Digital signage (also known as digital out-of-home advertising, digital signage systems, or dSO) is a form of electronic display advertising that includes both digital and non-digital components. It is usually used for outdoor advertising on commercial places, bus and train terminals, airports, hotels, and other similar venues. Basically, digital signage consists of an electronic display system that broadcasts television programs or advertisements to a large number of people. These electronic displays are normally linked to a digital signal broadcasting network, either through a data transmission or by audio. Some electronic displays even include a video camera that can be controlled using touchscreens, resistive or optical touch-screens, or a stylus.
The objective of any signage or other display media is to attract attention to certain topics, messages, products, or services. In this case, the focus is on advertising. The goal of digital signage solutions is to promote the sale or purchase of a service or product through attracting potential customers through the use of visual content. This type of media has evolved since its inception over 30 years ago, when it was introduced as a means of participating in a community event or displaying different signs within a shopping complex. The evolution of this technology has led to the current situation we find ourselves in today: self-service, interactive, or integrated.
Self-service digital signage can be found in almost all types of retail stores, such as stores, malls, office buildings, fast food centers, and etc. Its traditional definition refers to a signage system that provides an interactive experience only for customers located within the physical store. This type of display has changed dramatically since its inception and now covers almost all of the physical retail space in a typical store. Many stores use this technology not only to increase customer interaction, but also to provide a more personal shopping experience, by allowing customers to browse through photos of certain products or use digital signage software to plan their purchases.
Interactive digital signage systems have also become popular in the past few years, and these exhibits offer consumers a way to interact with the advertiser, or company. This includes displaying banners, interactive signs, videos, or interactive games (often in conjunction with customer loyalty programs). The goal of this type of display is to attract attention and promote sales or recognition with the use of video or audio content. This type of advertisement has become so widespread that it is now being referred to by the term “machines of advertising.”
Another way that this type of advertising is used is through the use of menu boards. Menu boards are often installed at the front of restaurants, hotels, airports, motels, or other businesses to serve as an interactive way of announcing special promotions or informing customers of changes, promotions, and other information. Digital signage menu boards may include restaurant reviews or suggested menus, along with photos of dishes or images of special events, or even links to the web sites of the advertiser. Often, these boards are used as a way of promoting the business and for communicating to potential customers as well.
Interactive digital signage, by definition, allows interaction between the advertisers and the users of the display. These interactive boards may contain one or more static images or graphic objects – such as buttons, text, images, movies, etc. – as well as one or more moving elements, such as audio, video, or interactive software. In this way, it combines aspects of both static and dynamic displays.
Some digital sign displays also include a content server and content management system. The content management system can include such features as inventory control, quoting or scheduling services, ordering online, or providing customer assistance. The content management system is often part of a larger server system, which provides services such as web hosting and content management as well. This server system can monitor content, collect data, and manage it as needed. This type of system is especially useful when there is high traffic on the displays or when the owner wants to maintain control over the content.
In sum, digital signage provides a medium for businesses to showcase their products, services, and information – in either an informative or entertaining way. In addition, it provides businesses with a medium through which they can interact directly with their target audience. Through interactive digital signage, businesses can offer content that will truly engage the target audience and engage them in a manner that will make those programs stand out among the rest. That kind of business insight is difficult to come by any other way.
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