You may have seen a news report or two about the global pandemic. The various lockdowns and such may have changed the way offline retail operates for many years to come, and one of the winners in that scenario is digital signs. Contactless communication and interactivity are now becoming more popular, and digital signs are a big part of that thanks to their one-way information dissemination abilities, and through the use of things like scannable QR codes. Less touching is just one way in which digital signage trends are changing and will change over the year 2021. Here are a few other trends to watch out for.
Digital Signs With Virtual Finger Tracking
Though things like displayed codes on the screen, displayed websites on the screen, and QR codes on the screen are pretty common. We are also seeing a new trend for virtual finger tracking. It is only in its early stages, and people are still unsure what to call it, but it involves the digital sign tracking your finger so you can select things on a screen without actually touching it. It uses the same principles that gaming consoles use when they track your movements as you play a game. Again, it is in the early stages, and companies are scrambling to be the first to offer something big and memorable but keep an eye on the trend because it may take off one day.
There are still a lot of problems with virtual tracking, especially when it comes to areas with lots of people and potentially lots of fingers. Plus, modern systems are pretty slow when it comes to the actual tracking side of things. However, we may also see new digital signs that easily allow people to connect to them so that their phones may access what is seen on the screen, as well as being able to access whatever information the screen has to offer. The only problem with these is that they currently need a certain app, and most people do not have the app. Still, there may come a time when people can connect to signs, such as digital maps, and use them with their phones.
Automated Content Curation
Frankly, this sort of thing has been going on for quite a while, but it seems to be overly popular in the year 2021. The fact that automation is becoming more popular with regards to content curation may have something to do with the fact that the tools for using it are far easier to use. Back in the old days, having your software curate your content usually meant picking a few categories and putting things on shuffle. However, these days, there is KitCast.tv keeping us abreast of current trends with their blog and they themselves have software that makes automation easier.
It is not that KitCast themselves are purposefully trying to overly innovate. It is simply that as a piece of software evolves, it naturally becomes more honed, streamlined, and more efficient. Ergo, users are more easily able to automate their content when using digital signs. The process has become easier, so automation, in this case, has become more popular.
There is nothing new about stores, cinemas, and entertainment venues having several digital signs dotted around the area. What is different is that these days, digital signs are less expensive, and the software needed to run them is far easier to use. A complete novice will probably struggle, but unlike the old days, you do not need a degree in IT to use digital signage software. Locations with multiple screens in one place include:
- Food courts
- Theme parks
- Public houses
- Beachfront areas
- Sporting arenas
What makes this trend more exciting is how people are using their multiple screens. Some stores have screens that appear to throw and catch items between each other. As soccer seasons approach, we are seeing great things like players kick a ball off-screen, and it lands in a goal on another screen. We are also seeing things like digital signs showing adverts for a product, and then other signs leading the way to that product or entertainment station. The fact that digital signs are more popular and cheaper, is the reason why people are daring to be a little more creative with their use.
AI Interactivity With Modern Digital Signs
With the use of machine learning, it is possible to increases user engagement with digital signs. As you can imagine, this is pretty popular in the retail sector as they are always looking for ways to improve sales. Of all places, we are seeing AI and digital signs meshing in the Middle East and Africa, due mostly to the ramping up of Expo 2020-21 and the FIFA World Cup 2022. Prompting user interest through the use of locally sourced metrics is helping sign operators create more interest in the content of their signs.
Shops and stores have done similar things on a much smaller scale. There are classic examples of the stores that sell seasonal items, and their digital signs promote different things based on the weather outside. Then there are machine-learning programs that promote different items from a store based on current national trends and based on local in-store trends.