Digital signage

What is digital signage? A dry wikipedia definition is

Digital signage is a sub-segment of electronic signage. Digital displays use technologies such as LCD, LED, projection and e-paper to display digital images, video, web pages, weather data, restaurant menus, or text. They can be found in public spaces, transportation systems, museums, stadiums, retail stores, hotels, restaurants and corporate buildings etc., to provide wayfinding, exhibitions, marketing and outdoor advertising. They are used as a network of electronic displays that are centrally managed and individually addressable for the display of text, animated or video messages for advertising, information, entertainment and merchandising to targeted audiences.

It sounds like you could put any content on any screen for any reason and it would count. But that is not accurate. Any content on any screen in a manner that it is used as signage would be more accurate. Working on a spreadsheet is not signage. Watching TV programs is not signage. Even presentation software is not signage. More on that in a moment.

Early digital signage used LEDs to create characters and graphics capability was limited. Modern digital signage uses screens like you would use for a TV, but made with better quality for many hours daily in commercial use.

Use cases

Digital signage can be used to advertise or provide information to the public, or provide information internally to an organization. It can be used for marketing (brand building), navigation (map in a mall), queuing (often with local news and weather), or interactive kiosks. They can be used as menus in restaurants, provide directories in shopping malls, provide up to date flight information in airports, and keep people up to date at expos and conferences. 

They can be used interactively for branding and other purposes. The Emoji Movie had interactive entertainment using digital signage at theaters. Furniture stores will use them to show more furniture than they can physically house at the store. Auto dealers can use them to give customers the opportunity to order a vehicle with more or different options.

The difference between presentation and signage

Presentation software like Microsoft PowerPoint has a lot in common with digital signage, but there are differences. PowerPoint is an advanced presentation software package that has many features of digital signage, and can be used that way for simpler digital signage solutions, but is intended for a different purpose, so it is not the ideal tool.

Digital signage content is usually maintained separately from the player and often the content management system manages multiple streams and multiple players. You can easily see this in the digital menu system of a fast food restaurant. Presentation software is not designed for that.

Digital signage often includes dynamic content such as news or weather. It can include a sports or stack ticker. It can include input from a queuing system.  Presentation software is not designed for that.

Can you get presentation software to work like digital signage? Maybe. It depends on your needs. Call us for more information.

Why CrossConnects?

We have years of experience working with digital signage. We have installed and serviced digital signage in schools, restaurants, retail stores, and offices. We can set you up with as many screens as you need, mount them appropriately, and set you up and train you in using the system that controls them. We offer a wide variety of systems with multiple screen sizes and resolutions so you will have several options to choose from depending on your needs. We have an eye for quality so we can make sure your installation is up to your standards. We can mount them on walls, side by side and level, and we can hang them from ceilings. We can mount them in landscape mode (horizontal like a normal TV) or in portrait mode (flipped so that the screen is taller than it is wide).