09/01/2009

Digital Signage Replaces Traditional Signage

From wayfinding to weather updates, digital signage fulfills changing needs

By David Drain

 

Interactive signage (like this touchscreen) adds sophistication to wayfinding and communication. COURTESY OF CARNIVAL AND DAVINCI BRIDGE

Imagine walking into a building to find out where a particular law firm’s office is located – instead of a traditional sign, you’re greeted with a 42-inch touchscreen. Not only does it provide the firm’s suite number, but it also offers hours of operation, the services offered, building info, and animated directions to the suite.

Digital signage has been steadily cropping up in many markets over the last several years and is revolutionizing the way organizations communicate with customers and employees. Look around and you’ll realize how many printed signs have been replaced by digital ones. Even huge billboards along highways are being converted to digital. Flat screens have replaced posters in retail stores, medical offices, restaurants, schools, and universities – and they’ve even been integrated into elevators and taxis.

So, how’s digital signage different from other forms of communication? First, it has the ability to reach people with a message relevant to their location – the office, on campus, or the airport.

Second, it’s dynamic. When networked together through the Internet, screens can be updated from a remote location. Screens can also include live news or weather feeds, provide interaction with touchscreens or mobile phones, and be scheduled to deliver specific messages based on time of day, event, or audience.

Benefits of Digital Signage:

  • Increase awareness/deliver knowledge.
  • Up-to-date, real-time information (if desired).
  • Message control.
  • Cost savings (no replacing printed signage).
  • Potential for revenue generation through advertising and sponsorship.
  • Improve customer and employee experience.
  • Impact behavior.
Digital signage can fulfill a variety of communications objectives: branding, merchandising, promotion, education, information, wayfinding, and entertainment, as well as employee and customer communication. It can add vitality and energy to an environment, and reduce perceived waiting times where lines are present.

After determining what you want the signage to achieve, a content plan needs to be developed. Determine the source of the content (such as an RSS feed) and who will be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the content. Content-management software designed for digital signage makes this easier and offers templates you can use if you don’t want to create your own. The most important thing is that the content looks professional.

As far as the technology, there are four types of screens: LCD, plasma, projection, and LED. In addition to cost, you’ll want to consider appropriate size, impact of ambient lighting, integration into the facility, and product life-cycle.

Applications for Digital Signage:

  • Wayfinding.
  • Branding.
  • Amber alerts.
  • News.
  • Weather.
  • Announcements.
  • Emergency notifications.
Signage networks are powered by one or more media players, which are pieces of hardware much like a computer, but designed to play various forms of digital media on the screen. If the content doesn’t change very often, it can be updated using flash drives or memory cards. If you plan to have an RSS feed, or want the ability to update the content remotely, you’ll need an Internet connection. If you’re managing several screens across many locations, networking the screens makes sense.

With digital signage, you can add sophistication and smart technology to your facility. Based on your objectives and your budget, the outcome could be a single screen in one location or multiple screens in multiple locations. Regardless of what you choose, you’re providing the facility with a way to greatly enhance communications, improve aesthetics, and save money.

David Drain is executive director at the Louisville, KY-based Digital Signage Association.

 


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


 
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