Digital Signage Review and Outlook 2013

Digital signage is an industry dependent on evolving communication technologies. The really cool part is that every one of us has a hand in this by the way we are using digital devices in our day-to-day lives. 2012 has been a banner year for digital signage as the industry adapts and integrates these technologies in many helpful ways.

There are some pretty nifty ways Android can be used for digital signage, but don’t expect a revolution.

Looking back on this year, there have been so many improvements in the field of digital signage technology worthy of note that it would fill a book to discuss them all. Let’s consider just one major newsworthy discussion of 2012—Android.

Why is Android good news for the digital signage market? Simply put, economies of scale. With the growing adoption of tablets by both consumers and businesses, über-exothermic market growth is forecasted through 2016 at 20.9 percent CAGR, according to an IDC report released on December 5. Since the digital signage industry readily adapts consumer display technologies, this will ensure a good selection of high-quality products as manufactures attempt to outgun each other with more powerful, higher resolution devices.

Forward thinking digital signage innovators will be able to repurpose these portable devices for a myriad of uses all the way from self-standing kiosks to shelf-talking display systems—all at a price that would put a smile on the most tight-fisted accountant.

Looking to 2013 and beyond, we will likely see additional integration of Big Data in digital signage applications. Some may instantly think of Big Brother and other notions of invasion of privacy that is always a fuzzy line, but the utilization of Big Data by advertisers is really more about making better guesses at what might provoke one’s interest and engaging with content.

I think many of us have heard about Big Data. Think of it as our digital fingerprint.

Big Data is collected as we use digital devices, apps and the Internet on a daily basis, but it is rarely tied to us in a personal way, unless you have given permission through a loyalty program or the like. Of course, just using certain digital services may be part of a permission-based data collection scheme, and it is not hard to go too far before ad intrusion becomes an annoyance, which is one reason some speculate on the fate on Facebook’s future. We are yet to learn how much Big Data the general public will tolerate. Interested in finding out? You can experience it firsthand by viewing your Facebook page (assuming you have one since over 1 billion people do) over the next year as they incorporate Big Data through 2013.

Big Data is our digital fingerprint that knows our digital habits, regardless of what OS platform, Internet browser or mobile device one prefers to use. When we boil Big Data down for digital signage applications, it becomes a process of getting better at engaging us and helping us find products, people, service, news and entertainment that matter to us.

Digital signage by its very nature can be used to seamlessly aggregate and use data already existing on customers. This data can be purposed to actionable instances that offer personal assistance for many in-store processes, such as, product assistance, product comparison, customer service, loyalty incentives and social interactions, if we feel like sharing something.