As the technology develops, interactive digital signage solutions are becoming diverse and powerful.
For applications where a screen on a wall is not enough, you can boost engagement through a variety of creative innovations.
Digital signage meets IoT
Internet of Things (IoT) devices are becomingly increasingly popular and this trend now extends to digital signage. As more and more devices are becoming connected to WiFi, new possibilities of integrating with digital displays have opened up.
The use of external sensors to trigger content makes for highly effective interactive digital signage. Types of trigger vary dramatically finding different applications in niche environments.
Temperature or rain sensors, for example, are being used to trigger weather-specific content on screens. Cold outside? Well if you are a coffee shop, show a special offer on hot chocolate. It’s started to rain? Remind passersby it’s the perfect time for indoor activities like going to the cinema or bowling.
The key to interactive digital signage when it comes to IoT triggers is being creative.
Other types include motion and proximity sensors. Used at entrance and exit areas, welcome or parting messages on a nearby screen can be displayed to visitors. This is ideal for corporate environments and sure to impress. It’s also powerfully suited to advertising as a triggered change of content is eye-catching.
Near Field Communication
Older than IoT, Near Field Communication (or NFC) has an established history with digital signage. NFC is the technology that powers contactless payment, now an intrinsic part of daily life. Even before Apple Pay, it was integral to London’s ‘tap culture’ with Oyster cards for transport.
When it comes to interactive digital signage, NFC has enabled a feature that is often referred to as ‘lift and learn’. Most popular in education or retail deployments, audiences can lift (or scan) a physical object triggering content on a screen, not unlike the motion at a self-service checkout.
Introducing NFC can take your digital signage solution to the next level. Working in a car dealership, why not use model cars or car keys to trigger videos on promotional displays? It’s easy to see how this interaction finds countless uses in education with all kinds of toys and equipment making ideal triggers.
An alternative use of sensors centres on the smart-phones we are all carrying around today.
It’s far to say QR codes are making something of a comeback through digital signage, used for promotions and even gamification. The latter might be deployed at something like a shopping centre. Foot-fall can be manipulated by encouraging shoppers to scan the codes on different totems acting as ‘checkpoints’. Those that complete the challenge might be entered into a prize draw or unlock special offers.
This is particularly effective nowadays because smart-phone cameras tend to have inbuilt QR code functionality whereas before separate apps were required, making the technology inaccessible.
There are other uses for smart-phone interaction too. Our estate agency solution, for example, allows users to ‘tap’ a property feed in a window to download the listing on display. This feature allows prospects to interact with your business without needing to step foot inside your agency.
Perhaps the most significant innovation to digital signage currently in development is voice-activated commands. With the Alexa and Google Assistants spreading from household to household, it’s a matter of time before we are all talking to out-of-home devices too.
Voice interactive digital signage will allow users to trigger content on a screen using verbal commands e.g. ‘play the training video’ or ‘show my Twitter feed’. By 2020, 50% of all searches are predicted to be voice and it’s easy to imagine tablet-like devices serving as product catalogues in a retail environment.
Beyond being a novelty feature, voice-activation will become integral to deployments. In particular, this will be in settings such as healthcare where touch-screens are not always desirable (due to hygiene concerns) and voice commands can serve the same practical functionality.