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Digital displays have come a long way since the commercial LED displays of the late 90s. Today, organizations can install screens in nearly every environment, with everything from QLED displays that retain HD-quality from even inches away to curved displays that fit into any part of a building.

Plus, with newer and smarter tools allowing for instant updates, real-time data, and responsive content, digital screens allow organizations to create ever changing experiences for guests and customers.

While the exact application of digital displays in your organization will heavily depend on your organization, the following include some of the ways companies are using digital signage to change atmosphere and environment.

Creating Interactive Experiences

Digital signage is the perfect vehicle for delivering interactive multi-media experiences. These vary from simple interactive displays to massive interactive video walls that respond to individuals approaching them.

Interactive experiences are powered by real-time data, sensors, and smart digital signage software. Modern solutions include touch-interactivity, motion sensors, facial recognition, Bluetooth or smart recognition, mobile phone interaction, and even interactivity with real-time events such as weather, news, sports, etc.

Some of the most vibrant examples of interactive displays include video walls at art exhibits, in airports, and at museums. For example, the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History employed Ideum to install an interactive video wall in their children’s dinosaur exhibit. The end-result was an 8’x20’ wide video wall complete with motion recognition cameras. The video wall displays a scene of 3D dinosaurs that respond to and react to detected motion.

Similarly, the New Delhi Airport offers a stunning series of video displays, culminating in an interactive video wall. The display primarily functions to welcome passengers and offer directional guidance to gates, baggage terminals, and transfers based on planes offloading, mobile device signatures, and FIDS data.

Information Screens

Informative displays add impact to nearly any organization but are especially relevant for hospitality, retail, and service industries. Here, displays serve to welcome guests, offer directions and guidance to locations or items, and offer help or assistance, even when staff aren’t on hand to help. This allows customers and guests to feel at home and welcome, even as their environment changes.

These screens benefit from real-time data, internal mapping, Bluetooth or WIFI connectivity, and integration into room-booking tools and inventory software. In some cases, these screens should offer touch-interaction and should have a customer-facing interface. Organizations can then use them for solutions like:

  • Using motion sensing and facial recognition to offer custom greetings
  • Guiding visitors to rooms, even as room inhabitants change (for example: a convention center can guide visitors to rooms based on company name and a hospital can guide visitors to rooms based on occupancy that changes throughout the day or week).
  • Maintaining branding
  • Updating promotions as inventory changes
  • Directing customers to specific sections of the store based on inventory availability, expressed desire, or audience recognition tools
  • Sharing real-time menu items with advertisements and promotions based on inventory and availability.

Welcoming screens allow you to control the experience based on what data you have on customers, which hardware and software you use, and what customers are willing to share. For example, nearly everyone is willing to engage with touchscreen kiosks that offer real-time public transport schedules or that allow you to book a taxi or tools from a hotel.

You will need more information and a smaller public to greet customers by name, offer custom information based on reason of visit, or to share directions to specific product or room. However, these tools can allow you to offer impressive levels of customization, customer support, and seamless experiences without requiring visitors to ever engage with personnel.

These applications are extremely varied. For example, the Van der Valk Hotel chain uses digital signage to welcome guests based on name. Guests can use displays to search convention halls and rental rooms by their own organization or that of the host. Displays are automatically re-branded to reflect convention room owners. In addition, displays are used for directional signage, for room-layout and booking, for equipment management, and for fleet management so that guests always know what is available.

Others, like Ace and Tate rely on customers interacting with items in-store. Here, interactive displays are positioned throughout the stores, and are equipped with RFID and Bluetooth technology. When customers approach and move or pick up an item, displays update to show product information, pricing, and use information. Customers can interact with several items at once to see product comparisons, reviews, and other relevant information.

Delivering Atmosphere

While digital displays offer powerful vehicles to deliver interactive experiences and information, they are increasingly used to create atmosphere. Here, the digital screen functions as a backdrop, providing imagery, sound, or a range of mixed media. These displays typically benefit from motion sensing, links to product and inventory, real-time data updates, and integration into databases.

Organizations can use atmosphere to deliver a message, to make guests feel welcome, or to increase sales. For example, car dealers can install video walls and displays that update messaging and videos to share relevant atmosphere and videos based on which cars guests are looking at. Restaurants can create displays to change atmosphere based on menus, specials, time-of-day, or even guests. A few strategically placed screens effortlessly update the look and feel of a venue to meet nearly any needs.

Integrations here are nearly endless, simply because they only rely on being able to create and share atmosphere. Hunkemoller, a lingerie store, uses an 85’ video wall to share selfies and lingerie promotions, creating an atmosphere built around customers having fun and enjoying their lingerie. The solution includes a body scanner, where customers can choose to step inside for a “selfie” that is then shared on the video wall to create a truly interactive environment built around how actual customers use and look in the products.

Car dealers like Audi and Porsche make video walls key elements of their sales pitch. Audi’s new showrooms share video displays of full-size cars, giving customers an up-close look at different models, color options, and styles, without having to fit those cars into the showroom. Instead, customers can step into a minimalistic environment before being surrounded by an interactive environment designed to showcase their choices and options.

Porsche’s showrooms take a much different approach. Here, displays are entirely focused on creating ambience, introducing the brand, and ensuring customers have the right mood and information to make a purchase decision. Displays focus on creating high-tech branding, to inspire visitors as they review options and talk to a live salesperson.

Digital screens are increasingly affordable, capable, and versatile. Most organizations can benefit from them in some way, whether by offering advertising and messages, creating atmosphere and changing environment, or actively interacting with guests or customers. At the same time, it’s important to understand your organization’s customers, atmosphere, and needs before making decisions.