M-Cube Magazine

Digital signage: the 5 big trends of 2020

With both indoor and outdoor solutions, digital signage is proving to be an increasingly pervasive technology. The experts have examined different technologies and strategies in order to identify the big trends that we’ll be seeing over the next few months.

The digital signage market continues to grow. Analysts estimate that it will be worth 31.71 billion dollars by 2025, with a CAGR of 8.0% and a total of 6,451 thousands units sold (Source: ResearchAndMarket – “Digital Signage Market Size Analysis Report By Type, By Component, By Technology (LCD, LED, Projection), By Application, By Location, By Content Category, By Size, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2019 – 2025”).

The sectors driving demand in particular are hospitality, retail, health and transport. Here, experts give us a preview into the main trends that will define the growth of digital signage in 2020.

#1 The contribution of Artificial Intelligence

Flatscreens and multimedia readers displaying targeted advertising and other messages to clients, diners, passengers and patients are everywhere. Thanks to the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence and, in particular, machine learning, analysis of information flows from the various workstations that integrate digital signage, will allow the delivery of increasingly targeted, contextual and functional content. Platforms that work with Artificial Intelligence are able to assess large data sets in real time in order to better understand users and automate more functional responses.

In 2020, Digital Signage Intelligence will improve learning levels to the extent that interaction with individuals is unique every time. This will develop via two separate directions: increasing the intelligence of digital signage to make it more sensitive to context and implementing more personalised management of information. An example for the retail sector might be that adverts for umbrellas are automatically shown when it is raining while sunglasses are advertised on sunny days. Moreover, the digital signage stations will be able to profile the customer in front of them based on their age and the clothes they are wearing. The system will automatically analyse and detect garments previously bought by other clients who dress similarly. By displaying personalised information, the station can drive precise cross selling and upselling.

#2 The evolution of storytelling

Digital signage will continue to add value to storytelling over the course of 2020. Messages will be formulated to develop long-tail narratives that support the ideal journey between brands and consumers. If Content truly is King, then it stands that nothing is more engaging than reactive content. Alongside increasingly advanced direction, customer insight analytics will diversify the narrative strategies and help to reformulate the content structure and proposed interaction methods.

Appeal, engagement and information will therefore be implemented with increasing coherence, adapting to the target each time with video content designed to resonate as much as possible. By installing an optimum route of surfaces in different shapes and sizes, brands will be able to combine mosaic canvases, holograms and images over several floors in different ways. The scrolling narrative will be designed in such a way as to allow gamification in some points and an immersive experience based on the architecture and lighting of the space in others.

#3 The diversification of dimensions

The year 2019 showed us what videowalls were capable of as their popularity grew across sectors but this by no means meant the demise of smaller screens or tablets. Companies have realised the importance of a varied selection of display dimensions. Smaller displays and tablets mean increased flexibility and interactivity. For example, a tablet kiosk is perfect for providing specific product information but if you want something attention-grabbing then a videowall guarantees a more immersive experience. Companies are learning that while the size of the display is important, bigger isn’t always better. In response to this growing awareness, the market continues to diversify options and introduce unique design details.

#4 The quality of hardware and software

All eyes are on hardware when it comes to digital signage but the technical side of things is equally fundamental. Screen management software continues to progress in order to support the orchestration of multi-touch and multi-video displays in a single display, integrating new algorithms to diversify back-end and front-end support services. Integration with the most diversified systems, which guarantee support at all end points, forces engineers to resolve various complex factors in order to offer maximum simplicity. Developers are currently working on the construction of highly evolved video content management platforms: multi-platform, multiscreen and multilingual. With higher video resolution, one-of-a-kind video formats and interactive settings and options, everything has to function perfectly.

#5 Polyfunctionality as well as total interactivity

Interactivity will remain a strategic engagement tool but it will no longer solely be the touch component or the implementation of social interactivity that encourages connection and exchange. Motion tracking combined with the use of Augmented Reality, for example, will encourage new and increasingly creative gamification initiatives by overlapping virtual elements to bring information and appeal to life. From facial recognition to image recognition, algorithms today can also trigger reactions by drawing on other sources of information related to services associated with the more advanced use of loyalty cards, apps, Bluetooth or integrated NFC in smartphones and tablets used by consumers. Finally, interactive stations will continue to evolve with functions such as cash payments, device charging or Wi-Fi hotspots.

Laura Zanotti, journalist and Technical Writer

7 January 2020

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