With Christmas around the corner, it’s time to reflect on the closing year and make our predictions for digital signage in 2018!
We want to say a big thank you to all our customers, partners and readers. 2017 would not have been the same without you.
We’ve loved working with you on projects and find nothing more exciting than bringing your ideas to life. Shout out to the University of Southampton Science Park who we’ve been developing a wayfinding solution for using touchscreen kiosks.
We had a great time only recently providing event digital signage for PerformanceIn Live in London and the Digital Marketing Summit in Southampton, as well as VentureFest South and others earlier in the year (we’re looking forward to the next one).
We added a large format LED at a prestigious hotel to our network and expanded our operations overseas, helping to promote international corporate communications. Not to forget, teaming up with TeamViewer to provide ultimate remote support on our devices.
Looking To The Future: Digital Signage in 2018
The first thing to mention is our own much-anticipated studio upgrade to HTML5 away from Flash. When we first started out, Flash was the best platform to build upon but times have changed and we recognise this. This changeover is scheduled for January so you’ll all have access to a new and improved editor in the coming weeks. You can look forward to exploring a renovated environment to design and manage content but we’ve kept your favourite drag-and-drop functionality the same. We’d love to hear your feedback once you’ve had a chance to play around. We trust you’ll find managing your content as intuitive as ever, but as always feel free to pick up the phone or fire us an email.
Our 5 Predictions For The New Year
1. Voice-activated screens
If you’ve checked out our blog recently, you’ll have seen us talking about voice-activated screens last month. Earlier this week, the topic cropped up again in the industry’s leading online publication, Digital Signage Today, with a piece called ‘Can digital signage find its voice?’. Its author, Jeff Hastings, rightly identifies the challenges that voice integration will have to overcome.
At TrouDigital, we’re excited to already be working in this area, on these very challenges, with our own voice integration under development. We suspect many of you will be getting familiar with Amazon Alexa and Google Home over Christmas – we know we will – so if you like the idea of triggering content on your screen with voice commands, stay tuned.
2. More hands-on interactivity
For years now, we’ve all been using touch-screen phones and tablets. It’s taken a while, however, for touch-screen digital screens to catch up in the signage world. Why is this? There are two reasons – both hardware and software. Firstly, touch-screen displays have traditionally held a premium price tag, while the cost of ‘regular’ screens has trended down. This financial barrier is finally starting to come down, with more affordable, impressively response screens entering the market. Among our own clients, we’ve had more requests for in-store kiosks for purposes such as interactive catalogues.
The second factor that has long held back touch signage is software constraints. At TrouDigital, we have directly addressed this issue, earlier this year realising a touch widget as part of our existing studio. This means anyone can now upgrade to interactive hardware, while continuing to use the software they are familiar with, keeping all that great content. We expect users will be getting a lot more hands-on with their digital signage in 2018.
3. Statement signage
We always like to ask prospects and clients what their motivations are when it comes to digital signage. Some will highlight internal communication as a high priority, while others are attracted to its capacity to generate advertising revenue. These are all great reasons but an answer we’re hearing more often is a desire to make a statement. In particular, the video wall, the king of signage, is becoming increasingly popular and set to expand its dominion next year. In the past, video walls have been nothing short of a nightmare to configure and extortionate to install. Thankfully, these days seem to be behind us thanks to developments in the technology. From 2018, you can expect to see a lot more video walls cropping up, venturing outside of the shopping centre. For example, we installed a video wall at a Students Union this year that’s become a talking point on campus.
4. Localised advertising networks
For us as a company, perhaps the biggest development of 2017 was embracing the possibilities of advertising on digital signage. A number of our customers were already independently using our platform to generate revenue from showing sponsored content on their screens. It wasn’t until we got more enquiries that we realised we were seriously missing a trick! Picking their brains and doing some research ourselves, we put together The Ultimate Actionable Guide To Generating Revenue. It was designed to support small local business owners, giving them a way to improve their own marketing, while creating an additional source of income on the side.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, we explain how anyone can make upwards of £330/month in profit. If you know someone who might be interested in this, please give it a share! We are excited about supporting the growth of localised advertising networks using digital signage in 2018. If you’re looking for a New Year’s Resolution – this could be your next project!
5. Bespoke applications
From day one as a signage company, we’ve tried to stand out from the crowd by having developers in-house that can provide a cutting-edge. We view our platform as precisely that: a foundation to build on top of with bespoke applications. In the past, this has meant pioneering estate agency signage that integrates with property databases to automate listings in a carousel. We’ve helped schools by integrating with their existing timetabling software and sales teams by pulling their targets and data onto screens.
A great integration that anyone can find a use for is embedding Google Slides on screen. Once you install the free application on your phone, you can make changes to your embedded content on the go and update your screens without even logging into our studio. You’ll still benefit from the scheduling functionality unique to signage platforms, with the bonus of away from desktop access too. In 2018, we want to work with more clients, bringing their big ideas to reality on screen. No request is out of bounds!
We are rather excited about digital signage in 2018 and beyond. We look forward to working with existing partners and welcoming new users to the family.
Want to chat? Call us on 02380 981110 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.