Previously we considered the evolution of the digital signage market, before revealing the ways providers are meeting increasing expectations in the retail environment. To conclude, we look ahead to the tech advancements coming and the opportunities this could present to integrators.
There is more to come: as an industry we are only just scratching the surface of application potential. Advanced audience recognition software, new beacon and BTLE capabilities, new iPhone wallet passes, voice recognition and expanded RFID interaction with shoppers are appropriate technologies that are all vying for position and attention. It is a situation that is keeping hardware providers and integrators busy. Birgit Jackson, commercial director of Sharp Visual Solutions, comments: “The growth of the digital signage market represents a huge opportunity for integrators.” She points out that manufacturers must play their part too: “There are a huge number of hardware and software combinations available and I think it’s important for manufacturers to help integrators by being more consultative and a real partner.”
"Integrators' role in providing service is without any question the most important part of their job"
A good understanding of the basic technology is important. Christian Orcin, VP of product marketing for Leyard and Planar EMEA, believes that users are now more experienced, such that the consultancy role of system integrators is becoming less important. However, “their role in providing service is without any question the most important part of their job. Customers need a reliable, quick and comprehensive service from integrators. Big retail roll-outs require a very efficient supply chain. Installations have to be efficient and, most importantly, stable and reliable. Minimisation of onsite service is so important to the customer.”
With the speed that the industry is moving at today, keeping up with technology is a major challenge for integrators. Jeff Hastings, CEO of BrightSign, makes the point that they need to continuously adapt and evolve: “It is very dangerous to rely on tried and trusted approaches, as there are so many new ways of stimulating attention and attracting an audience. In addition to technical skill, integrators also need to be savvy marketers, building strong and long-term customer relationships and continually working to refill the funnel with new projects. Integrators are critical in this sector. They are the real drivers of demand in the industry and often the spurs for innovation. There have been many times when our team has stretched our technology to new levels because of pressure from integrators to do something new and different.”
Case study: LG pods installed at Westfield Malls
Across Westfield Malls’ US sites, 220 slim, freestanding double-sided digital signage pods featuring 75in LCD displays have replaced paper-based advertising furniture. With a wide variety of indoor and outdoor locations to be fulfilled, DOOH supplier Esprit Digital selected LG’s 4K displays, with the 3,000-nit version used outdoors to ensure sunlight readability.
The pods are equipped with full audience monitoring software with the ability to track consumers on their journey through each mall while offering real-time consumer data insights like demographics, dwell, attention time and mood. When consumers are in close proximity to the screens, advertisers are able to tailor and deploy their content to specifically targeted demographics, with the right message, at the right time.
The Westfield Network provides the opportunity for limitless creativity and brand engagement through high-quality image reproduction and uniformity throughout the mall network. “Our aim was to transform out-of-home mall advertising and to provide brands with an opportunity for limitless creativity while offering live data and high levels of consumer engagement,” comments Charley Delana, executive vice president, Westfield.