Our Industry Predictions For 2019
It’s that time of the year again where we look ahead and plan for the New Year. In our final blog post of 2018, the team at TrouDigital wanted to discuss and predict some digital signage trends for 2019. The following are industry observations we’ve made in recent months from our own experience.
Advertising is something we have been talking about at TrouDigital throughout the year based on the increasing number of inbound enquiries we have been receiving. We are passionate about turning digital signage into a platform that can make our clients a lucrative additional revenue stream.
You can start an advertising network with a single screen in a high footfall environment, a media player and a content distribution tool like our software. If you have window space on a busy high street, this could be a huge opportunity for you next year. Why not start by putting feelers out to other local businesses? Sponsorship packages from something like £25/month will soon be snapped up. Assemble a lineup of advertisers and you could find yourself making £100s if not £1000s per month with a larger network, with software fees from £18/month.
A couple of the biggest projects we have worked on this year have utilised isolated networks by which we mean standalone mobile routers with roaming SIMs for broadband access. We are noticing a significant shift from public or private WiFi networks to the use of independent routers dedicated to single or multiple displays. This upgrade is designed to minimise the downtime of screens, maximising revenue when it comes to advertising. If you are looking for increased network reliability, then investing in a mobile network for your signage could be your next upgrade.
An example of an instance where isolated networks are proving invaluable would be remote locations such as on vessels (we have multiple projects in the pipeline for such projects). Another use case would be environments such as the NHS where there are security or overload concerns with using signage on the existing WiFi. Setting up a dedicated network is extremely popular with cautious IT managers who want to avoid disruptions to the existing technology.
The vast majority of us are well and truly reliant on our phones nowadays for GPS, whether it’s Waze or Google Maps in the car or exploring a new city. The inevitable progression from this reliance has been wayfinding solutions tailored to more specific locations, such as within building complexes like offices or shopping centres. A mobile phone might get you to the right building but it won’t be able to find you a specific meeting room.
That’s where bespoke wayfinding solutions provided by digital signage come in. This year we have worked on a couple of different projects where custom maps and floor plans have been created to guide visitors to specific rooms within a building. Both a staff directory created for a university facility and a corporate wayfinding tool for companies in a shared office space work in a similar fashion with route mapping and contact information.
Interactive kiosks and touchscreen overlays
Leading on from the above trend, digital signage going into 2019 and beyond is so much more than a screen on a wall. A significant increase in the number of installations we have been involved with this year has been touchscreen kiosks and interactive monitors. Vital for wayfinding solutions, interactive displays allow users to take control of content and tailor their experience to them. For example, searching for directions or information about a certain product in a catalogue-style interface.
One innovation that many people aren’t aware of yet and that is set to make a splash next year is the introduction of the touchscreen overlay. This technology takes a standard display and introduces an interactive screen over the top in the form of an attachable bezel. Suddenly a regular monitor has interactive functionality – all you need is software with touch screen features too, something our own platform introduced at the start of 2018.
Interactive kiosks and touchscreens displays are certainly coming down in price which will make them popular next year. If your budget can’t stretch to these units, however, a touchscreen overlay could be the cost-effective answer.
Back in February of this year, we demonstrated our own Google Assistant integrated digital signage solution at an innovation event in Winchester, Hampshire. Voice-activated technology has exploded in popularity in the past 12 to 24 months with more of us than ever owning an Alexa or Google app in their homes.
Where voice-activated technology is yet to make such an impact is in the workplace. Digital signage is set to be a key player in this department with screens that can trigger content based on voice commands. There are endless possibilities for different environments. Only recently were we talking to a manufacturer about using voice triggers to play certain health and safety or technical videos at times when operators have their hands full. If you want to stand out from the crowd and deploy a solution with ‘wow factor’ in 2019, look no further than voice-activated signage.