What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage is the sum of many technologies that rely on flat panel displays, LED billboards and projection systems to present a wide range of content including images, videos, animations and live data. Digital signage can be used to display advertising and informational content to audiences in various types of venues. In fact, it’s not uncommon to find digital signage used in hotels, restaurants, retail stores, museums, government offices, factories, office buildings, call-centers, transportation hubs and many other public venues.

Digital signage lets advertisers and communicators target specific audiences to ensure the right information is presented to the right person at the right time. This explains its growing popularity over cable and satellite TV that use traditional broadcasting methods where the same content is sent to every display point. With digital signage, information always reaches the intended audience. You’re always in control.

Modern digital signage products are compatible with many types of devices such as PC’s, dedicated media players, tablets and smartphones. Multiple operating systems are also supported ensuring compatibility with more and more devices as they come to market.

Digital signage can also be interactive and used for information access or wayfinding. This is the technology behind interactive kiosks in malls, museums and campuses. In these applications, touchscreens become the interface between the audience and the underlying information. The audience can call up maps and perform searches so they can find their way around buildings and venues.

The increasing popularity of smartphones has also had an impact on digital signage. For example, smartphones can now interact with digital signage software to exchange data and help personalize the viewing experience. Consider a smartphone user who shares their social media postings with a live digital signage audience or someone who retrieves a discount coupon in a retail store. Tying all of this together are modern communication technologies like Bluetooth, NFC and WiFi.

In order to accommodate these new applications, digital signage software must be built on an open architecture. This lets third party software publishers and integrators build the proper interfaces required for the next generation of devices and sensors that will be coming soon.

It’s important to remember that your typical digital signage solutions are made up of 2 primary components: a back-end server and media players. So next time you consider a digital signage software, look for these features: scalability, an open architecture, ease of use and high-reliability. These features are essential for all your current and future needs.