With the beginning of a new year, businesses are planning their 2016 digital signage campaigns. According to a MarketsandMarkets industry report, the digital signage marketplace will reach $23bn by 2020, with new technologies pushing improvements in both functions and efficiencies. With this in mind we look at the digital signage trends, further advancements 2016 expects to bring, and how savvy businesses can maximise their digital signage campaigns by understanding and deploying them.
Pay at screen
Digital signage has advanced from passive, to active, to interactive. The natural conclusion for outdoor digital signage then is to provide the transactional process alongside the marketing message. Contactless technology firm Think&Go develops what it calls the ‘world’s first multi payment connected screens’, which turns digital signage into point of sale terminals using NFC and BLE tech. Users interact with the display and, for example, could use Apple Pay and other contactless payments options to buy products directly from the screen. One of the most interesting and impressive examples comes via Franch Bank BNP Paribas, which sponsors the French Open. At the event, the multi-payment screens enabled spectators to donate to a range of charities by waving their NFC payment mechanism over the logo of their chosen support, donating a sum in less than a second.
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4K and Ultra HD
In 2016 we expect to see 4K and Ultra HD become the de facto standard for digital signage and it’s important to recognise why it’s such an advancement. 4K and Ultra HD deploy 8 million pixels, resulting in the impressive detailing and clarity, which is why it’s perfect for digital advertising where image integrity is hugely important. 4K and Ultra HD’s higher pixel density means larger displays with a closer viewing distance for the audience. It also provides for an increased colour saturation and contrast, meaning it displays more realistic and immersive images and video. However, it’s useful to note that this isn’t the same 4K that is used in cinemas (which operates at 4096 x 2160 pixels); it’s in fact a rough quadrupling of standard 1080p HD we’re all used to.
As the cost of BTL and NFC technologies tumbles, and the shear number of devices supporting them expands exponentially, businesses should be looking to use these technologies to make digital signage messaging more personalised and specific to a particular audience segment. Beacons push information directly to users’ screens once they fall within range, and so can be defined geographically (think of separate departments within a large store) or by timeliness (coffee offers in the morning; lunch offers around midday). Way-finding systems in particular can benefit from beacon technology, helping guide users, for example, through a hospital to a specific department, and schools and universities can set reminders and push information of class times and other data directly to students’ phones as they pass the department. Beacons are cheap and flexible, but more importantly they can also offer audience insights, as well, by registering and recording location, audience numbers, numbers of interactions, and demographics of its users.
Banking and stock figure trading has always been a staple of digital signage – think of the classic digital boards in Times Square and Piccadilly Circus reeling off reams of stock market data. This type of data is now being deployed more richly than just in simple figures, and its the data itself that is becoming the marketing message. For example, when information on the financial markets appears on the boards of Morgan Stanley’s Times Square HQ, the visual turns to a liquid gold to represent money, while graphs and stock charts fade in and out. These new forms of data visualisation bring a wow-factor like no other. The data itself is useful and important – but the way in which it presented to its audience is just as impressive and immersive.
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