Despite all its current and future promise, the white noise in the pro AV industry can sometimes be deafening when it comes to providing customers with the "right" interactive digital signage solutions that best meet their needs and budget.
Sometimes, roadblocks get in the way of a value-added reseller accomplishing the primary end goal of their clients?using interactive digital signage to provide communications between a fixed digital signage system and an audience.
This is where mastering certain case studies can provide valuable leverage for VARs when designing custom digital signage solutions for customers that are both effective and remain within budgetary constraints.
Basically, a case study as it relates to VARs involves introducing scenarios in the form of narrative use cases and studying them to understand the reasons why each requirement is needed and how important it is in the digital signage stream.
Let's take a look at a few common scenarios that VARs will likely encounter at some point.
1. Touchscreen information services
A digital signage system has a touchscreen display that is capable of providing additional information through end-user interaction. So, for example, it can provide a digital catalog of inventory for a particular shop, or it can provide guide information such a map in a shopping mall. The end-user wants to find out where a store is located in the mall and touches the screen, but through further interaction is also able to determine which goods are carried by a store and make a decision whether or not to buy.
Likewise, some kinds of interactive touchscreens provide interaction capabilities that can be used simultaneously by more than one end-user. So while a husband is looking for a men's' shoe store, his wife can browse for baby goods using the same interactive display, and eventually, they make a decision to buy.
2. Automatic vending machines
This digital signage scenario combines an automatic vending machine that displays product information but also allows purchases to be made.
Consider a young girl walking around the mall who finds a vending machine utilizing a digital signage terminal that displays drink information, but when she approaches, the vending machine changes the drink list that is suitable for a child. The recommended list of products is chosen by sensing devices such as a camera on the machine that identifies gender and age.
She becomes interested in iced tea and buys a can by touching the button on the interactive terminal of the vending machine.
The takeaway from both of the above cases is:
3. Disaster information service
Let's say a disaster occurs in the department store or mall where digital signage displays have been placed throughout the affected areas. These displays can be repurposed to show important information about the specific incident that occurred in the mall and instructions regarding evacuation and safety procedures?including barrier-free routes for persons with disabilities and narration in sign language if necessary.
In cases when there is no person in the disaster area, the digital signage monitor can be fitted with sensing devices such as a thermometer or a camera, which will provide valuable information to end-users such as first-responders.
In addition, digital signage displays could provide telephone service for persons who discover the emergency so they could make an emergency call that, in turn, could trigger other digital signs in the network to display the emergency information.
4. Traffic information services
Consider that a delay in a transportation system has happened due to vehicle breakdown or a traffic accident. The digital signage system in place at a bus stop or train station shows the current problem and the cause.
In addition, when combined with a mobile device such as a smartphone, the digital signage system can be programmed to interact with the end-user’s mobile device in order to provide detailed information and possible alternative routes.
The takeaway from these case studies for VARs is that truly knowing a customer's digital signage requirements is imperative in this incredibly fast-moving and rapidly evolving industry.