Digital signage is a relatively new sub-category of digital signage. Digital screens employ advanced technology like LCD, LED, DLP, and digital e-ink to project digital images, audio, video, restaurant content, weather information, or simple text. Unlike traditional billboards and public notices which are created on paper, digital signage displays are either analog or digital. This means they can be viewed on a TV or computer monitor, and may not have static images or animations. Either way, the content remains constant.
The primary difference between analog and digital signage is the medium through which they’re displayed. With digital signage, the images are either “screens” (analog) or “links” (digital). Modern LCD and LED displays are very good at displaying digital content, especially when used with interactive software, which allows the audience to interact with the displays. However, some companies still prefer to use traditional electronic signage in their establishments, since it’s easier to program interactive digital signage into existing displays, rather than having to create a completely new display from scratch.
Another advantage of digital signage compared to other types of communication, like room reservation systems, is that there’s no need for staff to personally make their reservations or manage their guest lists. Room reservation systems require staff to visit each client’s room to collect their identification cards, then to return to the main office and process the cards before giving the information they requested. This may involve repeating phone calls, making duplicate visits to the office itself, and spending time waiting for a return phone call from a prospective client.
Some companies prefer not to have digital signage inside of their establishment because they feel the information provided by digital signs can distract customers from other activities taking place within the store or restaurant. For instance, if a customer enters a digital signage display and sees an animated display featuring a squirrel running across a TV screen, they may become distracted from the item or items being sold by that particular vendor. The point here is that digital content should be used as a supplement to the more traditional methods of communicating, such as in a restaurant or retail outlet. Digital signs allow customers to explore your store or restaurant without worrying about a static sign interrupting their experience.
Whether a business chooses to use digital signage solutions inside of their establishment, or out of it, many businesses discover they benefit greatly from integrating wayfinding signage into their advertising campaigns. Wayfinding signs help customers find their way around a busy location, such as a restaurant, retail outlet or hotel. When a shopper comes into an outlet and finds the way to the front of the store is blocked, they are more likely to leave without buying anything, than if they had seen a digital signage display directing them to the specific aisle.
When using digital signage in an outside environment, such as a mall, the benefits can extend to a number of additional functions. In the case of malls, shopping carts can be placed around the mall in order to facilitate quick purchases. Wayfinding signage placed at the entrance of a mall could direct shoppers in the right direction to the various stores. Another advantage here would be that an interactive digital content server could allow users to interact with the content that is shown. This could lead to similar types of results seen in a traditional signage setup, such as an animated image that shows what product is available in a particular store.