The current landscape for the digital signage systems integrator can take time to navigate. The days of digital signage installations just delivering content have passed. Instead, we have entered the era of Digital Signage+. To set the stage, Digital Signage+ is a trend that groups numerous use cases across multiple verticals where robust digital signage players can be deployed for industrial applications beyond typical video content distribution.
The growth of digital out-of-home (DOOH) is driving advertisers to inquire about data. They want to know their ads’ impact on their potential customers. The bad news is that the typical signage player can only provide a little assistance here. The good news is that the technology required to collect data at the edge is already available.
Thankfully, Digital Signage+ offers new and diversified revenue opportunities for integrators. But at the same time, such opportunities continue to evolve so quickly that integrators must keep learning to keep up with the evolution.
Identifying Edge Applications Opportunities
If you’re unfamiliar with computer vision, edge analytics, sensor aggregation, and cellular connectivity, you must familiarize yourself. These technologies represent the frontier of digital signage; understanding them is critical to seizing new opportunities in this evolving landscape. While these changes may seem overwhelming, they are also sources of potential profit, more significant than ever.
The monetization of digital signage data opens numerous new doors, all of which are worth exploring.
It doesn’t seem long ago that a network of high-definition displays made up most digital signage installations. Digital out-of-home (DOOH) advertising, quick-service restaurant menu boards, and wayfinding installations were a novelty. But that novelty has yet to sufficiently evolve into significant ways to monetize impressions.
Advertisers and marketers are hungry for data – from basic demographics to point-of-sale heat maps. All of this and much more are possible now, and it’s the integrator’s responsibility to feed these needs with Digital Signage+.
Delivery of content isn’t enough. As more and more requests for proposals (RFP) demand data, integrators must also evolve. What will your business look like ten years from now? Well, let’s start with today.
Edge Applications in Practice
If by now you’re looking for specific examples of how computer vision, edge analytics, sensor aggregation and cellular connectivity can be used in digital signage networks to provide better customer services, we’ve got you. Let’s analyze each emerging technology.
Computer vision is one popular application capable of identifying user demographics at its most basic level. Not only do we know “how many” people are using wayfinding applications or viewing our ads, for instance. We can also serve them with tailored ads based on their demographic characteristics.
The technology can also develop heat maps, showing how consumers behave in a retail setting – and where advertising can be most effective. These are just a couple of examples, and the capabilities keep growing daily.
In addition to high-tech such as computer vision, digital signage is no longer tethered. The advent of 4G/LTE connectivity opens a whole new world of applications, namely in places people spend more dwell time, like electric vehicle charging stations.
Cellular connectivity allows integrators to deliver dynamic, location-specific content to customers no matter where they are, expanding the reach and effectiveness of their digital signage networks.
Traditionally, any data that enterprises could collect were sent to a central server where they could be analyzed, extracting the desired data. For example, suppose a digital sign located in a retail store detects a high foot traffic area. In that case, it can immediately adjust its content to advertise a popular product, enhancing customer experience and potentially increasing sales.
Sensor aggregation collects and combines data from multiple sources at the edge of a computing network. The information is collected and combined before sending it to a central processing or storage location. In digital signage, sensor aggregation can gather information about the environment and the viewer. For example, sensors can measure temperature, humidity, light intensity, sound, motion, or other factors that could influence the effectiveness of digital signage.
Numerous verticals use these technologies, including smart retail and inventory management, interactive kiosks and self-service terminals, smart cities and governments, casinos and gaming, and health care.
The Benefits of Expanding to Edge Applications
Getting us back to the excitement factor of Digital Signage+, integrators are afforded a great opportunity in this difficult-to-navigate but promising digital signage landscape outlined here. Digital signage systems integrators have the opportunity to diversify revenue streams significantly. Not only can you make more installations in more places, but you can also draw revenue from the maintenance and upkeep of these complex edge applications. It also reduces dependency on a single market if this Digital Signage+ is outside your typical scope.
Success lies in leveraging existing expertise and professional networks to tackle new challenges and stay ahead of the competition. The reality is that if you don’t install specific tech, someone else will. So, inventorying your available resources and expanding those relationships has become essential. Ultimately, you’re enhancing your value proposition to win more business.
More than ever, digital signage integrators need a solid stable of partners with the know-how and integrity to get the job done and do it well, including support long after deployment. The onus is on the integrator when it comes to the long-term success of a modern installation with many, many moving parts.
In short, there’s no time like now to explore new opportunities, invest in the right resources, and remain agile in a rapidly evolving market. If the last decade has taught us anything, you never know what’s next in the digital signage industry.