That’s a great question. The answer can be pretty long with explanations of primary layers and functions, but this one will be a condensed, quick read.
First of all, OLED is an acronym for Organic Light Emitting Diodes. The technology is actually not new—OLED was invented by Oleg Losev in 1927. Then in the 1970s the first OLED diode was created at Kodak by Ching Tang and Steven Van Slyke. In 1987 this team reported on materials that created the foundation of today’s OLED technology. OLED has continued to be developed to this day.
Organic means something that is constituted of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen. An Organic Light-emitting Diode is an LED in which the emissive electroluminescent layer is a film of organic compound that emits light in response to an electric current.
The huge benefit of OLED is that it does not require a backlight unit so there is no light leakage, and lower power consumption; it does not require a liquid crystal layer and shutter array so it can provide a wide viewing angle and faster response time; and it is a simple structure with fewer components, allowing for a thin, sleek and lightweight design where the screens can be curved and bendable.
And there’s one more big benefit. LG uses a fourth white sub-pixel for WRGB capability. This gives the LG OLED product better contrast, color and brightness.
LG’s OLED display technology overcomes the limits of the current displays in both picture quality and design. In short, nothing compares to it.
Why you should have OLED in your next display
Your brand deserves the best, in the same way you deliver the best to your customers. With LG OLED you can now create content delivery displays and sculpt customer environments that were never before possible—where engagement turns into astonishment and your pride turns into a badge of recognition that your business truly stands out from the crowd.
We’ve implemented our webOS for Signage in even more commercial displays this year to provide convenient new options for business owners. And now it’s making its way into new and noteworthy software partnerships to evolve our offerings into full-scale enterprise solutions.
As Garry Wicka, head of marketing for LG Electronics USA, explained: “Beyond providing customized and functional solutions for business owners and system integrators, LG’s webOS for Signage now offers business owners a swath of customer experience upgrades, cloud-based solutions, mobile accessibility, screen control, multi-touch solutions with LG’s expanded solution partners.”
What’s webOS for Signage?
In case you’re not intimately familiar with webOS for Signage, it’s our commercial all-in-one hardware and software platform based on our popular webOS smart TV platform for consumers. But webOS for Signage brings a new level of integrated benefits for businesses deploying LG commercial displays. Our displays feature high-performance system-on-a-chip (SoC) which works with webOS for Signage to lower the cost of ownership by eliminating the need for PCs or external media players.
System integrators can download useful content and develop customized applications that fit their exact needs, and update it simply and quickly via a smartphone or tablet.
Meet our new supporting partners:
Industry Weapon – Their powerful yet simple digital signage software, CommandCenterHD, is built for non-technical users and brings capabilities that ease the burden of content creation, manage complex integrations and more.
Scala – Their market-leading platform, combined with webOS and LG’s display quality and ease of deployment, will give clients new first-class options to drive their brand and delight their customers.
Gauddi – The world’s first digital signage platform exclusively dedicated to LG webOS, with a cloud-based solution that’s as intuitive to set up and use as a smartphone. A Video on Demand feature stores content on the display.
PingHD – The EngagePHD™ is an easy-to-use, scalable, Web-based content management and digital signage network monitoring application, with optimized support for LG webOS displays and their integrated beacon technology.
ONELAN – A highly scalable CMS for both on-premise and cloud-hosted deployments. The software is designed for best-in-class media playback, scheduling, offline content playback, multi-media & multi zone, plus more.
Signagelive – This low-cost, fully supported cloud solution runs on webOS for Signage and eliminates the need for external media players to run and manage digital signage campaigns, and is interactive with product displays.
Intuilab – Their IntuiFace focuses on multi-touch content development, allowing customers to build modern, engaging and highly functional interactive experiences with superior wayfinding abilities without writing code.
With webOS for Signage, more is always better. Thanks to these best of the best solution partners we’re looking forward to a future of amazing customer experiences.
On the final day of InfoComm 2016, an on-site panel of AV professionals has selected LG Electronics Dual-View Flat OLED Display and Dual-View Curved Tiling OLED Display as winners of the InfoComm Best of Show Awards for digital signage. The award recognizes new and outstanding products exhibited at InfoComm 2016—the largest, most exciting event in the Western Hemisphere focused on the pro-AV industry, with more than 1,000 exhibitors, thousands of products, and 40,000 attendees from 110+ countries.
We at LG were extremely energized by all the reactions and responses from visitors coming to our booth from around the globe. The buzz was amazing, just like the displays, and these outstanding awards confirm it.
About the displays…
LG commercial OLED displays offer businesses a space-efficient solution for providing their customers with a two-sided media experience in Full HD (1920 x 1080) or 4K Ultra HD (3840 x 2160) resolution, with the ability to swap and mirror content on either side of the screen with a simple press of a remote control button.
These best-of-show displays are pencil-thin and designed to be used in “off-the-wall” ways. Our Dual-View Flat OLED display can be hung from the ceiling or stood on the floor. And our Dual-View Curved Tiling 4K OLED display can be used to form large floor-standing displays that link two, three or four tiles together.
LG OLED displays enable completely immersive and highly engaging environments for customers, like never before possible. It’s an incredibly creative solution for showcasing content that’s as powerful and successful as the business itself.
What’s more, the OLED commercial displays have the same unparalleled picture quality of LG’s award-winning consumer OLED TVs – hailed by industry experts as the pinnacle of display innovation.
In fact, LG OLED represents an entirely new category of displays that deliver awe-inspiring images with perfect blacks and incredible color, even from wide viewing angles unlike any LCD/LED display can achieve. Perfect blacks? Yes. Because each of the screen’s pixels can be turned off, it creates an infinite contrast ratio and brings colors to life in unprecedented ways.
The Dual-View Flat OLED displays will start shipping in July to fulfill the many orders we’ve already received at the show.
LG commercial OLED displays are sure to inspire businesses to try some off-the-wall thinking themselves. And just like the buzz, the displays and the awards, the customer experiences are going to be amazing.
InfoComm is next week…are you ready to be amazed? We’ll be at Booth C8308—you can’t miss it, just look for all the wide eyes and dropped jaws.
This promises to be our best show to date—with groundbreaking innovations that can transform ordinary into extraordinary and create a customer experience like never before possible.
You’ll experience our breathtaking new dual-view flat and curved tiling OLED displays. These are absolute knockouts. With perfect black, infinite contrast and incredible color, nothing compares to LG OLED displays.
PLUS, we have something under wraps—with astounding capabilities. And since we’ll be unveiling it at the show, you have to be there. We can’t wait to see your responses!
Also, many of you have been thinking of out-of-the-box ways to use our 86-inch Ultra Stretch signage. We’ll have it a variety of portrait and landscape applications to give you an idea of what seven glorious feet of UHD resolution and IPS screen technology can do. Got tight spaces? Give them a Stretch.
And there will be a lot more, too, including our massive Clover video wall featuring the industry’s thinnest bezels.
This is one show you don’t want to miss. It’s that good.
UPDATE: There’s still time to set up a meeting or booth tour. Sign Up Now
Last week we asked the following question regarding potential applications for digital signage in QSR:
Have you thought about broadcasting live events in the dining area and wrapping your messaging around live TV?
This week we’ll tell you how to do it.
Your dining customers are a captive audience. Think about how to make your dining area more welcoming and entertaining. We’re in a political year. You could broadcast the debates while offering debate night specials. This is an Olympic year. Draw customers inside and offer summer coolers during the events. Local content such as news, weather and sports is always an attractive pastime for dining areas, and consider the idea of creating branded and unique content for your own private television network.
LG makes this application simple for quick service/fast casual restaurants and sports bars, with our affordable new LW540S SuperSign™ TVs. With their built-in TV tuner, SuperSign TVs enable users to have a simultaneous display of both live broadcast TV and advertising/promotional content on one screen.
The SuperSign TVs are available in 43″, 49″ and 55″ class sizes—perfect dining areas and bars. With added features like digital media editing, error monitoring, scheduling, distribution and management capabilities, deploying this digital signage solution is a breeze.
What’s more, SuperSign TVs are cost efficient because there’s no need to buy a media player. Signage content can be created using a PC and our free SuperSign Lite, SuperSign C and SuperSign Simple Editor software. The free software also facilitates revisions on the fly—just in time for daily lunch specials, new menu items, weekend promotions and anything else that comes to mind.
In three easy steps you’re ready to play:
Create your content using one of the 74 embedded templates. Add images and text to finish customization.
Create a playlist—package the content and set content duration.
Plug and play your content via USB flash drive or use the SuperSign network server for multiple TVs.
Finally, SuperSign TV offers the option of remote management by remotely monitoring and controlling up to 50 SuperSign TVs with a PC connected to Internet.
Keep your restaurant and sports bar customers entertained with live broadcasts, informed of your daily specials and enticed by mouthwatering images, all with LG SuperSign TV.
What’s on the menus at your fast food business? If you’re using digital signage, the possibilities are limitless, and the results can be quicker-moving lines, higher sales, greater customer satisfaction and an elevated brand image.
With digital signage, content is king. One sure way to waste your investment is to show the same content day after day. To get the most from digital signage, you should strive to be continually fresh and creative. Think about what will catch your customers’ eyes and enhance their experience.
Consider providing value-added infotainment to reduce perceived wait times. Leverage social media reviews. Use attention-grabbing graphics and mouthwatering dynamic imagery to upsell or promote new menu items—selling the “sizzle” is a perfect application for LG Full HD and Ultra HD displays with IPS screen technology for best-in-class viewing. IPS technology will ensure crisp details and vivid, accurate colors so your offerings and brand imagery will look absolutely delicious, even from an angle as customers wait to order.
Here’s a tip: You can encourage the sale of specific items at specific times by adding small, nearly imperceptible moving elements to draw attention to a particular product—even a mild intermittent shaking or wiggling of an image will draw attention to itself.
Using digital signage as menu boards also enables you to easily comply with local, state and federal regulations by clearly displaying Calorie Sources and Nutritional Information without sacrificing other content. Information can be updated in a snap using day-part scheduling for breakfast, lunch specials and dinner.
Digital signage makes manual or automatic pricing updates extremely simple, allowing spur-of-the-moment changes for special offers. Pricing can also be managed from a central location so that all stores or just select locations receive updates simultaneously.
Remember to reward your loyal fans. Digital signage can play an exciting role in creating a value-adding mobile-integrated experience for your app-opted customers via Bluetooth Beacons, audio/visual cues, QR codes and instant discount coupons.
And finally, know your audience. What are they doing where your displays are located? What content is the most appropriate? Have you thought about broadcasting live events in the dining area and wrapping your messaging around live TV?
LG digital signage solutions can put all this and more at your fingertips. We have a suite of recommendations for QSR / Food Service here.
That is just a sample from all the positive feedback we received last week.
The excitement of our latest and greatest products combined with the Nationals Park D.C. venue drew record attendance for the first LG Commercial Display Roadshow of 2016. With great partners on board, a private stadium tour, batting cage practice, prizes and ballpark food, this all-day event was an amazing experience for all—some of our guests even brought their families and friends and many were wearing Nationals jerseys and hats to show their spirit.
Without question, our floor-standing 86-inch Ultra Stretch Display pillar with four-sided screens and the new 55-inch Dual-View Flat OLED Display were the sexiest stars of the show, drawing loads of interest and plenty of wows. And that’s just the way we like it. What’s more, our Clover video walls were configured for touch screen activation with TSItouch, and the IT products showed that desktop equipment can be exhilarating too. We also raffled off a 55-inch consumer OLED television as well as some cool Nationals memorabilia.
There are good reasons for retailers and other consumer environments to provide a mobile app for their customers. But when that app is able to locate and react to Beacon technology, it’s a whole new selling game. It then becomes a smart strategy for engaging customers as they are walking by, or into, the store. That’s why LG has seen a major advantage in building Beacon technology support into our window-facing signage and other displays for retail and QSR.
Beacon technology expands a store’s marketing, branding and loyalty options. With it, customers can receive personalized content on their app-equipped smartphones (or tablets), such as a welcome greeting, coupon, product information, call to action, etc. What’s more, beacons also create the ability to interrupt digital signage content running on a display and show customized messaging to a nearby customer.
How Beacons work
Beacons are small radio transmitters that continually send out Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) signals in search of app-equipped smartphones within their proximity. For beacons to do their job, however, the customer’s smartphone must have Bluetooth turned on. Once the two connect the beacon triggers a message that pops up on the device’s screen to begin the customer engagement process.
How do beacons know the customer? The smartphone’s app can leverage back-end CRM systems and use the customer data to trigger the right message at just the right time. And if you have beacon-supporting digital signage placed throughout the store the technology can track the path the customer takes and trigger cross-selling and upselling messages across different departments.
LG digital signage displays for retail and QSR support Beacon and BLE technology. Use them throughout your store to make your customer experience more personal, exciting and rewarding than ever before.
“Before we fabricate anything,” says Bill Dunn, as we’re walking into LG MRI’s 120,000 manufacturing plant, “we know that display is going to thrive, not just survive.”
His company, based in the sprawling, heavily-wooded suburbs north of Atlanta, makes large-format outdoor displays for the out of home advertising business and, more recently, emerging markets like fast food drive-thru lanes. LG MRI has about 30,000 units in the field, and based on a plant tour I did last week, there are a lot of new orders getting filled.
The company has about 200 employees, and another 100 at a nearby facility that’s focused on military and commercial aircraft displays. It’s that work, putting screens in the cockpits of everything from big passenger jets to fighter aircraft, that pretty much defines what LG MRI now does. With 100% market share in the North American market, CEO, founder and sole owner Dunn was looking for new markets for specialty displays, and found digital signage.
It’s a very different business.
While the aerospace industry is driven by engineers who, by necessity and DNA, are focused on precision and uptime (screens just can’t dim or die), the out of home industry is run by media people who tend to be focused more on the unit price of displays, and their base look and feel – not their underlying specs.
It makes Dunn crazy. An engineer to the core, he sees complicated, mission-critical jobs being judged and decided on the wrong factors.
LG MRI’s unit prices tend to be significantly higher than the offshore and North American companies it competes against, but Dunn argues the total cost of ownership on outdoor display jobs is almost always wildly higher in going with less engineered product. Where competing displays aren’t meeting advertised specs the moment they’re turned on outside, and will fall below acceptable viewing standards in about three years, Dunn says his company’s displays will last at least 10 years and look as bright and crisp as the day they got powered up.
That lifespan happens, he says, because almost half of the people on staff at LG MRI are engineers. Dunn has 90 kindred spirits who are just as fixated as him on uptime, viewing quality, and process.
Among the many things Dunn showed me through the better part of a full day at the facility was a demo – dumbed-down for dumb me – on something called computational fluid dynamics. It’s a modeling process, involving very complex, pricey software, that uses data analysis and algorithms to model and resolve designs that, in the case of outdoor displays, examines the generation and movement of heat.
By using what’s abbreviated as CFD, Dunn’s engineers can model and figure out how displays designs will handle and exhaust all the heat that gets generated by the LED lights that drive super-bright outdoor displays, but also the additional, at times crushing heat load of the sun.
“Heat is the enemy,” he says, ” and our job is to figure out how to get rid of all that heat.”
The conventional way to get a screen bright enough to cut through mid-afternoon sun, on a Phoenix sidewalk, in July, is to crank up the backlighting and overpower the sun’s rays, and then power a bank of fans and filters in the enclosure to keep the display within acceptable operating temperature ranges.
Dunn says that design leads to heat building up and staying trapped inside the core enclosure that houses the critical electronic components, like the display controllers and media players. His team has learned through experience, and validated through computer modeling, progressive generations of designs that move heat through the enclosure and exhaust it, while keeping the electronics isolated and relatively cool in their own sealed air pockets. Between LG MRI and the sister company, American Panel Corporation, there are some 300 patents.
Part of the work and knowledge is based on having sorted out ways to optimize display performance.
Dunn and his guys set up a demo out back of the Alpharetta plant, in the direct morning sun, to show how an LG MRI display performed against a competing product. Both, Dunn says, look great in a showroom or on a trade show floor. But real world conditions are a different matter.
LG MRI’s display is rated at 3,500 lumens, and at 10 am on a bright, warm morning, the external measuring tool read 3,490 nits. The screen beside it, from a major manufacturer, is rated at 2,500, but was actually pushing out 1,540 nits – because of a filter that’s part of the screen design to fight reflection, and because the display was already fighting the sun, heating up and taxing the fans and available power.
What was kind of amazing was measuring the brightness from a 45 degree angle, which is how a lot of people are going to see screens when they are walking past an ad display built into a bus shelter or sitting ahead of them in a drive-thru lane.
Brightness on the LG MRI screen went down to 2,320 nits. It went down to 381 nits on the brand X display, and the display’s visuals were barely visible.
Dunn says that brightness difference, as compelling as it may be, isn’t even the real issue. While the display industry sells on brightness levels, the real measure to care about is contrast. Contrast readings have to clear a certain bar, or viewers aren’t going to be able to distinguish much of what they see on a sunlight-bathed screen.
The pix I took didn’t do a great job of showing differences. But my own take was the LG MRI screens were definitely brighter, had a much wider viewing cone and the one in the middle from the pic above, from another manufacturer, had a purple haze to it, brought on by the filter in the glass.
I’ve been at other facilities where specialty displays are put together, but can’t fairly comment on whether what LG MRI has and does is wildly different. I can say it was impressive. My unschooled idea of the outdoor specialty display business is buying open-frame high bright displays and building them out back of the offices into environmentally protected, mechanically cooled enclosures.
The LG MRI guys, however, pretty much start from scratch.
The first thing I saw was a robotics line that builds the integrated circuit boards from the raw, green wafers, and then seals and bakes them. The same line produces the boards for, among many things, F-35 fighters and M1 Abrams tanks.
In the main plant, which is about the size of a Costco, LG MRI builds displays up from the raw LCD cell (think a sheet of film) through the LED backlighting layer, circuitry, custom wiring harnesses, metalwork and glass. The facility has giant laser and water jet cutting machines, a series of Italian machines that do semi-automated precision metal bending, and a crazy vacuum sealer bag thingie that pulls sealed layers together without putting weight on them.
The optical glass that is used to front displays was previously outsourced, but a whole assembly line is now being built that will bring all that in-house within a month – going from raw mother glass sheets through cutting, polishing, painting and curing.
The company even has a wood shop making its own custom shipping crates for the giant displays. But before they get packed, every unit goes through a quality control process that includes time in a shower to verify its water tightness. Funnily, on a floor packed with robotics and precision tools, the best way to dry off a wet display was a guy, a ladder and a leaf blower.
In the digital signage business, sticker price is the irrational driver behind everything from hardware and software to installation deals. There’s always a healthy chunk of end-user/buyers who don’t really know what they’re looking at and buying. So they revert to comparing base specs or appealing visuals in making decisions.
Sales guys with “premium” products make the Total Cost of Ownership argument, but a percentage of the buying market thinks they can get what looks to be pretty much the same thing – whatever that thing is – for less.
I’ve had may conversations with the heads of software companies who say a big part of trade for them is replacing the first system that went in, and went badly. Dunn says the same thing happens, as they get calls from media companies that opted for lower initial costs and learned the hard way that the cost ended being far higher – between installation complications, rolling trucks and techs for servicing and repairs, and the screens dimming out by the third year.
Smart and/or seasoned buyers do things like shootouts. Dunn was up in the Toronto area last week watching a drive-thru install at an outlet of a major QSR chain – pitting his pre-sell and menu displays against three other vendors. I was able to get down to Atlanta because I hitchhiked back with him on his company’s six-seater plane, which Dunn personally flies.
I’ve also had conversations with digital hardware companies who say their best sales tool is a site visit. I visited a custom PC maker last fall, and their folks said if they got prospects to come out for a tour, the close rate on deals was just about 100%.
Dunn confirmed that the same thing happens when his sales team get prospects to brave Atlanta traffic and make their way up to the plant.
I can see that. What you have is a military-grade supplier applying that military spec and mindset. It’s the difference between “it should work” and “it has to work.”
I can remember, years ago in my dark and mercifully brief sales past, staring dumbstruck at a software developer who told me a critical feature was ready, faster than expected, for a monster client that I was trying to close.
“You’ve tested it?” I asked.
“It should work,” he replied.
He didn’t even know he was having a near-death experience.
In this case, if you are a media company putting a 75-inch display on the end of a sidewalk transit shelter, that cost $20K-plus, it’s just got to work. And work well, And look great. For years.
And with 70% of sales at many QSRs being based on drive-thru lanes, a screen that gets dim or dark is a screen that’s losing sales.
The thrive and not just survive thing Dunn mentioned as we walked into his plant definitely makes sense.
The LG in LG MRI, by the way, is THAT LG. The two companies have a joint venture, and LG’s display technology is central to the product line. The electronics giant has some staff on site in Georgia, but the company is owned and run by Dunn. There are also some products that are marketed as MRI, that are not part of the LG partnership.
Resellers often get this question from prospective clients when asked to spec and install TVs for the retail industry and restaurants ranging from sports bars to fast food favorites. It’s not just for retail and goods giants though, as other types of businesses including hospitality, healthcare and more have asked the same great question. And the answer usually convinces the business owner to go with purpose-built commercial-grade displays.
Commercial-grade displays are designed to provide continuous entertainment and information in public environments, and often harsh conditions, with no down time. LG uses commercial-grade components which are designed to prolong the life of the display—with key considerations such as heat, dust and humidity all playing a role in the build quality.
Conformal coating is a thin protective chemical coating or polymer film that is topically applied to circuit boards. It is designed to protect electronic circuits from harsh environments that may contain moisture, heat and other contaminants known to harm circuit boards. When applied, this breathing coating “conforms” to the circuit assembly, filtering water vapor and solid debris. All LG commercial displays are engineered with conformal coating.
IP5X Dust-Proof Certification
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has developed IP, or Ingress Protection ratings, to define the degree of protection a specific enclosure provides. This rating measures external influences that come in contact with an enclosure from any direction. LG’s 42LS75A-5B and 49LS75A-5B displays have passed the rigorous dust ingress test to receive their exclusive IP5X certifications for dust-proofing. They have complete protection against contact and are made to resist dust buildup, which means better performance and less heat generation.
Not only is the construction of an LG commercial-grade display superior to that of competing models, and a better choice for all kinds of businesses than a consumer-grade television, the back-end infrastructure allows businesses to post their own content with ease too. While it’s true that we make amazing consumer products, and that’s a great way to earn your business, we’d rather help you take your positive experience with our home-based products and turn it into a reason to elevate your business with our commercial-grade displays. Like the best and most reputable businesses out there, work with us and you’ll see why the pros use pro gear to help move business forward.