It is nearly impossible to get around in the modern world and not encounter some form of digital display. Whether you are ordering lunch off a digital menu board, checking into a healthcare appointment, reading live updates at a station or looking at images and videos of products in a shop, digital signage is now used in a highly valuable way. Used to relay information in a range of different formats to a variety of target audiences, there are few verticals where digital signage hasn’t been adopted as the go-to method of communication.
Advances in this technology have led to digital signage systems becoming easier to use. It has never been easier to create rich, engaging and interactive content that is environmentally responsive, across an almost unlimited number of screens. The opportunities to innovate in digital signage are increasing greatly.
Traditionally, digital signage was generic, often made on large scales at head offices and distributed via USB devices or SD cards. Most digital signage screens weren’t even connected to the internet and had no sophisticated content.
The first generation of digital signage content all had to be inputted manually before the message displayed could be updated. Originally digital signage was only commonly used in train stations, airports and other places information must be conveyed to the mass public. This type of digital signage could not play multi-media contents.
The second generation of digital signage saw centralized management systems controlling multimedia contents and digital signage beginning to look more like we see today.
As we see the digital signage market evolving, we are seeing more integrated, IT-centric approaches accompanying more ambitious digital signage projects. Digital signage packages involve dedicated technologies, including digital signage media players, content management systems (CMS) and operating systems (OS), these all need to integrate and work seamlessly and securely into other corporate systems.
The baseline and fundamentally most important part of any digital signage package is a reliable media player. The favoured approach seems to be cloud-based over consumer PCs and android-based players, this is because cloud-based approaches are more versatile and can take advantage of the new capabilities of the best and latest software-driven media players.
Not only are cloud-based systems quicker and easier to configure, but they also allow users to see all connected media players clearly, making their management in real-time achievable. This all leads the way for more dynamic and interactive digital signage that can be tailored. These players can be accessed from anywhere in the world, meaning that software can be updated, and systems rebooted remotely, removing the need for in-house maintenance.
It is no longer acceptable for digital signage to simply display content, users now want content that is both engaging and interactive. Users want to know that their digital signage system will work in harmony with their other integrated systems.
The digital signage market is expected to grow to over $31 billion in the next five years. With masses of growth, integrating with other growing technologies such as AI, which is expected to grow to nearly $60 billion by 2025.
Midwich head of technology, Jenny Hicks, had this to say about the future of digital signage:
“Measurability is beginning to play a key role in digital signage, customers expect to secure an ROI that can be proven through analytics. AI is the future of signage, tailored and personalized content adapting to each viewer and detailed data on the efficacy of the signage.”
The new and next generation of digital signage media player software tools use AI to collect data and then display environmentally responsive content in real-time. Finding patterns in data and drawing conclusions helps digital signage react to situations and display the most relevant content. Platforms can even learn over time, making it an even more valuable tool.
One example of AI used in digital signage could be using its weather data to detect it is raining and overriding a promotion for sunglasses as it has learned previously that sunglasses sales decline in cloudy and rainy weather. Then when the sun comes out again, the promotion is displayed on the relevant screens.
We are starting to see digital signage ‘recognising’ people and displaying content specifically tailored to them. Digital signage can act as a host, remembering peoples interests and customising the content to show them promotions they are most likely to be interested in.
We are already seeing interactive ‘lift and learn’ experiences becoming very popular in the retail and museum sectors and emerging digital signage systems that can tailor content based on the age and sex of the viewer.
Screen-smart device interaction is also seeing digital signage linked to consumers phones. This not only enables a further personalised experience but also improves the depth of the signage players deep data learning.
Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign, the global leader in digital signage media players, suggested asking these 10 questions to your digital signage supplier:
BrightSign allows users to implement an easy-to-use, scalable digital signage solution that can be managed remotely. Not only this, BrightSign seamlessly partners with numerous other industry-leading digital signage systems such as Signagelive, Tripleplay and bluefin.
BrightSign has lead the way in digital signage media players, since 2013 when they became the global leader, as reported by IHS. BrightSign manufacture digital signage media players that show content on any public display. Used to market, entice and inform potential customers, digital signage enhances the visitor experience through digital interaction, branding experiences and live information updates.
“BrightSign is the market leader in digital signage. They have industrial-grade signage players that are designed to be on 24/7, 365 days a year and are well known for their reliability and ease of use.” Says Will Matthews, Midwich Digital Signage Brand Manager
Resellers and integrators with a Midwich trade account can purchase through Midwich.
Don’t worry if you’re not a reseller, get in contact and we can help put you in touch with an approved BrightSign reseller.