By Melanie Johnson
rAVe Staff Reporter
José Avalos, Intel’s visual retail worldwide director, kicked off Digital Signage Expo (DSE) 2014 with his Keynote address this morning at the Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas.
The address titled, “Digital Signage Futurecasting: Insights & Predictions,” dealt with current trends and challenges in the digital signage industry and where the field is heading.
Avalos said that when he started working in digital signage five years ago, the industry was fragmented but showed great potential for growth.
“I am reminded of how far we have come as an industry in such a short period of time,” Avalos said. “The future looked really promising back in 2009, but the question was, ‘What will the future look like?’”
Avalos said that while everyone had different ideas about where digital signage was headed, he knew it would involve technologies working together in synchronization.
He discussed how digital signage today has created interactive opportunities for such diverse industries as footwear, kid’s toys and coffee. Avalos talked about Intel’s partnerships with Adidas, Lego and Costa Coffee in making interactive kiosks that reinvent consumer’s experiences at point-of-sale.
“In each of these examples, digital signage is fulfilling its role as a broadcast medium and advertising medium, but it’s also doing much more,” Avalos explained. “It is being used to solve business problems.”
He said that smart data, coupled with smart devices, is enabling the digital signage industry and is driving the new world of consumer expectations.
“Data is driving the future of retail,” Avalos reiterated. “Data is the new oil. And we all need to be building data refineries to use at every consumer touch-point.”
Looking to the future, Avalos said that digital signage will continue to grow. Avalos announced Google’s plans of entering the digital signage industry with its “Chrome Box,” priced under $1,000, which gives consumers the ability to conduct digital meeting rooms.
Avalos predicts that 50 million digital signs will be deployed by the year 2020, but he emphasized that this won’t just happen on its own. Avalos called upon DSE audience members to do their part in advancing the digital signage industry.
“The future is going to get built by the decisions and actions of people like us – people in this room,” Avalos said. “We make the future.”