The unusual aspect ratio on LG’s new DualUp Monitor could make for an interesting alternative to 16:9 for digital menu boards.
LG debuted the DualUp Monitor (model 28MQ780) at their virtual press conference during CES 2022 on January 4th that features a Nano IPS display with a unique 16:18 aspect ratio – a unique format in the monitor market. It has a 2,560 x 2,880 resolution, something LG is calling Square Double QHD, offering the same screen real estate as two 21.5-inch displays.
The monitor is obviously targeted towards the home and office market as LG touts it as a “multitasking powerhouse ideal for all kinds of tasks such as content creation and coding” but the aspect ratio could make for a good digital menu board screen. Although digital menu boards offer abundant flexibility, one of the things static menus often have over their dynamic counterparts is more freedom in its shape and proportions. Looking at the DualUp and its Square Double QHD you can’t help but think that it is reminiscent of the proportions of some of the traditional and common menu boards.
This isn’t the first time LG has introduced a unique display format. For years, LG has offered various Ultra Stretch display models, which appeared to be 16:9 monitors cut in half horizontally to give a very wide aspect ratio and that were specifically for the digital signage market. LG’s current stable of models includes the 58:9 Ultra-Stretch “bar-type” display, whose Picture-by-Picture feature allows you to divide the screen in up to 4 parts in landscape or portrait installations and tiling via daisy chain for up to a 4×4 configuration.
If the DualUp will work for menu boards, it won’t work for all of them. Spec’d at a 27.6-inch diagonal and a 300 nits brightness, it may only be practical for an audience in smaller locations. Also, although a MSRP wasn’t provided, one could expect a pretty hefty price tag for such a specialty item, further decreasing the subset of businesses this new monitor could be feasibly used in.
Although I love the idea of using a non-standard format for digital menu board installations for the wow factor it could provide, the final nail in the coffin could be its SDQHD (2560 x 2880) size and resolution. Creating content, especially video, in that size could pose a challenge, not to mention simply outputting it, as many digital signage players are limited to more standard video sizes like 1080p.
We recently completed a 7-screen digital menu board installation for the Université de Sherbrooke at their cooperatively-run Café Caus cafeteria. The digital signage network is using Intel ComputeSticks connected to 43″ and 49″ Sharp PN-Y series monitors powered by our MenuView software platform.
The cafeteria’s menu offers many choices for breakfast, hot lunches, soups and vegetarian options that change on a daily basis and cycle, week to week, to keep it interesting for the students. The menus are programmed so as to be editable by cafeteria staff and make updates via MenuView’s web-based content management system when the need arises.
We’re pleased to announce that we recently completed an installation for a group of Desjardins cooperative financial group branches, the Caisse De Lorimier. This project included custom software development, integration with existing systems and has the added particularity of being directed to staff rather than their clientele. I’ll explain more below but you can download the official press release in English and in French.
The goal of the project was to increase teller productivity by providing them with more information. We went about that by creating a “dashboard” that integrates with the financial cooperative’s Frisco Bay client queue system displayed on employee-facing LCD screens.
The digital signage shows real-time information on customer queues, wait times, and teller performance. There is also a ticker for corporate news and branch alerts located at the bottom of the dashboard. Branch managers are able to remotely access the dashboard, view statistics, and compare results across branches via an online interface.
Jean-François Lauzon, Associate Director of Assisted Transactions at the Caisse Desjardins De Lorimier, sums it up well:
“ We set performance objectives and the dashboard allows us to view how we’re doing relative to these benchmarks. Also, having real-time data allows us to adapt quickly. As an example, we strive to keep wait times under 10 minutes. The moment that objective becomes at risk, tellers will see it on the dashboard and ask their colleagues for help in handling the rush.”
This is the second time we integrated with a queue system. The real-time aspect was both challenging and fun. This project really shows that digital signage is an extremely powerful tool because it addresses both the needs for accuracy and accessibility. It also shows that digital signage isn’t all boring stuff like advertising 😉