The transition from print to digital began around 15 years ago and the process is accelerating. Since 2000, the proliferation of LED displays connected to content management systems (CMS) has been driven by many factors:
- The introduction of low-cost/efficient Android and other non-Windows operating systems from the mobile communications industry.
- Lower costs of LED panels of various shapes and sizes (including LED billboards).
- Smaller, more efficient form factors for media player hardware of all types.
- System on a Chip (SOC) displays that include all the processing power required to run digital signage applications without an external device.
- HTML5 replaced Flash as the preferred animation content format.
- Web and cloud based solutions that don’t require an on premise CMS server with all of it’s inherent costs.
- Higher display resolutions and LED panels with high luminosity.
- PCs able to support multiple displays such as for restaurant menu boards.
- Touchscreens and motion sensors have turned a passive experience into an interactive one. Posters react to a viewer’s presence. Screens show visitors the best path to reach their destinations and more is on the way.
The result has been a steady growth in electronic signage deployments throughout every industry sector. Printed signs, posters and billboards are being replaced by digital displays and we predict this trend will continue for many years as media players get more efficient and screens become even more versatile.
The main advantages of digital over print
Digital signage offers many advantages to advertisers and brand owners.
1. Motion always beats static. Video attracts and retains attention in ways that print never will.
2. Digital displays can be updated in seconds. There is nothing to stock, nothing to ship. Find an error in a digital ad? Swap it out in the blink of an eye. Need to alert motorists? Flash a message.
3. Digital content is more versatile. It can be easily re-purposed for displays of any size, resolution or shape. Digital photographs and graphics require less storage as file sizes are smaller than for print.
4. Digital signage is surprisingly environment friendly. When content has expired there is nothing to dispose of and technological advances mean each new generation of displays becomes more energy efficient than the previous one.
5. CMS systems ensure content is deployed according to each venue’s unique profile. For example, ads can be routed to displays that face the intended audience maximizing the impact of advertising campaigns.
6. Content is instantly shareable for approval before deployment. The entire proofing cycle is greatly reduced so content can be produced closer to its intended use.
7. Digital displays can be integrated with other technologies such as smartphones, touchscreens and tablets to deliver new experiences for audiences. These types of experiences are simply not feasible using print.
8. Digital signage content can include real-time news and information which is delivered with a mix of static images, video and animated content. This is closer to a live TV experience than say, reading a newspaper.
While print remains popular for most low-cost, low-tech applications, it’s days are probably numbered. For example, new technologies like e-paper are steadily improving and show great potential for a print-less future.
However, this raises an interesting question.
Managing this ever growing inventory of digital displays requires massively scalable software. Software that can monitor and track every media player across any distance and ensure the highest quality playback on the widest range of hardware platforms. Software that is both efficient and highly reliable.
The Navori QL digital signage CMS software was engineered specifically for these types of applications. Navori has created QL with the future in mind. The QL solution features a highly evolved CMS mated to a superb media player engine. The result is a product that can manage content on networks of any size over any distance.
The Navori QL Player is a native software product that supports Windows and Android on a multitude of hardware configurations. The product will soon support System on a Chip (SOC) displays as well as newer platforms as they evolve. The focus is on delivering the best experience on the widest range of devices.
Navori is ready for the future. Are you?