Category Archives: Technology


JCDecaux launches 4 large-format digital screens on roundabout superstructure

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U.K.-based out-of-home advertising company JCDecaux has launched four new large-format digital signage software screens on its high-impact Wandsworth Roundabout location in London. The launch follows those in locations such as Old Street roundabout EC1, Cromwell Road and Waterloo Station, according to a company press release.

Wandsworth Roundabout’s structure targets multiple flows of traffic as it head in and out of London from the affluent South-West. The four digital sign screens deliver more than 200 square meters of digital space, with the screens increasing in size by over 40 percent. The superstructure is visible to over half a million vehicles that pass through one of the busiest junctions in London every week, and is estimated to generate 2.6 million impressions every two weeks (Source: Department for Transport).

JCDecaux’s says its Smartdata program shows that the Wandsworth Roundabout site has a strong profile among people who take an average of more than four vacations every year. This has made the site a popular location with travel brands, with American Airlines confirmed as one of the launch advertisers, the release said. Other launch partners include Mini, Jaguar, 3 Mobile and Samsung.

«Situated on one of Britain’s busiest junctions, with inbound traffic heading towards Kensington & Chelsea and outbound traffic towards the affluent South-West, Wandsworth Roundabout is one of the UK’s most striking and attractive advertising sites,» said Spencer Berwin, co-CEO for JCDecaux. «With our high-resolution, high-impact digital signage solutions screens in Old Street and Wandsworth, we have now digitised London’s two flagship locations in the East and West, and continue our vision to develop the world’s most advanced Out-of-Home digital media network in London.»

JCDecaux’s South West Network is comprised of 10 locations, which display 18 large premium digital screens in total. Other locations also include Rosslyn Park Tower, the South Bank Tower, the Putney Bridge Showcase, the Wandsworth High Street Showcase and the A3 Fin.


easyJet’s ‘airport of the future’ vision becomes reality with opening of world’s largest self-service bag drop area at Gatwick

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Future Travel Experience was at Gatwick Airport this week, where easyJet and Gatwick officially opened the world’s largest self-service bag drop area. A total of 48 fully automated self-service bag drop machines have been installed in the 5,000sqm bag drop area, and the low-cost carrier, which is the largest airline customer serving the airport, says they will help to ensure more than 90% of its passengers flying from Gatwick wait less than five minutes at bag drop. The opening marks a major milestone in the ongoing project to consolidate easyJet’s two-terminal operation at the airport into a single-terminal operation by January 2017.

Speaking to FTE immediately after cutting the ribbon to mark the official opening of the new check-in area, easyJet’s UK Director, Sophie Dekkers, revealed that the carrier internally refers to the new self-service bag drop area as the “airport of the future”.

“The whole concept is about getting rid of queues and having big, open spaces,” she said. “This is now our blueprint, our flagship,” which can be showcased to other airports served by easyJet, she added. Building on this, Chris Hope, easyJet’s Head of Gatwick, stated: “These new self-service kiosks provide a glimpse into the future of airport design and enable our customers flying from London Gatwick to have unique use of the most innovative state of the art facilities.”easyJet in front of some of the 48 Materna self-service bag drop units that have been installed in North Terminal

Flexible bag drop solution

Instead of joining a queue to drop their hold luggage at a bag drop counter upon arrival at the airport, easyJet’s passengers arriving at North Terminal are now directed to the bag drop area by easyJet Welcome Hosts which has proven to be the best queue management system. Their passport is then verified against their boarding pass before they can proceed to the self-service machine to place their bags onto a weighing scale. After scanning their boarding pass, a luggage tag is then automatically generated by the kiosk and attached to the bag by the customer experience management department. This tag is then verified by laser scanners to check the information is correct and the label is attached securely, before the bag is dispatched through the airport’s baggage handling system.

Gavin Jackson, Project Leader Check-in Transformation for Gatwick Airport, explained to FTE that the opening of the new check-in area is the culmination of four years’ work. “We trialled a number of different solutions from vendors and with different airlines to make sure we got this right,” he said. “What you see today is the result of that. We chose the Materna solution in the end because it met most of our requirements and it is flexible enough to offer either one-stage or two-stage bag drop. We are using one-stage with easyJet, but it does allow us to use a two-stage process with other airlines across the airport if needed.”
Gatwick Airport’s £2.5 billion investment

As Guy Stephenson, Gatwick Airport’s Chief Commercial Officer, explained, the opening of the new self-service bag drop area is an important element of the airport’s ongoing £2.5 billion investment programme. “Creating new spaces which allow new technology to speed passengers through the processing part of their journey will help us eliminate queues, handle greater numbers of passengers and put people in charge of how they spend their time at the airport,” he said. “It has long been an ambition of ours to have easyJet operating out of one terminal.”

Having spent £36 million on creating the new check-in floor in North Terminal, £30 million has been invested in creating a new security area in the terminal, £21 million has been spent on departure hall upgrades, a further £10 million on upgrading the North Terminal border zone, and £250 million on maintaining and replacing existing facilities such as lifts, escalators and the technology infrastructure. A further £265 million has also been invested in reconfiguring Pier 5 and constructing the new Pier 1.

Of all the investments, the new self-service bag drop area could well have the most telling impact on the passenger experience thanks to the removal of queues at the first touch point that passengers encounter upon arrival at the airport.


Stratacache Buys Control of Scala

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Stratacache acquires super-majority control of Scala.

What does Scala have that Stratacache wants?»Stratacache has great admiration for the Scala platform, the Scala team, the Scala Reseller Channel and the great history of the company,» says Chris Riegel, CEO of Stratacache.Chris Riegel, CEO of STRATACACHE

«With the Stratacache acquisition of Scala, we believe that we can help Scala and its partner channel realize the runaway success that Stratacache has experienced in the digital signage solutions industry, while significantly improving the depth and breadth of products and services for Scala customers and channel partners worldwide.»

Stratacache goes on to say in their press release: «Combining the largest U.S. digital signage company with the largest international digital signage software company will provide significant operational synergies and allow both firms to deliver enhanced solutions and services to customers across the globe. Stratacache’s strong balance sheet and large-scale operations will enhance Scala’s competitive edge– and Scala’s global channels and significant reseller and partner network will fuel Stratacache’s growing business outside of the United States.»

So the main driver in the deal is that Scala has the international footprint and channel partners that Stratacache feels it needs to grow the business internationally. Scala has over 25 years’ experience across wide-ranging industries (like retail, finance, education, healthcare and more) with a world-wide network of partners and developers spanning more than 100 countries.

The acquisition could bring operational scale and cost advantages to Scala and should benefit the Scala dealer channel (as Stratacache is publicly making a commitment to additional channel investment, resources and solutions to broaden the scope of offerings for the reseller channel.)

«Our offices will continue to remain separate. However, we will be growing our European footprint,» the company told us today. «Stratacache will maintain both brands. For example, Toyota + Lexus=Toyota is a good way of looking at it. Multiple versions with different features, costs and capabilities are common in many industries.»

The acquisition accelerates Stratacache’s goal to reach $1 billion in annual sales by 2020. Their last acquisition (less than one month ago) was the Vertigo QSR Outdoor Digital Menu product line from Civiq Smartscapes (with patented “DACS – Direct Air Cooling System.»)

A $500 million company with 270 employees (160 employees in Dayton OH headquarters), Stratacache works with major retailers, banks, stadiums and fast food restaurants. Among its biggest customers is McDonald’s which implements Stratacache products in thousands of its restaurants.

«The changing nature of marketing is driving its growth as companies like McDonalds look at ways to automate some processes to cut costs. If a digital signage advertising product cuts other costs 3% or 5%, it quickly pays for itself,» Riegel recently told Dayton Business Journal. He also told them Stratacache is «seeing its first $700 million project now.»

«Our industry is changing greatly thanks to consolidations, and we’re a leader in that,» Riegel said to Dayton Business Journal. «We’re going to continue to grow and accelerate our pace.» Riegel said he’s eyeing a third of the market share– in an industry he thinks could grow to $3 billion to $4 billion.