We are exposed to many types and sizes of signs. We see them at railway stations, at work, on the street, on our phones and throughout our day. Signage has been revolutionised by digitalisation in the last decade. That is going to continue apace over the next ten years. The most visible trends will include communication with customers delivered via display panels to enhance and ease the customer journey. Let’s take a short look at what technological improvements will add to the future of signage.
The most notable examples of interactivity will be in the hospitality and catering sector. Early adopters, such as restaurants, have seen an enthusiastic uptake from customers in terms of ease of ordering. In some cases, digital menus have developed interactive digital signage. This is due to the fact that more restaurants are adopting interactive touchscreen menus. These also encourage customers to post on Instagram and Twitter. Videos or other attention-grabbing images can also be interspersed with the electronic menus. Interactivity is also being rapidly adopted by shopping malls. Here, floor plans are being projected to allow shoppers to enter shop destinations to best plan their route. The range of sectors in which this type of signage will grow exponentially over the coming years.
Personalised and sense-itive
Digital signage has already been used for some time to speak directly to end-users using cloud-based phone and tablet applications. These applications are spreading by the day and are all based on the principle of connecting to useful and usable data. Personalisation (or customisation) of this data delivery form is making signage a key element in informing either individuals or groups.
A Japanese company, NTT, is taking digital signage to the next level. They’re incorporating aroma-emitting components to use in the perfume retail subsidiary. This is but one of their ‘mood-enhancing’ strategies to strengthen the brands and encourage purchasing. Price Waterhouse Cooper uses signage for internal communications. They have found that having screens with rolling information on company news is way more effective than intranet portals. Employees and even clients can see the signs (located where there is most footfall) as they walk through the offices.
Ubiquitous A.I. is helping to propel the future of signage. Furthermore, retail clothing stores are acting quickly. Burberry’s in London now have mirrors which can advertise products. They can also use Radio-Frequency ID information embedded in clothing tags. These can instantly trigger alluring images of that particular product just as the potential customer walks past.
Security and Scalability
Up to now, SD cards have largely been used for updating digital signage content. Nowadays, the newest forms of signage are starting to use cloud-based technology for this function. That provides more security and can also be scaled up or down as need demands.
The future of signage will show it to become even more widespread than at present. The seamless integration of mobile (powered by apps of all kinds) will make smart displays easier to update. And that, in turn, will eliminate queues and make checkouts unnecessary. Prepare for exciting times in digital signage, as it enhances information transfer and makes activities faster and more convenient.