Today we want to talk about an exciting project we have been working on: voice-activated digital signage.
A clear message has echoed around the technology world in the past 12 months: voice search changes everything.
We couldn’t agree more. Both the Google Home and Amazon Alexa are already on our Christmas lists, but what about digital signage?
One thing seems certain to us. Voice-activated digital signage won’t be a passing novelty. It’s not a gimmick you will see once demonstrated at a trade show and hardly again beyond that.
The whole technology is set to move in this direction. In the near future, audiences and customers will go up to any digital display, start talking to it and expect interaction.
At the moment, talking to Alexa or Siri might still feel like a very private thing, too socially awkward for public. But this anxiety barrier is quickly coming down. In homes around the world, users are becoming more comfortable talking to their devices. It’s only a matter of time until the majority of people will be comfortable speaking to their tech at work and out in public. By 2020, 50% of all searches are predicted to be voice. A fundamental mentality change is imminent, a new type of consumer behaviour is emerging that all businesses need to seriously anticipate.
That brings us to voice-activated digital signage. Our developers at TrouDigital have been working on an integration between our signage platform and the Google Assistant. We’ve seen how popular interactive signage is, whether it’s through touch or something like our ‘lift and learn’ feature. The only challenge with these solutions, however, has often been cost. Touch screen monitors still have a significant price premium, and ‘lift and learn’ displays require additional materials and ultimately space.
One of the reasons we are so excited about voice-activated signage is it’s accessibility to all. The Google Home and Amazon Echo are taking over in part because they are affordably priced to consumers. With our own voice-activated digital signage, we intend to follow this trend. We want to see even the smallest of schools and local businesses welcoming this innovation as this is where it can have the largest impact.
At least initially, we will be introducing a set number of voice-triggers that allow users to interact with content on their screens. The sophistication and breadth of triggers will only grow but for now, you can expect helpful commands such as:
- “Play the _______ playlist”
- “Show me the weather today”
- “What are we saying on Twitter?”
- “Play our YouTube video”
- “What’s the timetable for today?”
We believe the introduction of voice-triggers will have a huge influence on the type of content people are creating too. On a screen up in a reception area, a welcome message might be designed for visitors that can be activated with the command “Welcome”. For employee-facing screens, content such as training videos or sale targets might equally be triggered with bespoke commands: “Play the new employee training video” and “Show this week’s sales targets”. There are endless applications for wayfinding screens, e.g. “How do I get to _______”, retail with product information and educational content for schools.
Ultimately, voice-activated digital signage will invite different industries and users to really tailor the solution to their needs. Whole new uses for digital signage are likely to emerge, taking the technology in interesting new directions. At TrouDigital we are committed to the principle that voice brings real utilitarian value to users rather than being merely a ‘nice to have’ add-on feature.
The way this is going to be achieved is through conversation with our users, across different sectors. Our voice-triggered solution will be an evolving project, constantly in a state of refinement.
If you are interested in these developments, please get in touch as we would love to hear your suggestions and create commands around your specific needs. Whether you are sports club who thinks a voice-activated leaderboard would be cool or a cinema that would love to trigger movie trailers, we can make your ideas a reality! As a leader in signage innovation, we will be catering to bespoke projects like these.
Watch this space! Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.