BrightSign to Feature TAPPTEK at Digital Signage Expo (DSE) 2017

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

John Snedigar, Faultline Communications

john@faultlinecomms.com / 408-705-7518

Ann Holland, BrightSign

pr@brightsign.biz / 408-656-9239

BrightSign Unveils Big Plans for DSE 2017

Company’s Media Players to Power Digital Experiences Throughout the Show

LOS GATOS, CA – (March 27, 2017) – BrightSign, LLC®, the global market leader in digital signage media players, today outlined its plans for the upcoming Digital Signage Expo (DSE), which takes place in Las Vegas, NV on March 29th and 30th. The company’s players will power signage not just in its own booth, but also in partner booths as well as key focal points on the show floor. Additionally, BrightSign and TappTek will host a daily happy hour, reserved for early bird visitors to its booth each morning.

BrightSign Behind the Scenes

This is the sixth year BrightSign’s media players will power the DSE entryway – an impressive installation of four columns encased in a total of 18 48-inch Samsung displays. Peerless supplied the mounts and OpenEye Global generated the eye-catching content that will inform attendees as they enter and exit the show floor. Additionally, BrightSign’s players will be hard at work behind the scenes, feeding content to displays in booths all over the show floor including NEC, Philips, Peerless, Zynchro, Reach, Reflect Systems, Wovenmedia, Four Winds Interactive, GDS and every single display in the Chief booth.

BrightSign, Beacons and Beer!

The first 100 people to stop by BrightSign’s booth each day of the show will receive an exclusive invitation to return to the booth later in the day for one of the most unique beer pours they’ve ever experienced. TappTek “tapped” BrightSign to enable media distribution via its new Smart Tap, an innovative way for bar owners to capture tap-pull data in real time, engage patrons via their mobile devices, and display entertaining & informative content on the bar’s overhead displays. Happy hour attendees will get a sneak peek at TappTek’s new technology and witness for themselves one of the most significant innovations to hit the bar industry since Prohibition.

Booth Demos

At BrightSign’s booth #419, the company will demonstrate its latest solutions, including BrightSign’s first player to support the Intel® Open Pluggable Specification (OPS, and the new BrightSign Built-in Digital Signage Module (BrightSign DSM). Additionally, BrightSign will showcase AutoWall™ a new solution for video walls using HTML5 content, IP streaming from a BrightSign player to BrightSign end-points, and of course the new Series 3 players.

Larger Than Life Advertising

BrightSign will be visible this DSE well beyond the show floor. The company recently teamed up with Las Vegas-based creative agency Socialure for some high-impact advertising on the world’s largest LED digital screen. Measuring 65 feet tall by 320 feet wide, the Harmon Corner screen sits high above Walgreens and McDonald’s at the intersection of Harmon Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. The Socialure/BrightSign content will display on the screen the week of the show, as well as in hardcopy magazines published by Greenspun Media Group.

Visit BrightSign at DSE in booth 419, or visit www.brightsign.biz for more information about the company’s complete portfolio of digital signage hardware and software solutions.

About BrightSign

BrightSign LLC, the global market leader in digital signage media players, is headquartered in Los Gatos, California, with offices in Europe and Asia. BrightSign manufactures media players, and provides free software and networking solutions for the commercial digital signage market worldwide, serving all vertical segments of the digital signage marketplace. From entry-level BrightSign LS players to BrightSign XT players offering state-of-the-art technology and unsurpassed performance, BrightSign’s products are known for their signature reliability, affordability, ease-of-use, and market-leading technology. For more information, visit www.brightsign.biz. Follow BrightSign at http://twitter.com/brightsign and http://www.facebook.com/BrightSignLLC.

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BrightSign and the BrightSign logo are registered trademarks of BrightSign, LLC in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Specifications subject to change without notice.

 

Beverage Alcohol Gets a LOT Smarter.

Thanks to James Fellowes, Chief Commercial Officer & Global Beer Lead at The IWSR, for the shout out in his recent LinkedIn article

"Several companies have introduced innovations to draught systems that provide businesses with helpful analytics. TAPP is a cloud-based battery-powered smart tap handle that can track beer sales in real-time and report the timestamped data back to beermakers. The system also has options for consumer interaction, either through their smartphones or through screens in the bars."

8 Times the Food and Beverage Industry Went Extremely High-Tech

Thanks to Nicolette Emmino of Electronics 360 for including TAPPTEK in this list of innovative companies. 

"TAPP Technologies is a start-up company that has unveiled a smart beer-tap handle technology that can capture and send data to enhance customer experience and provide usable data for beer companies and bar owners. TAPPTEK captures real-time information on location, date, and time via our proprietary platform each time a beer tap is pulled. Valuable data is used to enhance the customer experience, the bar owners operations and beer company's engagement. The device will roll out for less than $500 and weighs less than an average smartphone. The device contains an accelerometer, power supply, and is Bluetooth enabled."

Philly-area start-up aims to put a sensor on the tap to measure beer drinking

By: Aswin Mannepalli, STAFF WRITER

Philly.com The Philadelphia Inquirer

CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER The people behind the start-up company TAPP Technologies are (from left) Frank Golding, COO, Joe Callahan, co-founder and CTO, Jamie Robinson, founder and CEO, and Doug Spodak, V.P. of Product.

CLEM MURRAY / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
The people behind the start-up company TAPP Technologies are (from left) Frank Golding, COO, Joe Callahan, co-founder and CTO, Jamie Robinson, founder and CEO, and Doug Spodak, V.P. of Product.

Jamie Robinson got the idea for TAPP while enjoying a Guinness at McShea's, his favorite pub in Ardmore. He wondered whether a sensor placed in a beer tap could help beer makers learn more about their customers and better market their products.

Now, West Conshohocken-based TAPP Technologies wants to provide beer companies with tools to engage consumers between their bar seat and the beer tap. At its heart is a WiFi-enabled sensor placed inside a beer tap that not only reports essential usage data but also enables beer companies to run interactive campaigns to entice drinkers, especially millennials.

TAPP expects to generate less than $250,000 in revenue from recently launched pilot programs with a "leading U.S. premium light beer brand" that recently began in 30 bars in San Diego and 40 bars in New Orleans. "The interest from our pilot partner is so significant we could basically grow from no revenue to seven, eight figures of revenue in one year," Robinson said.

TAPP's products come at a time when traditional brewers are struggling to grow, despite rapidly expanding craft brewers. "Finding ways to activate customers at home or at a bar is extremely critical in this competitive environment," said Wharton marketing professor Patti Williams.

TAPP faces stiff competition in the $25 billion domestic market. Indiana's SteadyServ Technologies, which has partnered with Intel, raised $19.4 million in venture funding. And Tel Aviv's WeissBeerger works with German computer company SAP to provide a similar service. WeissBeerger took $7.5 million from investors. SteadyServ uses a smart device to track weight of the beer while WeissBeerger measures the ounces of beer in any keg.

The sensor's accelerometers - measuring the flow - allow a beer company to monitor a brand's popularity and usage patterns across the network.

Scott Kerkmans, professor and director of the Brewing Industry Operations Program at Metropolitan State University of Denver, calls this "potentially highly valuable information" in a sector that relies on manual, clipboard-style reporting.

TAPP's sensor was developed with West Conshohocken-based Ciright Systems, which manufactures TAPP's sensors and owns part of the company. Robinson noted that TAPP's patents are viable in more than 140 countries; the company hopes to launch in China, India, and Western Europe in the next three years.

The start-up intends to keep hardware costs at less than $500 per unit, with a small installation fee to drive widespread adoption. Monthly subscriptions to the TAPP cloud are expected to drive most of the company's revenue.

Given TAPP's fast growth, Robinson has started discussions with venture capitalists in Silicon Valley and New York. He hopes to leapfrog the early seed and angel rounds to raise the funds from venture capital firms since TAPP has a working product and paying customers.

Venture investment will be spent on expanding the service, and hiring an executive team . Robinson, who has worked as a certified NFL agent, says he has spent $300,000 of his own funds and is adamant that he will not use the new funds to pay himself a salary.

In the future TAPP hopes to entice patrons through interactive games. "We have a countdown clock and empty branded beer glass on TV," he explained. "Every time the selected brand of beer's tap is pulled, the glass on TV fills up in real time."

Local tech startup unveils smart beer 'TAPP,' aims to shake up $300B industry

By: Alison Burdo, Digital Producer

Philadelphia Business Journal

Out to disrupt the way bar-goers choose their beer, a local entrepreneur and a West Conshohocken technology company have created a “smart tap” that has the potential to upend beer companies’ traditional marketing models by influencing the consumer right at the moment the bartender takes an order.

“There has been no technology innovation in the beer tap since prohibition,” said James Robinson, the co-founder and CEO of TAPP Technologies.

Jamie Robinson (far right) holds TAPP Technolgies' hardware, which will be in 80 bars next month. From left to right, Neel Shah, director of hardware; Doug Spodak, vp of product management and development; Joseph Callahan, TAPP co-founder and Ciright CEO; Nigel Herr, director of product innovation; and Chris Blackman, TAPP board member.

Jamie Robinson (far right) holds TAPP Technologies' hardware, which will be in 80 bars next month. From left to right, Neel Shah, director of  hardware; Doug Spodak, vp of product management and development; Joseph Callahan, TAPP co-founder and Ciright CEO; Nigel Herr, director of product innovation; and Chris Blackman, TAPP board member. 

Jamie Robinson (far right) holds TAPP Technologies' hardware, which will be in 80 bars next month. From left to right, Neel Shah, director of  hardware; Doug Spodak, vp of product management and development; Joseph Callahan, TAPP co-founder and Ciright CEO; Nigel Herr, director of product innovation; and Chris Blackman, TAPP board member. 

“Our technology platform will allow beer brands to defend their tap position and acquire new taps,” Robinson said in an exclusive interview with the Business Journal ahead of TAPP’s November rollout in 80 bars.

Smaller and lighter than the latest smartphone and priced at under $500, TAPP is a cloud-based, battery-powered, mini-computer that lives within the beer tap, turning it into a media distribution device.

That means the intelligent tap handle is able to collect data for beermakers on when and where customers are drinking their product – a boon in the roughly $300 billion U.S. beer industry that often still uses site visits to track consumption preferences.

“Is it the beer bought with dinner or at the end of the night?” asked Doug Spodak, TAPP Technologies’ vice president of product management and development. “We can measure and timestamp the velocity of sales in real time.”

“The whole supply chain benefits from the data,” added Robinson. Admitting he is “not a data guy,” Robinson says the greatest value TAPP brings is “engaging the consumer with contact and interactivity.”

“We can get that consumer to buy our brand over any other brand that doesn’t have our technology,” he said. “Using technology, we created the solution to the age old problem of standing out in this crowded on-premise environment.”

Along with the intelligent tap handle, the 80 participating bars receive a content stick that plugs into their TV. Together the two pieces of hardware communicate and create an opportunity for bars to incorporate gamification.

“This is the first FCC certified beer tap in the world,” said Joseph Callahan, co-founder and CTO of TAPP, and CEO of West Conshohocken-based Ciright Systems.

Breweries that pledge to donate to the local fire department for every beer sold, for example, can use the TAPP platform to put a pint glass on the TV screen and have it fill with every pull of the tap handle. It shows customers, as it happens, how much closer they are to the fundraising goal.

And consumer engagement doesn’t stop at cause marketing campaigns. Beermakers could tie the platform to Eagles gear giveaways, or “whatever the beer companies want to distribute to engage the consumer,” Robinson said.

For some, the appeal created by the technology drums up questions of whether TAPP spurs binge drinking, but the creators say that is not the case.

“We’re not promoting overconsumption, we’re encouraging a shift in preference," Robinson said. “If you are going to have a beer, do you want a beer from a dumb tap or a beer from a smart tap that gives you some sort of added engagement?”

The idea for TAPP came to Robinson in 2013 while waiting in an Ardmore bar for his takeout order. Three years later, his invention will make its debut in 30 bars in San Diego and another 50 in New Orleans through a pilot program with a premier national light beer brand, he said.

During what Robinson refers to as his “three-year walkabout,” he connected with Ciright’s Callahan.

The tech company leader said of the approximately 100 pitches he hears each year, Ciright typically moves forward with around five.

“We get hit with a lot of ideas,” Callahan said last month. “I may have used some profanity in there, but I said to Jamie that is a really good idea.”

After several months of back-and-forth, Robinson and Ciright officially teamed up to launch TAPP.

The impetus behind the partnership lies with two patents, one already owned by Ciright and another issued to Robinson earlier this year.

“This is a case of a patent launching a business,” said Robinson, who has pared down his role in Alliance Marketing Partners, the full-service marketing company he co-founded nearly 20 years ago, to bring TAPP to fruition.

Robinson put in just under $1 million of his own money into the company, while Ciright dedicated nearly 850,000 man hours to the new business.

Now Spodek and TAPP’s director of product innovation, Nigel Herr, are heading to San Diego and New Orleans to install TAPP and train local representatives of the premier national light beer brand on the technology. Afterwards, the TAPP team can provide tech support and updates virtually.

While TAPP continues discussions about scaling with its current beer brand partner, which declined to speak on the record about the pilot, the new company already has its next evolution in the works.

“Ultimately as there is market demand, we will build apps,” Robinson said, “or more importantly partner with other apps.”

A future TAPP app could let customers track the gamification on their smartphone, not just on the bar’s TV.

Integrating other companies into the platform also has potential, Robinson explained, because TAPP is potentially tapping into a massive group of millennials at 1 a.m.

“What if Uber wanted to send a message out to these millennials like, ‘Hey, it is late at night, here is a discount,’” he suggested.

He also envisions potential partnerships with soda brands since one of the patents applies to the distribution of any beverage, not beer in particular.

For Philadelphians intrigued by TAPP, Robinson has other ideas in mind.

“We are at a point in our trajectory [where] I haven’t given away any exclusivity. So right now is the time when I can do deals with local Philadelphia beer stakeholders that I may not be able to do two or three years from now,” he said, conveying a willingness to work separately with the local craft beer industry.

As beer drinkers in San Diego and New Orleans get to know the new intelligent tap handle, TAPP leaders are shifting their attention to funding and the potential for global expansion.

It is taking steps to secure its IP in other parts of the world by filing the appropriate intellectual property claims in the Europe Union, Russia, India, Japan, Australia, Canada, Brazil, Israel and Mexico.

“I’m so confident that we have a working product, strong intellectual property and a massive market that we’re beginning to raise outside money,” Robinson said.

The team has had conversations with venture capital firms from Philadelphia, New York and California.

“It’s the biggest risk I’ve ever taken,” said Robinson, a long-time angel investor himself, “but I’m that convinced TAPP can be successful in the $300 billion beer industry.”

 

 

Will beer with a technology chaser soon be on tap at bars?

By: Terry Lefton | Sports Business Daily | The Lefton Report

We’ve always considered beer among the most endemic sponsorship categories in sports. Outside of softball, beer isn’t normally found on the field of play, but it has long been the lifeblood of big-time sports.

Symbiotic doesn’t begin to describe the comfy relationship of suds and sports. The upstart 19th century American Association of baseball clubs differentiated itself from the established National League by promoting two “sins” — playing on Sunday and selling beer at games. Four of the six teams in the association were owned by brewers.

These bonds between sports and suds have been firm and fixed. Whether sports sold beer or beer sold sports is immaterial; it’s a relationship of long standing that’s known to foam up considerable profit.

More than 110 years after the American Association folded (though Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Brooklyn/L.A. and St. Louis are still around as National League clubs), suds and sports still constitute some of the most lucrative commercial relationships in sports. Beer brands were among the first to advertise on both radio and TV sports broadcasts. Anheuser-Busch’s first deal with ESPN was an essential early sign of the sports network’s legitimacy.

Breweries are among of the biggest spenders on sports marketing and media, and brewers still own teams. Sports, meanwhile, is still the programming of choice in taverns. Yet other than scale, the “on-premise” sale of beer hasn’t changed much since the days of the American Association.

After seeing Apple transform recorded music sales with iTunes, Kickstarter alter the model for startup funding, and Airbnb take a piece out of the hotel industry’s bottom line with “community hospitality,” the question is whether smartphone technology can be used to disrupt on-premise beer sales — where beer is served from a tap at traditional restaurants and taverns. It’s a market that various estimates put at between $94 billion and $100 billion, so think about affecting even a 1 percent market share shift.

If a mad scientist can be said to be tinkering within the on-premise market, there’s one just outside of Philadelphia looking to reshuffle the beer market with this very concept. Like taxis, music, hotels and startup funding, it’s a market that’s been nearly immune to innovation.

The idea came to Alliance Marketing’s Jamie Robinson a year ago. As the former agency for Pilsner Urquell, Robinson had tried for years to stage promotions in bars but had failed to create anything of sufficient scale that wasn’t too costly or labor intensive. So there was Robinson, quaffing a Guinness in a suburban Philadelphia sports bar, staring at a row of tap handles. He was ruminating about how long beer had been dispensed in that same way and how the only difference between the various taps was their decoration.

“I just started thinking about using taps to deliver stuff besides beer,” Robinson said.

T’app taps, shown in rendering, could trade data with apps. Photo by: T’APP TECHNOLOGIES

T’app taps, shown in rendering, could trade data with apps. Photo by: T’APP TECHNOLOGIES

Soon thereafter, he was with an attorney seeking IP protection. At a time every big marketer is looking for content plays, the idea is to turn beer taps into a distribution system for content, along with beer.

With American and overseas patents both granted and pending, the T’app system hopes to disrupt on-premise beer sales like Uber has changed the taxi business. Like Uber, you’d download an app, which could be from the beer brand, the bar or both. Then, every time you were in a bar equipped with the technology, the beer tap (or taps) would exchange data with your app each time a new draft beer is pulled.

The marketing applications that could ride atop this technology are nearly limitless, though certainly some would be subject to beer’s status as a regulated commodity. Trivia contests as well as frequency and loyalty programs would be simple; think of it as Coke Rewards for beer.

How about a 25-cent discount after every Bud Light ad during Sunday NFL games? How about highlights of the day’s biggest games sent in close-to-real-time as a perk with purchase? Arenas selling beer at concerts could offer music downloads as a gift with purchase. Once the smartphone becomes your primary payment device, there will be endless marketing data that marketers would love to collect.

Robinson has pooled his patents with some from Ciright, which sells digital signage that integrates with mobile apps and social media. Ciright CEO Joe Callahan said that with adequate funding, roughly $1 million, T’app is six to eight months from dispensing beer and data.

“Everyone’s already staring at their smartphone in sports bars. This is just a way to take advantage of that,” Callahan said.

A la Kickstarter, there’s also a crowdsourcing play. “Crowd drinking” could see the cost of a draft beer get cheaper after a certain amount is sold. If a bar wanted to simplify the ordering and delivery of beer on premise, that also could be accomplished through the app. (Start multiplying those possibilities against the amount of beer sold at chains like Buffalo Wild Wings.)

There should be marketing opportunities outside of the beer markets as well. Wouldn’t the daily fantasy brands like DraftKings and FanDuel love to reach millennials in bars watching their players and reward them with fantasy points or discounts for ordering one beer brand over another? How valuable would it be if Uber were able to send out discount coupons near the end of the game to the millions in bars watching the Super Bowl, or on any night just before closing time?

There’s been at least one similar product. A-B and Sprint teamed earlier this year to offer illuminated tap handles that flash when teams score. While A-B promised expanded interactivity for these devices eventually, for now they are more akin to intelligent point-of-sale displays than anything else.

Robinson’s shown the T’app technology to a handful of on-premise marketing types, but he’s looking for a beer brand as a technology partner. The business model would have a brewer paying for the technology.

There’s also potential applications for the fountain soft drinks. Currently, if McDonald’s wanted to run a soft-drink promotion with game pieces attached to its paper cups, it costs two or three cents per cup. For a national promotion, you are into the low seven figures. Robinson said a fountain beverage version of T’app could cut those costs by 90 percent.

“Just like Uber with taxis or iTunes with music sales, we’re injecting technology where it doesn’t exist now,” Robinson said. “And just like them, we’re hoping to swing preference and market share by doing that.”

Terry Lefton can be reached at tlefton@sportsbusinessjournal.com.