One key feature of future digital signage applications
As we've seen over the past few years, the growth of large screen interactive displays has increased dramatically. I believe what keeps adoption from growing even further, in addition to its higher capital requirement, is the lack of a clear "killer" function that makes it a must have product.
I think the question that many companies wrestle with is, "Does the cost of adopting and using digital signage, interactive and non-interactive, outweigh the simplicity of using static signage to deliver a message?"
For every industry I think the answer is different. Marketing and advertising companies are still tinkering and tweaking with how they can maximize the opportunity for interactive and video advertisements. Other venues like malls are looking for proven techniques that can be used to effectively direct consumers.
There's definitely going to be some experimentation as just what that secret formula is, but I think regardless of the outcome, one key part of that formula lies in what some smart Wi-Fi installations are doing in terms of customer tracking.
Here is a story that describes how a London company installed smart trash cans in a test area: The test cans are equipped with Wi-Fi sensor that can record a wealth of anonymous data about passersby, such as type of cell phone, speed and direction, and some general content on the cell phone. The test quickly got shut down by the government due to privacy concerns, but I really think this type of marketing data is going to become the norm. Whether many of us know it or not, many public Wi-Fi hotspots already have some sort of tracking in it, so expanding how hot spots track consumers is not a far-fetched idea.
I think this type of functionality that will eventually be a "must have" feature of interactive digital in the future. Retailers in places like malls or other busy public areas can use this data to determine how people are using interactive signage as well as what they're most interested in. Content can be tailored more effectively toward specific audiences — and ultimately make marketing more effective at reaching a captive audience.
Comment below as to what other types of features are going to be the keys to the future of digital signage.
Michael Ionescu Since 2004, Ionescu has built a proprietary software/hardware package for state tourism and hotels. Ionescu believes successful kiosk networks are built upon ongoing collaboration between the client and provider to develop flexible systems that clients and users are happy with for years. www