By Andy Partridge

Digital Signage is already in use in a wide variety of applications and the core technology has been around for a while now but recent developments have seen some exciting new uses-cases emerging.

Originally it was the use of an electronic screen to display content dynamically that would have traditionally been in print and when comparing with traditional print boards, digital signage has the benefits of reduced cost over the long-term. Digital Signage also allows relevant content to be updated across multiple screens at the click of a button.

It is already used extensively in fast food restaurants to display menu information that changes throughout the day and in airports displaying arrival and departure information. The retail industry are also starting to realise the benefits of Digital Signage in stores. It allows retailers to further engage with their customers, for example at concessions stands in department stores or promotional offers in supermarkets. Retailers are using the technology to drive campaigns of specific products or target a particular demographic and enhance the customer experience where there would have otherwise been no human contact.

In recent years as the cost of large screens comes down and with greater adoption of the technology, some exciting innovations are beginning to emerging in the industry, here are my 5 most notable;
– Phone interactions – using NFC technology to sync the content on a signage screen to your mobile phone and extending the experience beyond the screens location and into the users pocket.
– Touch and Multitouch video walls – using touch sensitive screen overlays, people can interact with media rich screen content creating an enhanced user experience.
– Gesture control – 3D camera technology and gesture control has been integrated into signage solutions providing fun, engaging and memorable ways for people to interact with content.
– Beacon – low powered bluetooth technology within Ibeacons and built into the majority of the latest phones. The technology allows proximity detection of a person so that screen content can be dynamic updated. Could be used for wayfinding in an airport, show relevant fashion in-store or tell you if you favorite product is on sale in the supermarket as you walk around.
– Anonymous Video Analytics – Camera technology can anonymously analyse who is looking at the signage screen and understanding aspects such as height, gender, approximate age and dwell time, allowing advertises to dynamically change content to become more relevant and targeted to the viewer.

While Digital Signage still provides the usual benefits over traditional print, these new technologies are creating a more immersive interaction through mobile phones, video analytics or touch control. Its worth noting these new solutions are not off the shelf and the enterprise needs to consider design and implementation requirements as with any new technology being introduced. It will be an interesting technology to keep an eye over the coming months and years, integrating the technology it into the business in a way that is both relevant to your employees or customers in a cost effective way will be the challenge.