Few things can match the effectiveness of a well placed sign and lots of foot traffic. When you factor in the cost and energy that goes into coordinating other attention grabbing tactics — television commercials, event sponsorship, product placement in films — good signage is kind of still the leader.
So when Chris Lee of Anode first told me the basic concept for FireSign Digital Signage, it immediately made perfect sense. Their digital, interactive, signage takes the best parts of the current technology and combines it with the unyielding effectiveness of foot traffic.
Never was this made more apparent than during 2008 BarCamp Nashville which featured digital signs in front of each presenter room. These signs scrolled twitter messages with BarCamp hashtags. Mind you, this was prior to the twitter-app revolution and at that time, an early, severely limited version of Twitterific was the *best* iPhone Twitter client. So yes, these digital signs were extremely helpful in determining which room had the most interesting discussion going on.
But, the BarCamp demonstration was really the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the FireSign software is capable of doing.
Anode recently launched a site to show off the extent of those capabilities with three unique uses of the FireSign software: an event finder, A digital scrapbook and an interactive time line. Rather than trying to explain them in this post (and probably either over or under simplify things), check out the web site and watch the videos.
[And on a side note, I would really love to see what these guys can come up with for the iPhone. It seems like their natural habitat.]