Digital signage is beginning to pop up everywhere—from billboards to digital menu boards, interactive kiosks and entire video walls. Consumers can’t help but take notice.
Consider the fact that a PQ Media study found that the average global consumer was exposed to 14 minutes of digital-out-of-home media per week in 2013. That’s a 75-percent increase from only eight minutes a week in 2007. And those numbers are only likely to increase as digital signage becomes even more popular.
As a value-added reseller, the future looks bright for your digital signage business. But remember: the industry is competitive, and growing more so every year. It’s important that you stay up-to-date on the newest technology trends—and are able to identify those with staying power.
Dynamic Software Trends
Innovations in digital signage software move especially fast, as they require less production time than hardware. And as hardware prices continue to fall, there’s be a flurry of new and exciting development in the software world.
For 2014, here are the digital signage software solutions you need to know about to meet your customers’ needs:
1. Interactive systems.
This category includes touch, multi-touch and gesture control, all of which are experiencing a staggering rate of growth. As consumers have grown increasingly accustomed to interactive technology—thanks to their own devices at home—they expect to encounter it in their daily lives. As a result, interactive systems will likely see strong growth for the next several years.
Although multi-touch and gesture applications are still relatively niche, they’re likely to become more widely accepted soon. For now, they’re probably most attractive to your customers who really want to play up the tech-savvy vibe. For the vast majority, though, a basic touchscreen display will probably fit their needs.
There are many software platforms available that support touch, multi-touch and gesture control devices. A little research will help you identify some of the best options so you can specify the right software for each customers.
2. Mobile connectivity.
Today, a growing number of consumers have smartphones and tablets, which they use for social media, shopping, entertainment, research and more. Keeping pace with the growth of these devices is a range of “passive” mobile connectivity applications, which push information to consumers. These include:
- QR codes – customers scan for more information, coupons, etc.
- iBeacon/near-field communication (NFC) - pushes product details or specials to customers’ mobile devices; can also be used as method of payment
- Bluetooth LE – another way to engage consumers with in-store coupons and sale information
- Sonic connections – proximity marketing platform that delivers content to smartphones and enables analytics
3. Two-way communication.
The digital signage of the future won’t simply communicate with consumers; it will also listen to them. Two-way communication systems collect data from each viewer as a way to drive additional interaction.
With this type of software, a digital signage solution might collect shopping preferences or even demographic information on a customer using special analytics software. Then, the retailer can send related text messages, coupons and emails to the customer based on that data.
4. Video wall software.
Video walls are expected to experience double-digit growth in the next few years, according to Digital Signage Today, so expect your customers to really embrace their potential. Video walls let retailers get creative with digital signage, and new software platforms are taking these displays to a whole new level in size, complexity and scope.
Take this opportunity to become familiar with leading video wall management software. In the next few years, more of your customers will demand video wall solutions, and being prepared will help you to stay ahead of the competition.
Digital signage is going through a huge growth spurt, and should remain a strong part of your business for years to come. What types of solutions are your customers seeking these days? What types of digital signage software do you expect to experience the most growth in the next few years?