By now, it is clear that digital signage is the way of the future. Found all over the world, it is considered to be one of the fastest growing forms of marketing technology. Retail establishments, museums, corporate offices, banks, schools and other organizations are responding to this cultural shift by turning to digital solutions that allow for flexibility, usability and ease of operation compared to traditional signage.
So what is digital signage? Digital signage facilitates displays with digital content, mainly in public spaces. That's why it is also referred to as DOOH, digital out-of-home advertising. Most people do not realize just how pervasive digital signage has become in our daily lives. Every dashboard at a bank or airport or video wall and billboard uses digital signage software. It can be implemented across a wide variety of applications and enhance the basic capabilities of screens with dependable, highly-functional, and intuitive viewing screen systems.
Digital signage uses screen technologies such as LCD, LED or projection to display content such as digital images, video, streaming media, and information. These can be found in public spaces, transportation systems, museums, stadiums, retail stores, hotels, restaurants, and corporate buildings to captive audiences and directly engage them.
With digital signage offering the ability to load content in multiple formats, what can get displayed on big screens is really limited by the information available and the imaginations of network operators. The content adjusts to the screen size provided by each digital sign manufacturer, and they can control the order and timing of content remotely with most signage software, thus creating a unique and fully customizable user experience.
As digital signage gradually started to eliminate the printing factor and facilitating content distribution to all designated media, including indoor and outdoor media locations - interactive digital signage swooped in to become more attainable to the end user. In fact, with touchscreen technology permeating the market, it is now re-defining the way consumers interact with digital information of brands, companies and institutions. Interactive technology shifts the focus towards the consumers, giving them the power to access and display the information they want and need in real-time. That it's the beauty of interactive signage - its qualities to engage the viewer while consumers can search for the item or information they need and get it without waiting for the information to re-appear on scrolling non-interactive displays.
As multitouch technology is now commonly known through today's smartphone and tablets, consumers are already used to the intuitive control of digital content with simple touch gestures. There is obviously no barrier at all to adapt or learn something new. Furthermore, with touch-technology now being available in larger scale, the possibilities for interactive hardware and software solutions are limitless.
Be it a point of sale, a shopping portal or a tableside menu - today interactive digital signage hardware and software is used by businesses to personalize these user experiences without the need to add costly headcount. With audience analytics improving at an astonishing rate, there is an opportunity of fine-tuning all digital messages based on demographic trends and consumer metrics that make interactive signage software and apps more engaging, educating and dynamic. This provides an interactive experience on par with what buyers have come to expect from technology.
Between video analytics, beacons, wifi triangulation, opt-in apps, and social media analytics, there's endless information that can be streamed to touchscreens that engages the general public in an entirely different way. This, coupled with demographics, real time traffic and transport data, polling, sales data and so on, creates an infinite array of possibilities for interactive signage. There is a real opportunity for taking advantage of technology that is highly relevant and incredibly hypnotic at the same time as being dynamic and user-friendly - something that has never before been achieved.
As social media feeds are streamed in live-time on multitouch display walls or real time information such as school-wide agendas, class and conference schedules, special announcements, insightful information and broadcast media is shown on video walls and kiosks - visualized data gives interactive digital signage network operators a fascinating, powerful and effective new way to present and engage audiences with their content. What this ultimately means is that information is always fresh, interactive and better positioned towards the end user.
So what is the next step? That will depend on where interactive signage is being used and its intended purpose. If brands are looking to serve many purposes with their signage; answer questions, give directions, advice or have a user that may be in a rush and looking to quickly view information, interactive digital signage is the logical choice to reach their target consumers effectively. And as the interactive displays market is expected to grow from USD $9,9 Billion in 2015 to over USD $26 Billion by 20221, it is certain that more and more businesses will be embracing the new trend and capitalizing on it.
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