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How Mobile Technology is Helping Change Digital Signage

Digital signage is changing, no longer is it a passive dumb terminal. End users can now interact and engage with screens like never before. We asked a panel of experts how they see digital signage evolving, and almost all agree that mobile integration lies at the heart of this evolution.

Digital Signage has seen rapid growth in recent years. This is partly due to the cost of solutions being more affordable, but increasingly as businesses embark on their own digital transformation it is because they are placing such technology at the heart of everything they do.

As a result, digital signage is no longer just for the airport terminal or for advertising site, it’s becoming an increasingly everyday part of business.

We wanted to understand where the digital signage market is going as we enter the next decade. To help us get a clearer picture we spoke to our community of leading signage software companies across Europe, who make up the Sharp Open Architecture partner program, to understand how they see the market evolving.

Almost two thirds (65 per cent) of our partners believe mobile integration such as beacons, sensors and mobile payments will make the most impact over the next two years.  Sharp’s Birgit Jackson agrees; “Mobile integration enables people to interact with digital signage and allows brands to collect data on people engaging with the signage and also the environment around the display, for example if its daytime or night-time. By collecting this data, the content being shown can correspond and adapt to what’s happening around the display.”

This integration will enable advertising in digital signage to be more personalised and therefore more relevant to the people engaging with the content, which will in turn drive higher conversions, Jackson adds.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of our partners believe interactive apps will be in the highest demand in the next two years. Such apps will once again give new opportunities for both the owner and the end user to explore new ways of delivering and receiving digital content.

Digital Signage Platforms vs Content Management Systems

Greater mobile integration and interaction with digital signage solutions will need a new way of working. Content Management Systems (CMS) are currently the standard platform for managing digital signage information, but we can expect this to be eclipsed in coming years by Digital Signage Platforms (DXPs).

DXPs give the power to users to manage data and content in context with their audiences and users are not limited purely to managing content, as with the CMS. So, for example, up-to-date flight or train information can be presented to audiences.

Peter Heins, Senior Product Manager, Visual Solutions, Sharp, explains: “CMSs are being used widely today and effectively, but I do believe that DXPs have the potential to replace CMS. DXP is a much more flexible system that not only brings together the content management but combines that with other internal systems to combine all information and communications into one platform.”

Although there is a lot more scope for DXPs, over half of our partners do not feel DXP will replace CMS entirely. DXP is a costly and complex system and that may not be simple for all customers to implement and will therefore be utilised more by bigger retailers and corporations.

Mobile technology and the move to DXP will make deep inroads into how we develop and execute digital signage solutions, there are technologies our experts feel won’t readily make as seismic an impact. In comparison, the technologies that are least likely to make an impact in the next two years, according to the partner survey, are social media interaction (12 per cent) and Augmented Reality (AI) (0 per cent).

Meanwhile, less than a third (29 per cent) of our partners believe that touchscreen technology will impact digital signage significantly in the coming two years, with reasons ranging from the price point and return on investment, to users potentially being unwilling to interact with public touchpoints due to privacy and hygiene concerns.

More thoughts from our experts on digital signage can be found in our free to download ‘Which Way Next’ White Paper, which explores the opportunities and challenges for next 12 months for the digital signage industry as we enter a new decade.


European PR Manager