Sometimes, things just seem to happen for a reason. Ever heard of Qi (pronunced Chi)? That’s one name for the energy flow and life force that animates everything in the world. But when it comes to data and information technology, we have QI, which stands for Quality Information. A good flow of quality information, moving in the right direction, will help guide the goods and the lives of people into the right places at the right times. In a world where timing is everything, digital signage is a key technology—one that can save us money, save us time, and even save our lives. We now have the ability to communicate tailored messages directly to the public or to a specific demographic. Digital signage is also known as Digital-Out-Of-Home (DOOH) advertising.
Here’s a list of key markets and industries in which digital signage has played a role:
- Airports: Flight Departure Schedules, Messaging, Wayfinding, Advertising
- Corporations: Event Schedules, Messaging, Wayfinding
- Education: Wayfinding, Messaging, Lunch Menu Feature, Schedules, Child Pickup, Student Attendance, Teacher Staffing
- Gaming and Casinos: Messaging, Interactivity, Advertising
- Gas Stations and Convenience Stores: Advertising, Interactivity
- Conference Centers: Event Schedule, Messaging, Wayfinding
- Shopping Malls and Gallerias: Advertisement and Sales, Wayfinding, News
- Restaurants: Menus, Entertainment, Messaging, Advertisement
- Healthcare and Hospitals: Health Status, Nurse and Doctor Contact Information, Messaging, Medicine & Operation Schedule
- Government: Messaging, Scheduling, Event Schedule, News
- Stadium/Public Places: Live Feed, Score, Schedule, Messaging, Advertising
- Manufacturing: Messaging, Scheduling, Staffing, Work Process
- Retail Stores: Advertisement, Wayfinding, Sales, Product Information
- Amusement Parks: Wayfinding, Live feed, advertisement, Sales & Specials, Event Schedules
- Religious: Live Feed, Messaging
- Financial: Live Stock Feed, Messaging, News
- Transportation (Buses and Taxis): News, Advertising
- Highways and Roadways: Security Messaging, Traffic Messaging, Event Messaging, Construction Messaging
- Elevators: News, Advertising, Messaging
- Outdoor Signage: Live Feeds, Advertising, Messaging
In addition, on many schools and college campuses, DCNs (Digital Communication Networks) have been created to help provide students with up-to-the-minute information. For example, we have the power to communicate a message to 40,000 students in an instant—it requires just a few minutes to enter a username and password to logon and publish a message via a DCN.
Remote Control Break-Through
Digital signage has given people more control over the flow of data and content, and over how it is transmitted to their target demographics throughout the world. Right now we have the power to control a hundred different screens across the globe—all it takes is a few clicks of a mouse button.
Yes, if the sign has too much going on and uses too much verbiage, it may prove to be ineffective.
Keeping it short and simple with snappy messages and images may prove to be more effective. The more quickly the point has been made, the more effective and beneficial the message of the signage will be.
Digital Signage Hardware Displays
Aside from having large LCD screens and projectors, Nanolumens has developed a flexible, waterproof and low-power 112″ diagonal screen with a 36° bend radius. Dynascan has managed to create an outdoor water-proof 360-degree curved 2.5mm LED screen at a 1,000,000:1 ratio.
Digital Signage Hardware Players
Smaller and more powerful players are being designed and built daily. Even certain Samsung LCD TVs are Scala Player-ready.
The Next Generation of Digital Signage?
Believe it or not, it’s already here. Hands-free and gesture-based interactive digital signage technology is a great way to give people a new and enjoyable experience. Intel has already integrated their Intel AIM Suite Technology with a gesture-based digital endcap that displays products based on demographics (in this case, sexual orientation). It allows customers to find out about new sales, new products, popular products, where to find the product in the store, allows them to read reviews of the product, displays full videos product information when it has been picked up through RFID technology detection, and recommends related products.
Maps on the go
We can now have our map and take it with us too. Yes, any user with a smart phone can just point their phone to a QR code on the display, and it can pull up a map on their phone that they can take with them instead of having to carry a printout (a terrible waste of ink and paper once the user is finished with it). If they need to save it for later, all they have to do is add it to their favorites in their mobile web browser.
Digital Signage has gained traction in the market as a great performer for advertisement in 2011. The financial outlook is good, as the digital signage market will hit $14 billion dollars by 2017.