By Toby Garrett
While digital signage is far from new, the technology has developed a lot since it first emerged. Today, digital signage solutions are more cost-efficient, eco-friendly, and flexible than ever. On top of that, modern video displays are built to last much longer than their predecessors ever could.
In our last post, we looked at five reasons you should upgrade your lobby signage from a static sign to a dynamic, digital solution. This week, we’ll look at the technology that goes into signage and how to use signage effectively in your lobby space. But first, let’s look at who stands to benefit from using digital signage.
Who is digital signage for?
Every business has a message. And every business has a need to share that message better and faster, not only with visitors but internally as well. No matter what industry you’re in, digital signage is a powerful tool for sharing your message. Some of the major industries who can benefit from digital signage include:
- Food/Beverage/Hospitality: Restaurants, bars, and hotel lobbies can all use digital signage to greet new patrons and visitors, communicate unique offerings, highlight reviews from sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor, and showcase nearby attractions.
- Offices: Companies of every size can use digital lobby signage to display branded welcome messages and communicate internally.
- Schools and Universities: Digital signage helps students and visitors across campus stay connected and informed.
- Hospitals and Medical Offices: Digital wayfinding signage is a great way for medical care facilities to guide their visitors and patients.
- Financial institutions: Digital signage helps banks engage with customers as they wait to talk to their representative.
- Retail: Digital signage allows stores to craft and display product information, promote discounts, and “wow” shoppers with entertaining brand messages.
The list doesn’t stop there, but it could just as easily go on forever. Instead, let’s just say that digital signage can be used in any industry, as long as you have a message. So without further ado, let’s look at how to actually use digital signage.
1. Display Dynamic Brand Messages
Digital signage excels in creating a dynamic visual experience for your audience. Whether you need to impress potential clients, increase product awareness, or keep your team updated, digital signage lets you do it in a visually engaging way.
Digital signage is as much art as science. It’s tool for using content in a more creative way. For example, you can easily create a collage of video and images that complement your lobby entrance while conveying the brand impression you’re trying to relay to visitors. The possibilities are limitless. If, for instance, your organization wants to convey strength, you could display icon video footage of famous athletes or influential leaders. Or if you want to create a more calming effect—perhaps in a doctor’s office or hospital lobby—a waterfall or garden-scape would be more appropriate.
These are only a few examples. No matter the specific content you incorporate, digital signage is an effective technology solution to help you deliver your brand’s message and create an engaging environment.
2. Combine Digital Display with Physical Environment
One of the more creative uses of digital signage is the combination of semi-transparent digital displays with the physical environment. Transparent OLED technology allows for vibrant visuals while letting viewers see behind the display. Although OLED displays can be used for any sized space, they can have an especially strong impact in smaller lobbies.
The best of LCD technology achieves about 72% of the NTSC color space, while OLED can achieve 100% or more, making for a much more vivid display. The combination of vividness and transparency allows you to create a unique and engaging hybrid environment with both physical and digital design.
3. Digital Kiosks
Another good use of digital signage, especially for smaller lobby environments, is the digital kiosk. Kiosks have been around for a long time, and the continued development of touch-sensitive LCD screen has brought prices down and brought about new uses. Wayfinding is one such use that has become ubiquitous, from corporate lobbies to retail stores. Digital wayfinding kiosks allow visitors and customers to both interact with content and navigate larger buildings and campuses.
4. Touch Sensitive Video Walls
Touch sensitive video walls come in a variety of packages. There are LCD and LED touch screens, some with separations between individual panels, and others available as seamless solutions. Deciding which solution is best depends on many factors. You need to take into account the area on the wall where the screen will be mounted, how many hours a day the screen will be in use, whether there is a lot of ambient light, etc.
For instance, lobby areas with large windows aren’t a good environment for infrared-based touch control because the ambient natural light and even too much fluorescent light can negatively impact the performance of the touch-sensitivity. So when deciding which solution is best, it helps to have an AV specialist who understands all the factors that go into finding the right solution.
5. Large-Scale Displays With DV LED
Direct View LED is one of the newcomers among highly-scalable display technologies. DV LEDs come with a few different offerings, all of which vary in cost, viewing distance, viewing angle, and potential content uses.
The image detail quality of DV LED displays is measured in pixel pitch. The denser the pixel pitch, the smoother the image appears—depending, of course, on the viewing position in relation to the display. indoor environments, Many manufacturers are moving from larger pixel pitches (3.1) to smaller pitches like 1.8, 1.5, 1.2 and even .9, especially in displays for indoor environments. These panels are also moving away from NTSC 4:3 format to a 16:9 format. As you might imagine, the smaller the pitch, the more expensive the display module—and the clearer the display.
Another exciting thing about DV LED displays is the ability to scale them seamlessly. Even for large, multi-display walls, DV LEDs can display your image without any seams interrupting the visuals. DV LEDs can also be used as a video floor, or curved to form concave, convex, or wave formations.
6. Curved Display Formations
DV LEDs aren’t the only displays that can be curved. Many OLED displays can be curved too—you can even tile curved displays to create a formation of as many tiles as you want. Many OLED models are also dual-sided, which lets you make the most of your lobby space with your signage.
Many of these OLED displays have 4K resolution, which provides a very lifelike image. Some even have a significant amount of internal memory and even internal processing power, which means you can control your content without needing an external player or connected PC.
7. Mosaic Displays
One of the coolest examples of creative digital signage is the Mosaic product from Planar. Mosaic comprises a series of LCD panels of different sizes that can be arranged in any way imaginable. The Mosaic can display synchronized content without the individual displays needing to be connected to one another. Whether installed in your lobby or meeting rooms, the Mosaic can be scaled to any size and help you create an impressive digital scene.
Mosaic is one example among the many innovative engineering approaches available in the latest digital signage products. Today’s signage solutions come with many cost-saving features as well, such as off-board power and mounting solutions that enable easier installation. Many digital signage solutions allow for easier maintenance, too, thanks to the fact that panels can often be serviced individually (which is a lot cheaper than having to take down an entire video wall).
It Starts (but Doesn’t Stop) With Technology
Digital signage is more than technology (in fact, we’ll be talking about the importance of content in the next post of this series), but the possibilities are only available thanks to the many technology innovations that have come about in the last decade.
If you’re thinking about going with a digital signage solution for your lobby, it’s important to work with an AV specialist who can help you make the best choice for your business. Whether that’s a third-party consultant or a full-service AV integrator, it’s important to find a team you can trust to really partner with you and come up with a creative solution.
If you’d like to learn about Synergy’s process and how we can help you find a signage solution, feel free to contact us. And if you haven’t already, be sure to read our last post on digital signage here. Stay tuned for our next post on digital signage, and thanks for reading!
This column was reprinted with permission from Synergy CT and originally appeared here.