digital display technology

Digital display technology predictions 2018

Meet the game-changing digital display technology likely to increase brand and customer engagement in 2018

Digital signs are constantly having to evolve at a fast pace as they battle for the attention of consumers and this year has been no exception. Here’s our round up of the most innovative technologies and techniques you are likely to see the world of digital display marketing embracing next year.

Here come the robotic displays

As trialled to impressive effect in Times Square by Coca Cola, it is now possible to use robotics with co-ordinated displays to make some breath-taking, moving, three-dimensional digital campaigns. While this digital branding exercise featured 1,760 choreographed independently shifting LED screens, spanning a height of six storeys, this technology opens the way for smaller dynamic robotic-movement-using displays to be developed to catch consumers’ eyes.

Caption: LED screens which can independently extend and retract create a real-life moving 3D display

Haptics – all the feels

Haptic technology (as in, convincing your fingers they are touching something different to what they really are) has been promised for years, but now it seems it’s ready to deliver some impressive results. This is great, as touching is believing – this comes from the fact that our sense of touch is not often fooled in the way our vision is, so it offers an exciting new dimension for engagement during digital display interaction.

For example, Tanvas, has produced a prototype technology that lets you simulate the feel of different textures on a digital screen. It works by using electrostatic forces to create friction that fools your fingers into believing they are feeling a bumpy zip, corduroy ridges or sandpaper on a flat screen. The inventors say the tech can be added on to any touchscreen, and so could create wonders for multisensory engagement in advertising with minimum disruption.

digital display technology
Navigate your way with touch using haptic technology

We covered another haptic display prototype earlier this year which could mean big things for the future of interactions. Ultrahaptics used ultrasound to enable Star Wars fans to ‘feel the force’. With this display, the ultrasound bouncing off the skin of people approaching the sign created the effect of being able to touch, and move their hands through, an invisible forcefield, which then changed the advert, letting you interact with it as if by magic.

Again, this technology can be bolted on to pretty much any screen, opening up a world of wow-factor possibilities that could be created by your brand using existing display tech.

Using data to target display ads

The increasing availability of data from sensors and services is going to bring some big changes to the way digital signage works. It’s already happening on a simple level, with brands like B&Q changing which of its display adverts show according to the local weather, or Guinness adverts directing people to the nearest pub to watch the latest 6 Nations game, which relies on real-time footfall data gathered in those pubs to change the display to avoid overcrowding.

digital display technology
Guinness chose which pub to advertise to potential rugby fans via this digital display

Data also enables you to target ads to only the demographic you want. The Financial Times used Heathrow’s digital billboards and its flight data to target its ads at only passengers who were travelling to the six US cities they were interested in. Shared data also meant that the number of people in the room could be monitored so the FT would know the ad’s possible reach.

Geofencing for targeted repeat advertising

A similar data tool can be used for targeting repeat advertising. By geofencing – using geographic locations to find users within a certain range of a digital display using their mobiles – follow-up ads using different services, e.g. digital radio or streaming services like Spotify, could provide a matching audio advert to that same phone later on in the day. Both E.ON and O2 reported that the quality of the leads who entered via this kind of promotion was much higher than digital advertising by itself.

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