Almost everyone knows the Digital Signage (DS) communication, but very few people know that’s how it is called. It is simply the computerized heir of the old luminous sign and it is equally simple but much more powerful and versatile.
1. The new “luminous sign”
The examples are several: the monitors that show advertisements in the subway stations are DS, and also the signs saying when the train will arrive. The little monitor showing commercials on the pharmacy counter are DS, as DS is the huge videowall at a rock concert. The luminous panels on the highways, and the ones in the waiting room, telling you which number is being served. Digital Signage is, in fact, every kind of proximity visual communication managed by a computer and delivered by a number of different terminals: monitors, led panels, projection, videowall and others. The DS is a network that could be minimal (only one monitor) or very wide, both for what concerns the number of terminals and the widespread on the territory (thousands of monitors all over the world), with one central computer. The main and more common applications of the DS are:
Advertising or promotional communication in the sales point (from the single shop to the big shopping centre).
Institutional communication (information on public bodies and companies).
Informational communication (information networks for Public Administration, transportation systems or store chains).
Company presentations (meetings, conferences, corporate house organ, special events).
Interactive contents (interactive windows, monitors, touchscreen kiosks).
Path indicators for exhibitions, congress centres, museums, universities, schools, etc.
Corporate TV – through IPTV
2. So powerful…
The DS offers a number of advantages, among the others the easiness with which the network is created, the simplicity of management, the real time data update and, last but not least, the reduced costs. The heart of the system is a very trustworthy and easy to use software, managed by a single computer that sends contents to all the network terminals. From a central position, all the connected monitors are managed through browser. It is possible to synchronize a common playlist of contents, or even a different one for each monitor and manage the schedule through a program that works like a calendar, meaning that it streams different playlist from the central server in different days and times, following the chosen schedule. You can also write message and update them in real time through the internet, or gsm, lan or uploading them on the players connected to the monitors. The contents can be static or dynamic or a mix of the two, with or without sound. They can be quickly modified thus saving time and making the single terminals more attractive.
3. But yet so easy…
The system is very intuitive and easy to use for everyone because it’s been designed to be adaptable to all needs and managed by people with any kind of expertise: from the single presentation with special effects to the information designed for a large number of people, to the big promotion for the general public. All of the realization look complex but are actually very easy to create and manage.
4. So much more than signs!
The hardware options for the terminals are very wide and get chosen depending on the needs of the project. For example: if the monitor of the totem will be placed in direct sunlight (window or open air) it will be important to use a Sunlight display, that does not darken nor overheat, producing colors as brilliant as they would be indoors. For a corporate presentation, I would chose videowalls, interactive totems, interactive boards or multitouch tables. There’s also a software that measures the audience that allows to count the people who look at the monitor and create a report classifying them by age, sex and time of attention: a big help for the marketing! For events and exhibitions a high-impact solution is provided by 3D monitors that don’t require glasses or by the interactive floor that changes its contents depending on the movements of the people walking.
5. Some ideas
Not only the DS technology is very impressive, but in a corporate event it could also be very useful because it accelerates the processes and avoids misunderstandings in the transmission of information. It also adds style, efficiency and modernity to all the communications, from the technical ones to the ones oriented to socialization. The situations to which to apply DS are endless:
The menu for the gala dinner appears on the hall’s videowall at the end of the conference.
The video of the preparation of the food or the recipes showed during the dinner.
At the end of the dinner the program for the following day and the rendezvous time.
A joke from one of the speakers, to turn it into a catchphrase.
Instead of the conventional signs, the head of marketing showing the path to the participants: “This way, please!”.
The personalized welcome of the president for each guest, when they scan their badge at the entrance.
And so much more… The DS is a great boost for creativity. And if that wasn’t enough, the DS equipment can be rented for the single event.