Articles and Whitepapers
DSF Members are invited to submit articles and whitepapers to be posted in this section. Submit your article here.
Digital screens allow any business to easily showcase their products, services or any other content for that matter, helping them to stand out and engage with more customers.
A digital screen provides the most flexible banner in the world. Available in all shapes and sizes, from single large format screens to multi-screen video walls, free standing kiosks, shelf edge displays and tablet devices, choose one or pick any combination to suit your needs.
Digital signage solutions are being exploited by most business owners today to give them an edge over their competitors. There are many different benefits digital signage will have on your business, which can help you become more successful within your industry.
Benefits of digital signage
A wider range of products and services can be shown e.g. a restaurant could utilise a series of digital menu boards that display a different menu as the day progresses – i.e. breakfast, lunch and dinner.
With simple cloud-based Content Management System (CMS), a single or an entire network of screens can be managed remotely.
It is impressive and will engage more customers at the point of sale, or make an atmosphere more lively or unique, with a powerful influence on buying decisions.
To boost awareness and sales, it can be used as a tool to interact with customers as an entertainment medium e.g. waiting areas in an airport or train station to communicate messages to your customers. It can also be used as a medium for your employees e.g. internal communications, meeting rooms.
During the brief arc of digital signage history, something significant happened that is just now having major implications on the way messages are delivered on screens – Yahoo launched (1995) and, not long after that, Google launched (1998).
The two search engine giants spent a few years finding their footing, but now it’s clear which site has come up on top. Google, the No. 2 most valuable brand according to Forbes, has 76 percent of the search ad market. That number is expected to grow to more than 80 percent by 2019, according to eMarketer.
There are a host of reasons we gravitate toward Google for quick searches – algorithms, key words, complementary services and ease of use among them. Google has been winning the search wars without bells and whistles, guiding its users to their destination via a simple search box. That’s it.
Since Google’s launch and subsequent domination, we’ve become accustomed to that simplicity, and content presentation on digital screens has followed suit.
According to Ryan Cahoy, managing director of Rise Vision and a member of the DSF board, digital screens 20 years ago were full of moving boxes, tickers and as much information as you could fit.
“Everyone was making their own Bloomberg TV. How many boxes and zones could you create? It was driven by the technology that started the industry. Everyone was conditioned to that technology and seeing how much data they could put out there because they thought it was how they could get the best investment on something that was new and expensive,” Cahoy said. “Now, we’ve all had a chance to take a step back.”
Many people think of fans as essential components for cooling heat-generating electronics devices such as digital signage media players. Fans are loud and make devices bigger than they need to be, but they’re a necessary evil, right? Wrong! As far as media players are concerned, they are actually completely unnecessary and a telltale sign of inefficient design.
I am a firm believer that fans should be avoided at all costs. Why? Let me count the ways… First of all, a fan is a moving part, therefore a potential point of failure. When a fan does fail, you probably won’t know until the entire device overheats and fails. Second, the fan itself requires power, which generates additional heat. Lastly, fans are not an essential part of electronics if the device is designed properly. They add no operative value – they’re simply a cooling system. That’s why you’ll never find a fan inside a BrightSign media player – a policy that I am passionate about. Our Series 3 players are more powerful than ever before, yet still there are no fans.
In August 2016, IMAX started a project that helped thrust virtual reality into the mainstream – the IMAX VR arcade. Mashable described it as an experience that is “indistinguishable from a normal movie theater when you enter in the lobby,” but extraordinary once you enter the “inner VR facility,” which is equipped with different VR equipment.
Bobby Kelley, managing director at PixelFly, was part of the project from launch to completion. PixelFly’s role was to recommend hardware, including displays with media players and a sound system for the entire building. Kelley’s team designed then installed equipment and provided basic training to the IMAX team to run it.
According to Kelley, the project was developed specifically to be a leader in VR experiences, beyond what’s been offered by other VR arcades and home gaming systems. Specifically, the project was meant to re-create experiences that coincided with IMAX’s movie portfolio, “so one can sort of participate in the movie,” Kelley said.
There are also other games that are part of the project that are not movie related.
PixelFly’s signage is a large part of that experience, Kelley said. The moment customers walk in, they see two video walls to the right. On the left, the space opens to seven 55-inch 4K animated “movie posters,” telling them what experiences are playing today.
In the transport world keeping your customers up to speed with the latest information relevant to them to make their journey and travel experience a good one – ideally so that they return – is crucial. Traveling is a matter of getting people to places as fast and efficiently as possible, but the whole experience should include so much more, whether it is for business or pleasure.
Digital signage is emerging as a way of enhancing that travel experience from a customer point of view, while also making the process easier for transport employees. It is even possible to shrink perceived waiting times down with the use of digital signage.
By: Earl Naegele, Managing Director of Commercial Sales, Peerless-AV
As we near the holiday season, airport travel is going to spike, typically causing added anxiety for passengers. However, as technology continually advances, airports can utilize various solutions to help alleviate some of the major pain points of traveling – such as navigating a crowded and confusing airport, printing boarding passes, and more.
Interactive Solutions to Enhance the Customer Experience
Implementing digital signage is one surefire way to simplify the passenger experience. Through the use of digital solutions, airports can share updated and accurate flight information, provide interactive mapping for wayfinding, and reduce perceived wait times for customers with shared entertainment. Interactive, self-serve kiosks can also allow users to check themselves in, print tickets, and locate facilities. By empowering the passenger, these interactive solutions can also reduce staffing and operational costs.
Airports often experience heavy levels of foot traffic, specifically in entryways, security lines, and boarding areas. It can be difficult to grasp the passenger’s attention with so many activities occurring at the same time, but these are also great places to share pertinent information. Digital signage displays offer the opportunity to constantly change content, and provide an eye-catching element that static signage simply cannot do.
By Robert Suffoletta, Logic Supply
The digital signage industry is booming. Analysts predict an 8.94 percent compound annual growth rate between now and 2020, and that by 2023 the market will be worth $32.84 Billion. The expansion of signage implementation throughout industry has been a major contributor to this exponential growth, with displays being used by businesses of every shape and size for a huge range of content delivery needs. Of course, Digital Out of Home (DOOH) advertising is still a significant part of the overall signage equation, but increasingly digital displays are being utilized for applications far beyond customer acquisition, and in locations that would challenge, or even destroy, a typical media player.
Static and interactive digital displays are popping up everywhere from medical facilities and manufacturing floors, to transportation hubs and outdoor events (Figure 2). These varied applications for digital content delivery bring with them a host of logistical and environmental complications that have required signage professionals to reevaluate the hardware they utilize to convey their message.
But what makes an industrial digital media player different, and what factors play into an educated hardware choice for signage integrators and ISVs?
A Different Look and Feel
In the past, there’s been an attitude toward disposability in much of the digital media player space, with entry level device builders suggesting that when a media player fails, the user simply throw it away and replace it. But that assumes a certain level of nonchalance toward the information being displayed. Industrial digital signage players aren’t throw away devices because the content they’re displaying isn’t disposable. In fact, it’s often mission-critical.
Perhaps the most striking difference between consumer-grade digital media solutions and industrial media players is the way they’re constructed (Figure 1). The vast majority of commercially available media players are built using some combination of plastics and polycarbonate. While these materials are relatively inexpensive, they don’t offer much in the way of durability, particularly in challenging environments. Industrial media players, which may be subject to extreme temperatures, moisture, vibration or even impact forces, most commonly utilize all metal enclosures and internal components designed specifically for industrial use.
Digital signage in stadiums and other event facilities is not new. For the better part of the past decade, venues have been swapping out aging, legacy static signage and CRTs in favor of sleek new digital signage to enhance the fan experience. But even more interesting to me is to see how digital signage is being used in new venues. We’re talking about much more than digital menu boards here – we’re seeing digital signage as an integral component of the stadium’s conceptual design, long before construction begins.
Our players are working hard behind the scenes at many new major sports complexes – powering menus, scoreboards, luxury suite signage, parking lots and even displays located in the restrooms. Digital signage is EVERYWHERE in these new venues. Late-model LED displays are an increasingly popular option utilized in stadiums, from individual displays to massive installations like the stunning 9,000-square-foot LED video mesh on the exterior facade of T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
TechLink Services fills services void for digital signage customers with project management, training
Digital signage has grown at such a swift pace that the industry has had a challenging time defining any true standards. This was admittedly a frustration for many attendees at the Digital Signage Expo in the spring.
One company, TechLink Services, is working to bring more consistency to the space through the development of real-time project management tools and in-depth training and certification opportunities for technicians. TechLink’s’ core business manages digital signage deployments, kiosks, structured cabling, electrical installation and network deployment. On top of those services, the company recently added more comprehensive solutions, including managed services and content management implementation, to better serve the digital signage market.
“We are solving the ‘disparate’ problem in our industry. Over the past couple of years, we recognized that everyone was taking a data entry approach, but we wanted to be a project management, turnkey operation,” said Ron Zippi, EVP of Business Development at TechLink Services.
Black Diamond Solutions was chosen to develop an improved customer queue-management system for Int-AR-act so that they could effectively compete in that marketplace. A customer ‘call forward’ system helps shoppers move efficiently through a bank-style checkout lane. It has three elements – a button for the cashier to push, a register number indicator and a processor that ties it all together.
With the bar set, BDS set off to create a better system. They rapidly designed a prototype, tested it in store, and built the final solution run by BrightSign XD1033 players. Over 10,000 final products were delivered and installed on time.