Where Next for Outdoor Digital Signage?

Posted by: Richard Williams | Posted on: | 0 Comments

Outdoor digital signage continues to grow year on year. More and more billboards are becoming digital with giant roadside hoardings adorning many highways and byways, while along the high street LCD screens are slowly usurping the traditional advertising sheets and posters that have long been part of most cities and towns.

Large advertisers were the first to implement digital signage in outdoor locations, using their prime locations and existing infrastructure, and originally, with the high cost of outdoor screens and hardware, only larger advertisers could afford the investment.

Now, thanks to falling costs of LCD screens and availability of protective outdoor enclosures, and increasing number of smaller businesses, advertisers and institutions are implementing outdoor digital signage—and not just for advertising.

Information screens outside schools, hospitals, religious buildings are helping these institutions communicate with their service users. Small retailers are also getting involved with outdoor digital signage, placing screens in store frontages while screens installed at gas stations and bus stops take advantage of captive audiences.

And other innovations are starting to creep into the world of outdoor digital signage. Mobile signage, such as screens placed on taxis, buses and public utility vehicles provide a more eye-catching method of communication and advertising than traditional static adverts, and even the outmoded sandwich board has received a digital makeover.

In trying to predict what will happen in the future of outdoor digital signage, a good place to start is to look to the innovations that are currently being implemented indoors.

One of the most innovative and impressive approaches to digital signage recently unveiled is the various methods of facial recognition. While sounding like something from science fiction, these systems identify individuals by cameras and software, and their profiles are matched to their purchasing history, which enables advertisers to target individual content directly to them.

Another technology that is starting to generate interest within indoor digital signage, and seems equally at home in science fiction, is glasses-free 3D. With content that literally leaps out of the screen, the engagement factor of the digital signage increases, making for a more effective communication method.

If these systems become widespread with indoor digital signage, then it’s a fair assumption to say that we will be seeing them in our high streets shortly afterwards.

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