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Touch the future

Increasingly, active engagement with digital signage and other screens is displacing passive engagement. According to researcher iSuppli, that trend will continue to accelerate, with worldwide shipments of touch-capable screens reaching nearly three million units by 2013.

Shipments of touch screen displays for the signage and professional market are set to surge by more than a factor of seven over the next three years to reach nearly three million units in 2013, as users in the public space, hospitality, health care, government, corporate retail, transportation and education segments gain interest in the technology, new IHS iSuppli research indicates.

Global shipments of touch screen displays for signage and professional applications are expected to reach 2.97 million units in 2013, up from 404,999 in 2010. The market will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 96.3 percent between the years of 2009 and 2013.

iSuppli says that, although the market for very large touch screens in the signage and professional display market holds great promise, it remains a nascent, undeveloped sector: the market presently suffers from the chicken-or-egg syndrome, with both suppliers and potential users believe these displays are going to become much more common during the next few years – but both camps are waiting for the other side to make the first move.

In general, iSuppli says that it is seeing increased interest from suppliers but not a great deal of commitment from the industry: however, as the market becomes better established in the next few years, competition will ratchet up, driving down prices and increasing the proliferation of such displays.

The largest growth areas for this segment, according to iSuppli, will be in public spaces, hospitality and health care, which will account for 41.8 percent of overall touch screen signage unit shipments by 2013. The second largest growth area will be in the government and corporate sectors, which will represent 31.2 percent of the total units shipped in 2013. The retail segment will be the third largest area for growth with 20.7 percent of overall signage unit shipments. Two additional segments, transportation and education, will account for the remainder of the market in digital signage.