On-vehicle signage has been around since at least the days of horse-drawn carts, when it was used to advertise the goods and services of your typical small to medium-sized business.
Today, on-vehicle digital signage is an area that is growing extremely fast, with companies trying to offer a solution but finding that deploying digital signage on vehicles brings with it the same challenges required for ruggedized outdoor displays.
For example, the display casing has to withstand all weather conditions from scorching heat to freezing cold and has to be built with anti-vibration mounts that prevent any damage to the internal hardware and the media player.
Add to that the fact that using a typical LCD or LED display won’t work well in bright sunlight, where brightness can be up to 10,000 candelas?33 times the brightness of a home display. Still, companies are racing to overcome these challenges by improving the technology for outdoor use or simply moving the digital signage inside the vehicle when possible.
Here’s a look at some on-vehicle digital signage trends to watch out for in 2016:
1. Fewer displays on aircraft
Most of us are familiar with the seat-back displays currently outfitted on the airplanes of most major air carriers. These displays counter the tedium of long flights by offering movies, television shows, travel information and games, to name a few.
But just as passengers have become accustomed to expect them on most flights, this technology may already be headed for the dustbin as airlines look for more ways to profit from each flight.
Seat-back displays are heavy and cost thousands of dollars per display, so airlines have started outfitting their fleets with Wi-Fi service fast enough to stream entertainment to personal electronics like smartphones, tablets and computers.
They’re betting that you’ll be more willing to cough up a few more dollars for the extra bandwidth required to stream directly to passengers’ personal devices.
2. Taxis go digital
Taxis are another public vehicle long associated with static signage, but one manufacturer recently announced the launch of a turnkey digital solution incorporating high-definition, full-motion video displays capable of running geo-targeted ad campaigns in addition to near-real-time sports updates and with social media integration.
Related: 4 Reasons Why Custom Interactive Digital Signage May Be Best for Business
Currently, these display systems are deployed atop 22,000 taxis in 25 U.S. markets, accounting for more than two billion monthly impressions. A smaller in-vehicle system is deployed in the back of more than 20,000 taxis across nine major metro areas, reaching more than 20 million monthly viewers.
3. Digital mobile billboards
Digital signage is taking to the streets in cities like New York; Los Angeles; Chicago; Washington, D.C.; Boston; and San Francisco with a product called Mobile Video Cube: a four-sided, stadium-styled, mobile billboard placed atop an SUV. Think four-sided screens seen in NBA basketball arenas.
What makes this digital billboard really unique is that not only does it stand out on the street due to its height and four-sided design, but it can be deployed to high-traffic streets and neighborhoods when it’s most likely to be seen, typically during the evening, post-sunset.
4. More displays on trains
A novel digital glass-screen technology may be coming to a commuter train near you. A product called ScreeneX is a digital LCD screen embedded in a double-glazed window or in an interior glass partition in a train that displays real-time passenger information, infotainment and commercials.
This digital signage product can display high-resolution video, text and graphics and can convey information about timetables, destinations, safety alerts, announcements, location-based ads and entertainment. Plus, because it’s embedded, it does not take up valuable floor space.
These are a few digital signage trends that may or may not become ubiquitous but are well worth looking out for in the near future.