By: Adrian Morel*
During the Infocomm 2009 exhibition that took place in Orlando, Florida, I talked with several colleagues about the new frontiers of digital display , or more commonly known as digital signage, and I wanted to share with you part of those conversations. Nowadays a lot of effort is made in isolated projects, but the future of digital displays does not escape the conversion or technological integration.
The trend of globalization of markets is not only becoming more accentuated but is doing so by leaps and bounds. Users are increasingly awake and active when looking for information for decision making. Today, with the tools of the Internet and wireless within reach of almost everyone, the consumer is no longer captive as he was before, but has many options and the offers are of the most varied characteristics.
Thinking about putting a digital display on public roads or inside a shopping center means that these digital devices will also be competing with other technologies, such as cell phones. For this reason, it is a good idea to think about the integration of existing technologies, using digital displays as a hardware within this entire information and opinion training system with decision making.
Interconnection of digital displays
A couple of years ago, the evaluation and strategy of interconnecting with fiber optics different digital displays located in different geographical areas was very valid. Today, LAN, cabling, fiber optics or hanging to the underground physical telephone network is no longer so attractive. Wireless communication technologies are increasingly developed and gaining ground, displacing the traditional network. As an example we can take the advance of satellite signals to the detriment of normal cable. When it comes to data and signal transmission, companies like Dish Network and Direct TV have increased their market share year after year and have displaced cable TV service companies like Charter Communications, which went bankrupt in March of this year.
Wireless content as a fundamental strategy
If we have an individual walking down the street it is very likely that a screen in front of their noses is little and nothing, because we will also be competing with other factors. I remember a couple of years ago, I was driving my car from France to Italy and as soon as I crossed the border my cell phone received a text message inviting me to an event that was being held in San Remo. By this I mean that the message or communication messages should be planned and above all integrated, because today there are technologies that locate consumers, identify them, know what age range they are in, gender of the owner of the cell phone, know where we are going and even what language we speak. Bar reader software and the use of that principle, can also read the approach of a certain prospect to a certain place (example, passing through the door of a restaurant, or a cinema) and these software can even say our name to attract attention. (This system is already being used in exhibitions where when entering it an advanced system reads us the credential bars and greets us at the entrance by name).
The analysis of a future installation of digital displays must be an act planned in an integral, joint way, pointing to all the angles that make the essence of the business. Buying an LED screen is only part of the thing, we must also think about the software of management or management of content, data transmission, integration with other hardware, etc.
* Adrian Morel is Managing Director for Latin America at Lighthouse Technologies and can be located in his California office (firstname.lastname@example.org)