2017 was a breakthrough year for digital signage, but 2018 is fast eclipsing it. Digitalisation has been embraced by not only big corporations, but the public, and well, just about everybody.
New Chic Digital Signage Screens
Manufacturers are in a perpetual race to make screens thinner and wider than ever before. One of the recent breakthroughs has been reflective displays, these displays are now measuring in at an enormous….. Micrometre thick! These screens are designed to reflect light and called full-colour e-paper display.
2018 saw the release of the black and white e-paper unit onto the consumer market. They are still not quite conducive for rich video due to the refresh rate, but the big firms are getting involved more and more with E-Ink® screens, for three simple reasons, mobility, and cheap to both buy and use.
LCD gets a Re-Vamp
Higher resolution is the buzzword around LCD this year as UHD became a standard. The most significant change and stand out feature in the development of LCD is colouration. Resolutions are going through the roof, and now we are in the realms of 4k and 8k res, but with a staggering 120p frame rate. Manufacturers have hinted that a human eye cannot process the spectrum of colours it can emit.
We have been witnessing an exponential increase in video walls.
They are becoming more popular mainly due to their varying configurations of a non-rectangular shaped display and wafer-thin bezels.
Is a unique innovation that plays with human senses.
It is essentially a touchscreen solution that can stimulate a reaction in the human brain of varying textures, rough, smooth and jagged for example through an electrostatic field. The real coup of the technology is that it can fit over any existing touchscreen, making it viable for more people and is a significant advancement of interactive displays.
Responsive Content Progressing Fast
The key across many technologies right now is personalisation. This is what you can call a MEGA trend in 2018. Interactivity is a social pre-requisite now. Improving the customer contact on the screen is vital, and as data flows improve we can expect to see some breakthroughs soon enough.
Automated and responsive content as predicted are on the rise, the ability for the technology to adjust to actual conditions, using sensors on the display unit. As an example, if the weather is hot, automatically it will change to advertise sodas and ice cream, alternatively, if it’s rainy, adverts for waterproof jackets and umbrellas will appear. This technology will certainly cut out the scheduling headaches for marketing companies.
Smart just gets Smarter
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Smart programs are entering the battlefield at full tilt bringing in a new era of integration, data gathering and analysis, processing data without outside input.
The system will initiate an alert from the outside data being processed, in-turn displaying targeted advertising or messaging to the audience based on instant data analysis, linking and integrating promotions like never before.
It is the equivalent of having a physical analyst working through mountains of information to make suggestions at the next board meeting; however, this is done instantly, the system makes its suggestions of what should be shown where and when.
In essence, it opens up opportunities for cross-promotions on a whole new level. Being able to integrate and layer your marketing campaigns, and combining and linking people through their mobile tech is not a pipedream anymore.
Physical and Digital Blur
Humans are becoming more and more reliant on technology and are now spending more time connected to the digital world by the week, and this is a trend that we can’t see slowing down anytime soon, the line in the sand between the real world and the digital world is becoming blurred.
Augmented and Virtual reality will become more prevalent in everyday life, with digital signage becoming more integrated into our everyday reality.
Signage is moving from being seen as a device that just displays messages of differing kinds, especially at events, to now morphing into being the main cog in the wheel of the events themselves.
Outdoor signage is on a dramatic rise, from small screens in airports to screens more prominent than the front of a house, with the goal of interacting with people’s mobile technology.
Response beacons have hit the ground running in 2018. Their meaning is when someone is in a specific area they receive a notification to download an app that brings them to interact on-site, feeding them valuable information about an event, or logistics of where they need to go for example. This is the beginning of the divide between physical and digital closing, moving into the realms of a single multi-channel streamlined experience.
Narratives Make More Impact
Millenials are also shaping campaigns whereby traditional direct marketing is being pushed aside for longer more descriptive messages. Millenials are the fastest growing market for business globally and by 2025 will make up around 75% of the workforce.
Research has recently shown that the younger generation generally dislikes direct approach advertising, more indirect marketing with explanation and narrative is more the trend to incorporate your sales message and marketing.
Digital Marketing opens up avenues for companies that traditional marketing can’t compete with. The digital world offers comprehensive customisable solutions, not static ones.
At the table now is interactive design, creation of content, and cloud-based hosting among other things. Long-term business relationships seem to be the ongoing trend with Microsoft Office signed up for a long-term subscription.
More, Better, Faster
2018 has so far been a watershed year for the industry, seeing some of the most substantial increases in orders and production and with the race now fully on to get smarter, chicer and more integrated, healthy competition in the industry will only lead to better innovation.
When looking to use this technology towards your target audience remember how much access the consumer has to instant up-to-date information, you must relate to them. This is automated interactive technology and they are humans. The thirst for more personalised communications and interest-driven media is there, so feed the need. If you use digital signage and the data analysis at your fingertips in the right way, 2019 will be the lift-off point for your company.
Tim Blaine is an avid tech blogger, traveller and sports enthusiast, who likes to share his experiences with others. He is associated with Pantherdata, in Australia who are experts in the field of digital signage and UPS systems.