Interactive Digital Signage
Interactive Digital Signage
The Power of Digital Signage
If digital signage is mentioned, most people do not really got the slightest idea about how it look like or what it does. Those living in big cities are more likely to be closer to them although they are not aware of it. In fact, they may see, hear, or even get used to it - obliviously. Yes, it has such a power. Often, it is installed around public places such as bus stop, hotels, hospitals, schools, and shopping malls; mainly to either inform or keep people entertaining while waiting. In a lot of way, you can say it's almost like a public television except that you do not get to change the content. By now, some of you may start to realize what we've been talking all along. Here's a big clue. To put it simple, digital signage can be addressed as moving-talking display.
Originally, it is adopted as a new medium of advertising and tailored specifically to display messages, pictures, sounds, or any contents as intended by users. But as it evolves further and offers more flexibility such as interactivity and compatibility with popular interface like touch-screens, everyone in the industry begin to set their eyes on it. A powerful and dynamic communication tool by its nature, digital signage can also be easily accessed for timely content updates where necessary. It is because the contents are usually regulated through a personal computer or web-based server and a proprietary or free software for local or remote management. This way, users do not have to allocate expenses for monitoring facilities or equipments. The contents itself, again, can be either informative, promotional, or simply entertaining. The possibilities are practically limitless. The power is at your hands. All you need is creativity.
In terms of economy potential, we are not exaggerating when we said digital signage will be the next big thing in communication and advertising industry. Today, it is estimated there are around two millions digital signage in operation worldwide and the number are likely to grow four times higher by 2016 with a potential revenue growth up to $13.8 billion by 2017
How It Works?
Now that you grasp the basic concept of a digital signage and its application in daily life, let's find out how does it actually work. We will look at the components of a typical digital signage and what each components do in order to get the 'magic box' working. First, the most basic digital signage is normally made of a flat panel display and a media player. But of course to get it up and running, you will need a PC or server to store, upload, or remove contents for viewing. Initially, you have to access server which is already connected to the player. Once you are in, depending on the system you used, there will be a kind of interface to help manage the contents. For example, you can divide the screen into several zones. You often find this in fast food restaurants. Next, it's time to pick up a content and upload it. You can also set that the contents be displayed or looped at a scheduled time. Last step is to get the content published to any networked players (you can manage several players from one centralised server). The same mechanism applies for changing, updating, or removing contents which can be easily done with content software management. For the display itself, there are many options available, ranging from small simple LCD, LED, plasma, to video wall with multiple screens attached. On top of that, users with higher budgets or require special deployment may also integrate additional hardware components such as speakers or camera. A more sophisticated signage these days like interactive kiosks even comes with touch screen and wireless networking capability; allowing customers to interact and receive information or responses in real time.
Which One is the Best?
While digital signage may become an effective way of communication and advertising, there are some aspects you will need to consider to get the best results. As with everything else, you should make sure it fits your requirements, so first figure out how do you intend to use it, for what applications, and what your objectives are. For example, an IT company wishing to induce or boost its brand awareness may get most benefit with big striking plasma display placed on a the gate or information center of a large-scale IT fair. On different occasion, a small interactive kiosk nearby a product display simply works wonder for a renowned confectionery brand who wish to introduce custom made products for upcoming Valentine Days which let customers design their own chocolate gifts. Different signage solutions offers different power for different applications.
Then it goes without saying, budget will also come as priority since the goal of digital signage is to bring your business competitive edges and down to sales boost. For this, it is wise to properly choose the hardware, especially display which usually takes up the biggest sum. See which display can offer your advantage while keeping the cost down. LED displays, for instance, can be a wiser option for long term since they are more power efficient as compared to LCD and plasma. If necessary, you can also add in touch screen or interactive display. Usually, it is most useful in customer-oriented applications such as restaurants or ticketing services.
As a final advice, you also need to consider scalability and expandibility aspect of the digital signage. While no one knows what future holds for us, preparing a backup plan and future planning would not hurt. The availability of networking support and remote management software, among others, can be essential for further deployment if you manage several signage.
All in all, anyone can benefit from digital signage with a variety of application and purposes. For now, we can see extensive applications from advertising, public information, internal information, menu information, to brand building. One thing you can be sure about digital signage is that it gives the power to influence and makes changes with the messages it delievered.