LCD, UHD, Video Walls Are Future of Business Signage

BY Courtney Huckabay
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"Screens are going to get even wider than they are now, yet slimmer than ever before," Debbie Wilson-​dewitt writes. "The advance word is that technology for reflective displays —full color e‑paper displays that are flexible and less than a micrometer thick that reflect light rather than emitting it, like real paper — has made some serious breakthroughs. In the interim, 2018 should see a 42-​inch black and white e‑paper display hit the consumer market. Refresh rates for these displays still prevent using rich video, but many organizations are taking to E Ink® screens. They're cheap to buy, cheap to use and mobile."

Displays Get Cooler
"LCD screens will see much higher resolutions. 2018 will be the year that UHD becomes the new standard. And there will be more colors as well, as the industry moves from sRGB to BT. 2020, which not only has 4K and 8K resolutions of 3840 by 2160 and 7680 by 4320, but frame rates of up to 120p, and boasts a color field that is very possibly greater than what the human eye can actually perceive."

"Video walls are becoming more commonplace in all sorts of configurations, with non-​rectangular displays, ultra-​thin bezels and more. Expect to see the number of video walls increase exponentially throughout the year."

"One innovation currently being developed for screens is the use of haptics. Electrostatic fields can fool human fingers, stimulating nerve impulses that register in the brain as various physical textures – smooth, bumpy, rough etc. The haptic technologies being developed will be overlays that can fit over any existing touchscreen, and add a totally new dimension to interactive displays."

Those in the B2B sector should consider reaching out to Business Signage Decision Makers at local arts festivals to show off the artistic trends in digital sign options. The newest AudienceSCAN survey showed 22% of decision makers will attend arts festivals this year.

Content Gets More Responsive
2018 will see a huge increase in responsive and automated content. Sensors on the actual displays, as well as data feeds from computers and the web, will adjust content according to real-​world conditions. If it looks like rain, ads for umbrellas and indoor activities will be shown; if it's sunny, maybe the displays will decide to show ads for a local water park or an outdoor music festival. The playlist will no longer be entirely in the hands of the people scheduling content – computers will make certain choices based on external data correlations.

Appealing to Business Signage Decision Makers' love of sports could catch their busy eyes. The latest AudienceSCAN study found 20.5% of decision makers love fishing, and another 50% enjoy watching football, so try showing those sports on signs.

Smart Gets Smarter
Systems will be able to act like a team member in their own right —sifting through enormous amounts of information and making suggestions as to what content should be displayed where, and when. This will allow cross-​promotion on a completely new scale. Layered, integrated campaigns that combine with people’s mobile technology (smartphones and the like) will truly be possible.

Physical and Digital Blur
More Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, as well as more integration of digital signage and technologies into real-​world events. Displays will not only show messages promoting events, they will become integral parts of the events themselves. There will also be a dramatic increase in the amount of outdoor digital signage, from huge displays to small interactive kiosks, some of which will be able to interact with a person’s smartphone or tablet.

Beacons and geofencing will finally come into their own. When people enter a designated area, they will receive prompts to download an app that will allow them to interact with the invisible but information-​rich world on site —digital messages sent right to their device, turn-​by-​turn directions and much more.

The most recent AudienceSCAN data revealed 25% of Business Signage Decision Makers took action after seeing in-​store signage, and 15% took action after seeing event sponsorship marketing.

Narratives Make More Impact
We'll see a preference for campaigns and long-​tail narratives over more traditional one-​shot messages. Thinking long-​term and creating communications that are far more than simple ads will be key to cutting through the huge amount of information flowing around people. And research shows that Millennials, the fastest growing segment of consumers and the workforce, dislike direct marketing. They prefer more indirect approaches like narratives and stories that incorporate the sales message, content marketing and influencer marketing.

Companies are now behaving in a similar fashion – they are starting to prefer comprehensive solutions rather than individual products. Digital signage providers that offer a smorgasbord of options such as cloud-​based hosting, content creation or curation, interactive designs, consulting, etc, will have more success.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.