There are ongoing discussions about the meaning of digital signage and how the term should be used but one thing that is unquestionable it its popularity. Digital signage is everywhere when you go to school, head to the airport, walk into a hotel or drive to work.
Since it is a prominent feature of daily life, the name refers to different forms of technology that are being used in different ways to create digital signs.
- Digital signage is a component of signage and digital signs utilize technologies such as projection, LED and LCD for the purpose of displaying content like digital information, streaming media, video and images.
- These signs are found in corporate buildings, restaurants, hotels, retail stores, stadiums, museums, transportation systems and public spaces to provide effective outdoor advertising, marketing, exhibitions and directions.
- Digital signage basically consists of various sizes of screens that display content for different reasons. This is a general description that is among the reasons people who seek to install digital signs may get confused. The other contributing factor to this level of confusion is the wide range of vendors that you can choose from.
The most effective way to navigate the variety of options and choose the right vendor for your needs is based on a number of critical factors.
Identifying Specific Needs
- One of the key considerations that customers should keep in mind is the ideal outcome of deploying their digital signage network. This is an important step towards identifying your objectives and goal. It includes the number of screens you want to deploy, project deployment timeline, content strategy and budget.
- Once this process of exploration is conducted, the service provider can demonstrate its capabilities or clients can carry out further research. Having a clear comprehension of the purpose and resources that are necessary for creating a successful network paves the way for getting some screens.
- If you are not sure about the intent or resources required, it is advisable to take a moment and think through your plans rather than purchasing and hanging up screens without knowing what you actually want to do with them.
Digital signage is arguably in the early stages of being adopted for branding purposes. Content is crucial when dealing with digital signs. Regardless of what the shape, size, technology or brand of your display may be it will be affected by your content. Digital signage can help you set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.
The cost of procuring and installing a digital network has gone down significantly over the years, which makes it easier to figure out the expenses quickly. A simple way to determine overall costs is looking at the main ongoing costs of network management and content creation. The costs of content creation are varied and are based on the frequency of changing, quality required and purpose. Deployment categories range from complex to simple and include the following.
- Video walls.
- Way finding screens.
- Public facing boards.
- Menu boards.
- Single screen that features automated content.
Determining frequency of change, quality and application gives you insight into the ongoing costs of creation.
Corporate digital signage is an industry that consists of several vendors that compete to sell their solutions. While components of digital signage solutions may appear to be similar, the details of technologies being used showcase the differences between vendors. The main software components include content creation, device management, media player and content management or distribution.
Media player software works by playing back media files and uses both the GPU and CPU on the computer that the software resides on. Media players support different forms of media and digital files like web pages, videos and images are decoded and presented digitally through digital signs.
Advanced software can save media files in install storage and make sure that playback is not disrupted in case there is no internet connectivity. Streaming solutions depend on consistent internet connectivity in order for them to work. Other advanced features include:
- Synchronizing content across various media players and creating amazing large experiences.
- Interrupting what is being played on the screen to facilitate applications such mobile interactivity and emergency messaging.
- Reporting the status and health of the media player.
- The digital signage industry has moved away from the trend of Windows PCs that dominated the market with an inclination towards smaller and more affordable solutions.
Many software companies that are active within digital signage are referred to as content management systems. These companies usually offer provide the User Interface ability that enables users to organize and upload content organize content into playlists, create conditions and rules for playback and dispense content to media players.
Although many features are standardized in the industry, there are various differences that exist between vendors in regards to how content is managed. The key distinguishing factor is where software installation and management takes place as this has a direct impact on business models, security and functionality.
Uploads, management and distribution are a just a single aspect of operating digital signage networks. If you seek to deploy numerous screens across different locations, it is essential to have the ability to remotely manage the network. Effective device management platforms offer power tools that are used to gather information on devices, report the date and take action.
- Create network information alerts.
- Content creation software.
- Take action against network information, for instance, rebooting the device and turning screens on and off.
- Ensuring everything is working by capturing screenshots of what s being played.
- Checking on the status of the media player screen.
- Checking on the media player status in regards to network status, memory usage, free disk space and other factors.
Digital signage is a type of electronic display that can be used to show advertising, information and other messages. Digital signs are found in private and public environments. Within the context of digital signs, content is a term that is used to describe things that are designed and showcased on displays. Content can be virtually anything, including audio, video, animations, images and text.
Digital signage offers several benefits in comparison to static signs. The content is easier to exchange, animations can be displayed, displays are adaptable to context and audiences interactively and targeted messages can be delivered to certain locations at specified times.
Digital signage has the potential to provide a worthwhile return on investment in comparison to conventional or temporary posters or signs. Digital signage is a well-known term that can be substituted with other terms such as digital media networks, digital merchandising and screen media.
Karen Anthony is a research analyst and business administrator. She is passionate about information technology and the potential of the Corporate digital signage. During her free time she likes to travel with family and friends.