Innovative technologies expand the scope of application of classic digital signage systems and offer new advantages for use at point of sale, in museums, hotels or restaurants. Today, the main focus shifts to interactive content, which according to the trade magazine invidis is the top trending topic. With one of the largest roll-outs in this sector, McDonalds caused quite a stir recently. We shed light upon four interactive trends for 2019 - and beyond.
A big problem of outdoor advertising is and always has been the blur in performance tracking. Media planners often call this CPM (cost per mille), but what they really refer to is nothing more than a rough estimate value. When it comes to digital content whether a person perceives an advertising medium or not still cannot be measured precisely, unlike pay per click campaigns in online advertising.
Here is where new technologies are coming into play: proximity sensors and cameras with face recognition can measure exactly whether a person is within range and even whether that person is looking at the target medium. Modern algorithms are even able to detect parameters like age, sex and mood by analysing the facial expressions on the camera footage. Additionally, touchscreens can measure touches ("clicks") on specific content and can assess the exact performance of advertising campaigns and the return on investment. The combination of face recognition and touch technology allows for measuring how many people react to which content and facilitates the creation of targeted campaigns and sustained optimization.
By launching the iPhone, Apple has introduced multitouch technology to the masses. By now appropriate touch sensors for ever larger display formats are available at ever lower prices. They are excellently suited for customer communication in applications for professional use. Interactive applications can be operated intuitively by the typical gestures. The technology multiplies the range of application of displays in public areas by far. Latest trends we see emerging especially in the sector of interactive self-service solutions for product presentation and customer consulting at point of sale. There, virtual shelves expand the product range on site and in addition make it available after closing hours by means of an interactive shop window for instance.
Despite the ever growing availability of interactive multitouch hardware there is still an apparent lack of touchscreen software and software developers in the B2B sector, quite in contrast to B2C with smartphones and tablets. This is the reason why software for professional touchscreens is being developed individually on demand with comparatively great effort and time expense today. Manufacturers and distributors do encounter a considerable problem selling their displays, especially when low hardware costs do not match the costs of an individual software development. In order for touchscreens to succeed in B2B, standardized software development tools and distribution platforms will have to emerge to appeal to the general public and thus taking touchscreen technology to the next level.
We think that a current trend from 2018 will prevail, particularly in the retail market. Interactive product recognition is the word: Customers can scan any product themselves. Subsequently the corresponding information will be processed and displayed on a screen in multimedia form. For the product recognition various technologies can be employed. Here, QR codes or RFID chips are the modern form of the conventional bar code. The direct product recognition on touchscreens is taking it one step further: A round marker chip is being attached to an actual product as an aid. The display then can detect the exact location of the product and display corresponding information in its close vicinity on the screen. Subsequently, users can interact with the display via touch operation.
Classical digital signage solutions initially offered savings in time and costs due to the possibility to change the content on several displays centrally at any given time. Today the focus most of all lays on customer involvement which is possible thanks to new interactive technologies. Particularly the retail sector will see a plethora of new innovative solutions in 2019.