Intrusive video: The future for web advertising?

May 20, 2009

A report on the Adweek website brings a – frankly – chilling insight into the way advertising online might be headed.

According to Adweek, a US company called ShortTail Media…

…wants to radically alter what online ads look like and how they get sold. And he’s recruiting some of Web publishing’s heavy hitters to help in his cause: the creation of a new standard video ad unit for the Internet that can be sold much like TV. This summer ShortTail Media, will initiate a beta test of what it’s calling the Digital 30 (D30), a full-page, deliberately intrusive placement built to showcase traditional 15- and 30-second TV spots. But unlike most Web video ads, the D30 loads between Web pages much like an interstitial.

In plain English, that means your web browsing will be interrupted by full page, tv commercials between page loads. Personally, I can’t think of anything more likely to enrage the target audience and create precisely the wrong perception of your brand. Let’s hope that – if not the company – then media buyers see sense and consign this one to the dustbin.


Live-fire test for Laffin Gas is a success

May 20, 2009

As a company, we are glad to support several not-for-profit organisations and projects. One of these is the Laffin-Gas project – an experimental rocket-powered drag car designed and built entirely by an amateur team of engineers from Nottinghamshire in the UK.

For the last six months, the team has been working on improvements to their rocket motors – work that’s been exhaustive, expensive and not without its set-backs. The latest round of problem-solving comes at the end of almost five years of hard effort attempting something that has never been done before with any degree of success or reliability. After weeks of testing and preparation, the team announced they were finally ready to attempt the first test firing of the new motor. There was a lot riding on this test firing: As chief designer Carolyn Campbell eloquently puts it “If this firing doesn’t go – the whole project is screwed.”

This morning we heard that the live fire has been a resounding success – a major milestone in the Laffin Gas project.

For us, the Laffin Gas team embodies the spirit of courage, ingenuity and determination that underpins all engineering and scientific innovation. We are delighted with their success in achieving this important step forward. Well done Carolyn, David and the team!

You can keep up to date with what’s happening on the Laffin Gas project here

Mitsubishi Electric Projector’s Green Initiative

May 20, 2009

As reported on the Projector People blog May 18th 2009

Mitsubishi new Green Initiative

Mitsubishi recently announced a new green initiative in their popular projector line. They outline some of the efforts they are taking to reduce their impact on the environment in an announcement below.

In order to lessen our impact on the environment and conserve natural resources, Mitsubishi Electric is committed to being socially responsible. Over the last few years, we have incorporated numerous environmentally friendly features into our products. In an effort to Reduce, Re-use, and Recycle the finite resources of our planet—the following are some eco-friendly initiatives we have implemented in the design and production of our projectors:

  • Energy-efficient, long-life lamps
  • Lead free solder on all Printed Circuit Boards
  • Our newest models consume less than 1W on standby mode
  • Use of recycled paper products for user reference guide and carton box
  • Projector cabinets are not painted, and conductive coating is not used
  • User manual has been converted from paper to a digital format (CD)
  • Compliant with both California and European RoHS standards

Guided by our commitment to make positive contributions to the Earth and its people through
technology and action, we will help bring about a sustainable society through our business activities
by promoting a wide range of distinctive, advanced technologies and proactive, ongoing
actions by our employees. We truly are making changes for the better.

The release also indicated that they are working on a recycling program in the near future. You can expect to see other projector manufacturers following suit – and others those that have been working on green efforts may begin touting their efforts.

Projector People News » Blog Archive » Mitsubishi Projectors Green Initiative

‘3D Enabled’ Households By 2012, reports DailyDOOH

May 18, 2009

11 May 2009, 18:15:23 | Chris Sheldrake

Interesting quote from Sarah Carroll, Director of Continuous Services, Futuresource Consulting in their recent research ‘Strategic Impact of 3D’ report on the 3D enabled home, she said “Consumers are starting to experience the new wave of 3D technologies at the cinema and through Digital Out of Home advertising, and it won’t be long before there’s a groundswell of demand for 3D within the home”

Bottom line Futuresource Consulting believe that by 2012 more than 10% of US and Japanese households will be ‘3D enabled’ and Western Europe won’t be far behind.

Now more than ever it seems that 3D is coming to the fore, with backing from all major sectors of the entertainment and consumer electronics industries.

3D movie production of course is intensifying and cinemas all over the world are investing in 3D technologies – feedback too, from audiences has been highly positive, with encouraging ticket sales.

Futuresource Consulting however believe that the ultimate goal is to bring 3D to the home. Their report reveals studios, consumer electronics companies, broadcasters, video game vendors and network operators are all poised to power 3D through the consumer diffusion curve.


New PCB prototype service proves a success

May 18, 2009

A new PCB prototype service launched at Southern Electronics has proved a big hit with manufacturers seeking to reduce development costs and time-to-market for new products. Oxfordshire-based ALR Services launched its new Panel Sharing Prototype (PSP) service in February this year, and has already secured 23 new customers as a result.

Sales manager, Jo Saltman, said, “We are delighted with the success of our PSP scheme. Not only has it brought us new customers but it’s also proving an invaluable service to our existing client base as well”.

Panel sharing – having boards from several customers produced on one panel – is one way for manufacturers to lower the costs of producing prototypes. However it is not always a successful strategy. In existing schemes, boards are not design-rule checked before production, nor tested afterwards, meaning that a simple error can result in a board that requires re-work before use, or has to be scrapped altogether. Either way, it’s an expensive waste of precious production resources that few companies can afford in the current climate.

With its new added-value PSP service, ALR processes shared panel prototype boards in much the same way as it handles full production boards, ensuring the highest possible quality but at a comparable price to existing “no-frills” services; All PCBs are produced in the UK on top-quality, high Tg FR4 laminate. Design-rules checks are carried out prior to production, and – unlike rival services – finished boards are supplied solder-resist coated and screen printed with component identities and then tested. The finished boards are built to full production specifications giving customers the ability to accurately access their designs.

Crucially, the ALR PSP service includes bare-board testing at no extra cost, with free tooling and an impressive five-day turnaround on double or four-layer boards. Jo added; "Our service will provide a prototype that will give you a true representation of your finished product, at an extremely competitive price.”

The added-value of ALR’s PSP scheme has proved popular with customers, not least because of the ease with which prototypes can be translated to the full production version with the minimum of effort. Jo Saltman commented, “By handling the prototype in the early stages of design, we get to know the board intimately well; any idiosyncrasies are learnt at this early stage, allowing any potential problem areas to be highlighted or designed-out before full production.”

ALR Services PSP boards are produced on 1.6mm High Tg FR4 (Ventec 150) with 1oz finished copper. Green solder resist and white silk screen component identity markings, are available on one or both sides if required. PCBs can be routed and/or scored and employ Lead Free HASL or Nickel Gold with a minimum hole size of 0.3mm.

ALR Services Ltd. is one of the largest printed circuit board brokerages in Europe, providing a wide range of circuit board technologies sourced from both UK and off-shore PCB manufacturers. Established over 15 years ago, the company has built-up a loyal customer base though its innovative business methods, technical expertise and its commitment to added-value customer service.

Deflation fears stalk Japanese consumer sector

May 17, 2009

Wholesale prices in April in Japan dropped 3.8% versus the same month last year, the steepest prices drop in 22 years, suggesting that Japan may now be entering another deflationary spiral reminiscent of the 1990s. Commentators attribute the dip to falling energy and materials costs, which could be seen as positive news for manufacturers. However figures also show that for the first time in 18 months, consumer prices also deflated in March. Falling prices in the shops signals shrinking consumer spend and narrowing profit margins.

Positive signs for industry

In contrast, there are signs that manufacturing industry maybe nearing the bottom of the slump. Core private-sector machinery orders are reported to have fallen by 1.3% in March compared with February – much less than expected.  As we noted in April, machinery shipments are already well-ahead of forecasts following better than expected results released in February.

(Sources: TT commentary from, May 15, 2009; Kyodo World News Service)

Digital technology undermines reputations, study says – PRWeek UK

May 15, 2009


Chloe Markowicz 11-May-09

Nik Gowing: questions digital technology in studyTV news presenter Nik Gowing has authored a study suggested that digital technology exposes the weaknesses of how political, governmental, military or corporate institutions handle crises.

The study, Skyful of Lies and Black Swans, published by the University of Oxford, finds that new technologies, such as social media, routinely catch these institutions off-guard in moments of crisis.

Gowing writes: ‘Even in the most remote and hostile location, hundreds of millions of electronic eyes and ears are creating a capacity for scrutiny and new demands for accountability. It is way beyond the assumed power and influence of the traditional media.’

Gowing explains how unlike powerful institutions, information such as civilian videos can provide real-time insight into crisis situations.

He suggests that in order to maintain credibility during a crisis institutions need to assert themselves as quickly as the media.

Digital technology undermines reputations, study says – PRWeek UK

40” OLED Panels by 2010, Says Panasonic JV

May 14, 2009

While Panasonic is also cooperating with other partners to develop OLED technology, the Nikkei daily in Japan says a new joint venture between Panasonic and Sumitomo Chemical aims to develop and manufacture 40-inch or bigger OLED panels by 2010.
In an LCD, tiny packets of liquid crystal make up each pixel. These don’t actually radiate any light. Instead they change their structure when hit by voltage, so they need a backlight (cold-cathode or LED). In OLED, each pixel is an array of itsy-bitsy coloured LEDs that glows in corresponding colour initiated by the TV signal.
You can view OLED screens from any angle and they can show a wider range of colours (and black areas are a deeper black). Because they don’t need a backlight they can be much thinner while actually consuming less electricity.

From rAVe Europe

Mentor to distribute Mitsubishi LCDs

May 14, 2009


Mitsubishi Electric has appointed Mentor Distribution to distribute their range of LCD public displays. Mentor has more than 20 years experience within the display market, and will sell the range which includes Mitsubishi’s integrated touchscreens.

Fraser McDonald, UK Sales Manager said ‘Mitsubishi for many years has been a leading manufacturer within the a-v sector with its comprehensive product range. Our LCD public display monitors coupled with Mentor’s integrated touch screen technology enables us to strengthen our product offering within the market place. We are confident that Mentor’s experience and knowledge will be invaluable.


Paul Milligan, 23 April 2009

Mentor to distribute Mitsubishi LCDs | News | AV Interactive | Audio Visual News | AV Magazine |

3D displays take a step forward

May 1, 2009

After visiting the Display 2009 show in Tokyo 2 weeks ago, it seems that commercial 3D displays viewable with the naked eye are edging closer to becoming a practical reality. VMJ here is Japan are already selling 3D LCDs into digital signage applications; companies like Newsight are also now producing product capable of a very convincing 3D effect over a wide viewing angle. But what about “true” 3D – the creating of a 3 dimensional object in space? Impossible? Think again!

As reported in InAVate magazine, a Japanese company has apparently succeeded in creating just such a system.

Sky’s the limit for outdoor advertising

24 April 2009
From the sides of buses, to giant billboards or even the backs of train tickets; advertising seems to pop up everywhere with no surface immune from transformation into a marketing space. And now, even the heavens aren’t safe, as an advanced laser system emerges from Japan, set to revolutionise advertising by creating 3D images in the sky.

Firing hundreds of laser pulses each second creates the illusion of constant points of light in the air,

Firing hundreds of laser pulses each second creates the illusion of constant points of light in the air,

The New Scientist reported that Burton of Kawasaki, Japan was investigating outdoor advertising uses for a laser system that creates an illusion of many constant points of light.
Burton says that most reported 3D displays draw pseudo-3D images on 2D planes by utilising the human binocular disparity. The company said these systems cause problems, including a limitation of the visual field and physiological displeasure due to the misidentification of virtual images.
To overcome these problems Burton said it tried to develop a “True 3D Display" which produces bright dot in the air so audience can see 3D images in true 3D space.
“Our display device uses the plasma emission phenomenon near the focal point of focused laser light,” the company said. “By controlling the position of the focal point in the x, y, and z axes, it displays real 3D images constructed by dot arrays in the air.”
The New Scientist reported that a practical device could be created by 2011 and said suggested applications included light displays that resembled fireworks and 3D TV.

InAVate – Sky’s the limit for outdoor advertising