Digital Signage Expo
Displays

Five key trends and killer technologies from Digital Signage Expo 2016

The Digital Signage Expo 2016 witnessed the digital display and software industry congregate in Las Vegas. From education establishments, to corporate communications, to retailers and hospitality – industries of all shapes, sizes and specialisms were looking at digital signage technologies to help engage more deeply with audiences and customers.

Here we select five of the most impressive digital signage technologies at the show, and discuss just how each will help industries move their digital signage offerings to the next level.

Embedded displays
OLED display technology makes use of super thin LEDs surrounding a display’s frame. What this has meant for the commercial display market is evident in your living room – thinner TV sets with infinitely brighter and more vivid output than traditional LED and LCD displays.

On show at Digital Signage Expo 16 were a range of Transparent OLED display technologies. These take the OLED solution a stage further, and enable embedding of displays within glass window panes. The implementation of this type of display tech is far-reaching. In retail, shop windows can display animated advertising content, while glass dividers can display department names and way-finding information.

In the business environment, meeting rooms and corporate hospitality suites can be revolutionised, with four sided displays used for presentations, video meetings and more.

Experiential technology
 A common trait in much of the new technology at Digital Signage Expo 16 was around offering audiences an experience. Rather than a straight broadcast advertising message or call to action, display tech is becoming interactive and purposeful. For example, one demonstration showed a traditional make-up department store counter where users could test different make-up combinations on a display that captured their image. Using this type of tech enables clothing retailers to offer in-store customers ‘display changing rooms’ where they can quickly try on outfit combinations. Recent research by the APS Group shows that customers are more than twice as likely to complete a purchase in-store when offered these types of ‘experiential’ solutions.

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Smart way-finding
Museums, department stores, transport networks, airports and other mass footfall terminals have traditionally offered static way-finding solutions: a map and an arrow showing where you are; and are reliant on the user then finding their own way to their destination.

Digital Signage Expo
One example on display at the Expo showed Google Maps enabled in a live display. Using embedded NFC technology, a user is able to find where they are; where they want to go; and instantly transfer the route to their mobile for turn-by-turn directions by touching it against the display. City centre way-finding and tourist information hubs could be revolutionised with this type of smart way-finding.

All-in-one solutions
System on a chip displays have been around for a few years, offering in-built media players without the need for an external PC driving the display. Plug and play displays can automatically detect and play a variety of commonly used media file formats from a USB stick inserted in the rear. Now super high resolution displays are available with 4K supporting media players, meaning more dynamic and compelling content can be readily displayed. The shear number of options now available for users when it comes to video, audio, and image file formats means creating content for digital signage is becoming easier and more flexible.

Smart synchronisation
In the office environment, new hardware and software technologies are being used in unison to make meetings and conferencing more dynamic. Software like Schedulla and GoGet have become increasingly popular for corporate digital signage – enabling corporations to synchronise employee calendars with displays within meeting rooms. These then shows meeting attendees; whether the room is free or not; how long the meeting is scheduled for and other important information.
schedulla
One demo at the Digital Signage Expo even showed how digital signage for office booking can be synched with a smart lighting system, such as the Philips HUE, to show a room green if it’s available or red if it’s booked.

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