David Weinfeld

Exploring the Convergence of Media and Technology

Digital Signs are not Static!

It seems like a pretty straightforward, and easy to understand, statement. Right?…….WRONG.

There are too many examples of digital signage that makes you feel like you’re looking at a static sign. These digital executions fail to leverage even a fraction of the utility of the technology. They facilitate the checking off of another box that retailers believe they need to have completed. Sadly, “static digital signage” is more common than we would like to admit. SDS reminds me of bare Facebook fan pages and blank Twitter profiles.

“Static Digital Signage” is not an oxymoron. It is a disease that plagues the growth of our industry. SDS needs to be battled in the same way that retailers’ inactive social media profiles need to be brought back to life. The difficulty lies in a distorted view of both the problem and the solution. The problem isn’t just that static signs lack motion and dynamic imagery. The larger issue is that static signs can’t change dynamically to meet the needs of different customer groups. They lack embedded intelligence, and the ability to adapt to their surroundings.

The role of digital signage is not to merely digitize and distribute static content. The digital representation of a static poster is still intrinsically static. A digital sign must be looked at as more than a digital placeholder; a single frame of content that could have just as easily been printed off of a computer.

To stretch the intelligence and capability of a digital sign, is to successfully turn it into a multi-purpose marketing tool. It must function as a customer experience gateway rather than a passive media outlet. We have yet to fully push the boundaries of the technology. In truth, its boundaries are as flexible as the platform itself.

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