue because digital signage is a new market the company is just starting to open up. The great majority of the world's top museums and art galleries already use Tru Vue glass in front of their Picassos and other art treasures.
So, logically, if the glass makes a Picasso look better, it's probably going to do a pretty good job making burgers and shakes look tasty on a drive-thru digital sign.
I spoke with Tru Vue CEO Jane Boyce ...