Green Digital Signage – is there such a thing?

Harnessing the sun’s power can have many benefits for digital signage;

  • It is a cost effective way of powering the screen
  • Suitable for inaccessible locations where power supply may be difficult to access.
  • Tax benefits for installing innovative technology
  • Reliable battery life for electrical appliances

Eco friendly digital signage.

Avoidable electricity bills are possible with solar energy cells, where the converted power is used directly to feed the digital poster. Solar cells come in a variety of applications; individual cells – dedicated to just the single screen or as part of network of other electrically powered appliances. It would be an ideal opportunity to network several digital kiosks or screens together. The technology is out there now, just waiting to be harnessed.

digital signage

Investment in this cutting edge solar technology is for front of innovation and a subject close to many of us who care about the environment, yet need electricity on a daily basis. A little ‘give and take’ will make for a happier environment. One way solar cell energy is captured is by converting ultraviolet and near infra-red light into a usable power supply. The film which both covers the digital signage screen and captures the light rays is transparent, so it does not interfere with a view of the image displayed on the screen.

Even though batteries and display screens are improving and evolving, technology is available for even mobile devices – not just fixed devices, like floor standing kiosks. This energy-producing crystal clear finish for screens, has been developed by scientists and engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is pilot technology at present, but it won’t be long before we see it in common place.

There are many unusual locations where digital signage, electronic posters and tiled video screens could be utilized, but overcoming installation issues is a big factor to the planning. Many screens can be accessed remotely, so there isn’t an issue of getting an engineer to site to upload content and it means break downs are kept to a minimum, and so with providing power via solar energy, one unnecessary problem is solved. Water and electrics don’t mix – actually it can be a potential death hazard, so the alternative; particularly when the digital signage is in a wet location, ie. near a waterfall in a shopping mall, the safer option is solar power. It also means the screen can be ‘selling’ at any hour of the day or night, especially if it is in an area open 24/7. Think of the electricity bill savings!

This is the way forward; it is cost effective, kind to the environment, simple to use, comes complete with the electronic digital screen and has no working parts (eg. buttons), as it is a sealed unit, reducing damage and interruption. 200 watt solar powered, patented technology, provides a totally wireless solution that can be set up just about anywhere.

Solar powered cells suit many DOOH digital screen applications, for example bus shelters, tourist buses whilst on the move, city centre screens and road side electric billboards and even if the sun isn’t out all of the daylight hours, enough power is generated to trickle power the screens. Even the moonlight can add power to the energy saving cells, via photovoltaic solar cells. The sun or lunar power is harnessed in battery packs to be released as and when needed.

Hope this article that briefly touched on eco friendly digital signage was usefull.

Digital signage hire – interested?

When it comes to investing in advertising hardware, which is a more cost effective option for digital signage; hire or buy?

  • Let’s look at some scenarios, options for both digital signage hire and buying digital signage.
  • How permanent/temporary is the display going to be?
  • How accessible is the location?
  • Is it for a dedicated campaign or a shared advertising billboard?
  • How much would a system cost and will there be a RoI?
  • Is there any tax relief with regard to buying or hiring digital signage?

Why digital signage hire is increasing.

Hiring digital signage suits many applications like music venues, pop-up locations; shops and restaurants where a permanent screen is just not an option. Hiring the hardware is just simply ‘plug & play’. As long as there is an electrical socket, then the media screen will have power. The content can be loaded via a USB or connected to a media player – depending on the model. The size of the screen does not necessarily affect the decision to buy or hire as many digital signage hire businesses provide all the necessary lifting and fitting by specialist engineers (for an extra cost which should be factored in for both digital signage hire or outright purchase). Is the advertising campaign to be broadcast indoors or outdoors? Both can be catered for in hiring as well as buying.

digital signage hire

If the screen is to be used by a number of advertisers, i.e. at a shopping mall, then it would be more economical and cost effective to buy the digital signage, rent out time segments to other advertisers and have a supplementary income.

One plus point to consider with regard to hiring, specifically, is the hardware is likely to be replaced, as per the contract, to upgrade to a newer model, more regularly than purchasing outright. Whilst a year’s guarantee against a defective screen; parts and labour is the norm, additional insurance should be seriously considered against vandalism and accidental damage – some accidents are unforeseen, like a heavy object falling onto it. Insurance is a must for either option, but the likelihood of a replacement screen is quicker through a rental agreement. Bearing in mind the option of digital signage outright purchase, there is the possibility of tax relief for investing in new technology, which may not be the option with hiring the kit – check with an accountant for up to date regulations. On the plus side of hiring digital signage means there is no commitment other than the nominal length of time of the contract arrangement yet on the other side, the success following the hiring, may lead to buying digital signage, as longer term projects tend to have more effect.

If a trade show or temporary event requires electronic promotional material, then digital signage hire is the answer, but if an indefinite time scale is planned, then the solution is to buy digital signage; weigh-up the options and ask your supplier for advice and practicality.

Hope this article was of interest and given you some insight into why to use digital signage hire rather than buying.

What type of digital signage viewers are you seeking.

Did you know there are basically just three types of digital signage viewer? The ‘Passer-By’, The ‘Lounger’ and The ‘Waiter’.

Depending on your product, service or trade and the location of the digital sign will significantly appeal to a certain demographic of the population. Here, we will look at three specific types of viewer and how to appeal to them through your advertisement. Take any busy railway station in the world; where millions of pairs of eyes are scanning the area for information. The lay-out is the key to a successful ad campaign to engage the audiences within the captive area.

transit digital signage

The Passer-By digital signage viewer.

The average viewing time for a passenger on the move is between 1-30 seconds, so very brief
The best locations would be near an entrance; wall mounted or ceiling hung, along corridors and the entry and exit of the train doors.

Plain and uncomplicated layouts with basic information like the date/time stamp and simple graphics which a persons memory can just take a ‘snap-shot’ of. Do not include video, ticker info or non-essential data, like the weather report. Keep it short!T

The Waiter signage viewer.

Typically, this person will have a brief wait (for their train) of around 30 seconds to 3 minutes – ample time to read a dynamic digital sign.

Additional options for suitable locations; short queue lines at counters and QSR

  • Short videos and infographics, brief messages, slogans and logo recognition; anything easily recognizable and which will leave an ‘imprint’ on the brain.
  • Slightly more creative visual arrangement of screens; blocks of 2 screens with date and time stamp and/or weather report. Ticker advertising may also be appropriate

The Lounger

A longer viewing time of up to 30 minutes.
Ideal display screens in reception areas, restaurants, social areas, especially where there is seating
No restriction on lay-out or how to display/how many screens to display – a greater complexity of the arrangement.
Additional content of live TV for longer waiting time areas.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but a little thought and planning will deliver an excellent advertising campaign.

Knowing this what viewer do you attract to your digital signage?

Using digital signage hardware for profit.

Planning an advertising campaign will have a positive marketing success with digital signage. Information is fed to us constantly on multiple electronic devices 24/7, but reaching your target audience is crucial, as explained on CNN. Which display boards work best?

DOOH the digital signage solution.

We have come a long way from the traditional and prosperous form the paper poster on a static billboard, but it is no surprise how technology has evolved into DOOH – digital out of home advertising and entertainment. Large or small, a digital signage screen can offer a myriad of advertisements, supplementing the initial outlay of the hardware and software. Digital signage, in any format; touch-screen kiosks, for example, has accelerated in popularity over the last decade to such a degree that it is an acceptable part of our urban landscape. This kind of media is suitable for many aims like selling merchandise, a trade advert or for educational purposes.

Realistic images are brought to life on LCD screens or via projectors, enhancing the customers retail experience and influencing that all important buying decision. So where could it lead to… a virtual guided tour bringing ancient stories to life?

Whilst it is a progression of technology, it is still in its infancy as retailers and hosts are still shy of installing and making such a financial commitment in changing the ways of advertising. Employing people is an expensive commodity for business to support and takes into account sickness and holiday leave. So compared to a one-off cost of purchasing a digital screen and the software, there is very little to outlay; apart from new content, the hardware has a life span of 50,000 hours. Touch-screen kiosks and wall mounted digital signage screens fill the gap between giving a personal service to a customer, without human intervention.

Delivering the message to consumers raises a number of thoughts…
Installation, creative and dynamic content, size of screen, kiosk v screen v touch facility, audience measurement…

Digital Signage Screens.

digital signage screen sizes

What will help a business decide is to consider the location and restrictions. Digital signage is a ‘plug and play’ system by uploading the content in any media, like video with audio. The screen is usually displayed in a portrait manner, which is a good point; people do not understand that a commercial screen must be used, rather than a domestic screen which is not robust enough nor designed to run continuously for 24/7 and a domestic TV screen can not rotate to a portrait position, whereas a commercial grade TV screen can perform both tasks. The software allows editing, uploading and scheduling in real-time from a wireless network. This application works best where regular changes are needed on a frequent basis – transportation stations are a perfect example, where many advertisements can bombard passengers as they wait for a train. Digital signage is a low maintenance option and therefore has lower costs. However due to the nature of multiple advertising, a busy area would not be suitable lessening the effectiveness of advertising and a security enclosure needs to protect the screen from theft or damage.

Touch Screen Kiosks.

indoor digital signage

This kind of application is most suitable for shopping malls or tourist information points, where they act as a way-finding route planner supplemented with advertisements which bring in additional revenue. Interaction between the broadcast message and the consumer is the ultimate objective – customers feel empowered, engaged and authorized to make decisions, influenced by the content. The key to a successful touch screen application are the diverse operations. Seeing a kiosk standing in a retail mall is an enticing piece of urban furniture and encourages consumers to investigate. The remote management offers the ease of editing, amending and uploading. Additionally tracking software gives vital audience data for future campaigns, tailored towards specific demographics. Kiosks are a more robust option which cope well with the rigorous demands of high public traffic and are lockable to hide away all the expensive hardware, like the screen and prevents unwanted access causing damage. On the downside, a kiosk is more expensive that standard digital signage, however they will last longer and are more suitable.

All in all, using either option; an LCD screen or touch screen kiosk, will deliver marketing success with digital signage.

Digital signage in hotels.

Finally, the hospitality industry are embracing the 22nd century technology and adopting digital signage as an opportunity to meet, greet, inform and up-sell products and services; generating an additional income stream, as reported by Digital Signage Today.

By placing a way-finding screen in the hotel lobby or just outside the door, it enriches a guests experience, provides a location map, entertainment for commercials and informational material, as well as providing the virtual services to be expected at a quality hotel.

Needing reliable digital signage is what most markets are looking for, not just hotel chains. But finding quality at a cost effective price is unique. One of the requirements should be a HD industrial grade screen, which can reliably cope with the riggers of running 24/7/365, be robust enough to cope in high foot traffic areas, yet look stylish and suit the surroundings and meets the needs of the customers.

Hotel digital signage  – uses.

hotel digital signage

Accommodation facilities are constantly searching for effective methods of assisting guests navigate around the establishment, whilst seeing current events and conference facilities and promoting brands and products for added sales. Digital signage is a perfect platform for delivering the message, whilst in a modern frame, which appeals to the many demographic who use the facilities. It easily targets key messages to particular areas of the hotel, for example the leisure facility, where memberships can be advertised. Restaurants, hotel lobbies and even convention or conference centers have the potential for additional sources of extra income. The investment of a digital signage solution was previously very expensive, however prices have decreased, which makes a more attractive proposition. There is also the offer of free software accompanying the hardware – which is often included as an all-in-one solution. Many hospitality venues can now afford to invest in large format digital signage because of the flexibility of installing a variety of screens.

Way-finding, particularly interactive way-finding empowers your guests to be self sufficient and navigate the property including the on-site amenities which are all add-on sells. Conference, wedding and events are easily managed and displayed on a digital signage poster, so a customer or client can identify dates and facilities; it can be seen as a digital diary, with a few adverts for local businesses thrown in. Communicating with guests is a key element to a successful booking and a returning customer, but there are times when the customer does not need to contact the front desk, particularly if there are queues, so giving the customer the opportunity to seek information is in a way a virtual concierge, working 24/7. Now you know what is expected of hotel digital signage.

What is tradigital marketing?

Tradigital marketing is a term used to combine and integrate traditional spaces, like retail shop floors, with state of the art digital technology. Digital signage has the power to up-sell any brand or product, if displayed with dynamic content and displayed on a innovative digital poster. Think beyond the traditional methods of marketing and embrace the digital revolution.

A digital platform within a traditional setting is at its best when positioned at the PoS (point of sale), which ‘entertains’ customers waiting in line to be served. Having the product close at hand is part of the package; you wouldn’t want your customer leaving the line to pick up the promotion elsewhere in the store – he may not return to make the purchase. Much thought has gone into ‘wait warping’ – the associated waiting time for a customer to be served, so impulsive buying is encouraged by means of a commercial played on a digital monitor. Once the tradigital marketing package has been installed and is working efficiently and effectively, the cost efficiencies and return on investment (RoI) can be seen. It is also a productive way for the sales team and shop floor management to gauge effectiveness and make change or alterations to displays, mannequins and customer interaction.

So, how can digital signage help your business on a daily basis? Printing thousands of posters and promotional literature costs a lot of money; much of it is wasted, as stock changes rapidly, paper becomes ripped, it is quickly out of date and a time consuming process – from concept to printed completion a lot can happen in between times as this could take weeks. Whereas the content displayed on a digital poster takes a few hours to prepare, is easy to alter or update and there is no waste – environmental or time. As the digital platform can be networked, a chain of stores will each receive a digital copy of the advertisement, without missing deadlines, time penalties or ‘lost in the mail’ problems. And what if there was a printing error?, well it would be back to the printers…. but this way, just at the click of a few buttons, the error is rectified – very efficient.

Is tradigital marketing affordable?

Resources cost money, but after the initial investment, time will recoup that investment with additional/add-on/up-sell sales. Many thousands of dollars can be saved on printing costs, distribution invoices and employee costs, every time you replace a static poster with a digital display screen. How would your customers receive the new format of digital advertising? From subsequent research, the reviews have been very positive. Many of us see digital signage often and even several times a day – would customers choose your shop because of your investment into digital signage or go next door, who display the traditional ad posters? Connecting with customers is crucial for a sale, the customer feels valued and part of the brand, so brand awareness is key to a successful advertisement campaign.

tradigital marketing

So next time you are in the mall, be aware of those stores integrating digital signage technology and just see how busy they are, make sure you are aware of the tradigital marketing hardware.

Shopping mall digital signage.

Shopping is becoming more of an entertainment industry than a necessity of purchasing goods, which is where digital signage comes in. Where we were once influenced by static billboard advertisements, vibrant eye-catching digital signage screens bring a myriad of images to bombard us with the latest trends, special offers and discounts, and why we should spend our hard earned money in their store. It is an art form of entertainment, where you can watch anything from a beach scene; advertising holiday essentials (and it looks so real you could run the sand through your fingers) to persuasive advertising on a imaginative and dynamic screen, where you are influenced into purchasing a brand of trainers which are the current must-have accessory.

So where is the best position for the digital advertising screens to be most effective? Obviously high-traffic areas are going to be a logical locations, but consider the prospect that it could also be a crowded and popular area, where the digital screen would be obscured from view. One of the most analytical places is around the escalator, where height offers a vantage point which can not be obscured. This is suitable for anywhere, not just shopping malls, but places like sporting venues, restaurants and hotel lobbies. Also most people look around when on an escalator, and take in their surroundings.

shopping mall digital signage

Interactive digital signage.

For an interactive and way-finding facility, the electronic signage screen would be located near the entrance to the shopping mall enabling the customer to plan a route around the area, taking in the stores of interest. Clever content, within the advertising digital screen, also displays appropriate advertisements, according to the data collected from the customer. For example, a teenage girl may search for trendy clothes stores, which prompts the screen to offer promotional discount codes (or coupons), either by way of a printed ticket, a QR code or a Bluetooth message, to be redeemed at the till. This can also incorporate promotions for the food outlets within the mall.

Designers have been able to incorporate digital displays into the fabric of the building, like encasing pillars with digital advertising screens, tiled wall panels, window displays or many forms of independent floor standing kiosks or platforms: some concreted into the ground, mounted onto a pedestal or set within a frame. The design of which knows no bounds, as any style or color of frame and surround can hold an electronic advertising screen.

Audio technology can also be incorporated, which is particularly useful for people who are hearing impaired; a speaker at head height or a headphone port allows for a verbal advertisement, information, messages or routes to be broadcast. Other considerations for physically impaired customers are screens at ergonomic heights, even for wheel chair users.

digital signage kiosk

Digital signage and advertising screens can be synchronized and choreographed to run simultaneously, scheduled at pre-set time intervals or run as individual and independent screens. Research over the past 5 years on digital advertising campaigns, has shown digital signage to be one of the most successful forms of advertising ever.

Does your digital signage have it?

An Asian developer and provider of digital signage solutions, and technology leader in the development of software for the digital signage industry, have just announced the integration of software which specifically measures the audience activity as they view a digital signage screen.

The newly developed solution, offers similar benefits to online analysis, such as developers working with the likes of Google, for in-store digital signage applications. This delivers interesting data; provides marketing companies, stores and end users with invaluable information – how to target customers, the demographics of purchasers, their age, how long they linger over the product and their facial reactions to an ad. campaign. This gives a better overview of how to market the product or brand.

Recording data of a persons pupil size, hand gestures or the time they spend looking at a product is a good indication of a potential purchase. Previously in-store cameras not only caught thieves, but have also been utilized to capture interested customers. However the software, within the hardware of digital signage solutions, offers more in-depth and detailed statistics, giving clearer images than that of the ceiling mounted security cameras. Is it an invasion of privacy? There are thousands upon thousands of occasions in our daily lives where our images are recorded; whether for security purposes or demographic studies by the government; most of the time we are unaware of the intrusion and get on with life.

digital signage
Integrating these business opportunities with this software goes towards providing the customer with direct sales marketing and relevant information, helping and influencing them to make an informed decision. Whether this is for a vehicle purchase or a bottle of perfume, the strategies are the same. This has been highlighted by Android-based software, but it’s only a matter of time before the expansion into other devices and platforms. Getting the hardware and software to merge and create a unified bond brings a reliable product which offers cost effective investment along with superior quality result, now that is digital signage augmentation.

Indoor digital signage solutions.

Digital signage is a relatively new technology; there are many solutions for indoor digital signage use that many of the installations cover. From free standing signs and including interactive units to engage with customers.

There are many innovative solutions from wall mounted and free standing electronic signage, controlling them is key, usually if installed over an IP network, the hardware will have an ad player that is networked based, so the multimedia content can be updated using a web connection. The other option if not utilizing an IP network is to manually update the ads, ideal when only a few units need updating otherwise it is time consuming and not as efficient. Screen sizes vary and depend on the application, as it would be pointless using a small 21” display in a shopping mall, as these applications are to be seen from a distance.

Interactive digital signage, is another hardware solution, the solutions here can be again, either wall mounted or free standing. Screen sizes tend to be 40” and up, with screens in landscape or portrait. These units usually incorporate a PC that has the content and software embedded to allow the touch screen to operate. These can be either a Windows or Linux base platform depending on the digital signage software that the client wants to use. Some clients prefer one platform over another, now by supplying a PC the client to install whatever operating software they wish. Using touch screens tend to build up brand awareness with customers engaging with the content.

interactive digital signage

Wall mounted dynamic advertising, can be used in any location whilst minimizing the footprint that these electronic advertising signs take up. You may have seen them used in hotels, elevators and even rest rooms. Normally wall mounted advertising displays are used as a more affordable way to enter the dynamic advertising industry and have smaller displays. The media devices can either be internet enabled, 3G or just standalone. Sometimes these are installed in risky areas, such as schools and prone to damage, this is when an LCD enclosure should be used to protect the hardware, they are very effective.

But one of the best dynamic signs you can see is as an LED video wall, the best video walls are the ones that have a super thin bezel so the image is uninterrupted and looks as massive as it should be. Another option is an indoor P10 video wall these are in 3 foot square panels and can be tiled to any size. The advantage is that the thin bezel displays are configured with a built in controller, enabling the picture to be split on each screen. The P10 video walls have a separate controller than can be updated with WiFi, 3G or hard wired. One thing to always remember is when installing a video wall, you need to use dedicated video wall mounts, rather than cheaper wall brackets, and the main reason is that the displays will be lined up perfectly, rather than misaligned displays.

video wall

Deciding on indoor digital signage.

One of the factors will be cost, also is the project itself. So now you have the data and only you can make the decision for your indoor digital signage solution.

Interactive Digital Signage Solutions.

Who would have thought that interactive digital signage would move so quickly, since the launch of touch screen smart phones, the industry has been pushing interactive or touch screen technology to ensure the adverts engage with the viewers, now there are multiple solutions on the market, so let us look at some.

Pizza Huts Interactive Digital Signage Pizza Table!

Well we have all seen it now, this is a table that you are sat at, then you choose you’re topping s for your pizza pie, order it and then whilst you are waiting for the pie to cook, you can play interactive games on the table, perfect for time warping! One drawback I can see is that there is no interaction with staff at the restaurant, you could go out on a date and not even speak – good in some instances I suppose! The interactive digital signage table enables the customer to choose; the size of the pie, the toppings, the crust options, the portion of cheese they want and much more.

When is a digital signage kiosk, not a kiosk?

Well the quick and simple answer is, when it is used with a tablet device to provide digital signage, these tablets have touch screen displays so they are interactive. The tablets have a type of kiosk housing around them to make them look as though they are an integral free standing kiosk. These are being installed and used at many tourist locations, due to the effectiveness and affordability. Now all the cabling is kept hidden inside the housing as is the network connection to the tablet. The data is streamed through internet updates to provide, fresh, new content.

Outdoor interactive digital menu boards.

We have all been through the drive through diner, now all you need to do with one Quick Serve Restaurant chain is to check out the queue inside the outlet and if you do not like the look of the length of the queue, you can order through the outdoor digital menu board that has a touch screen, it is NEMA 4 and provides all year round protection from the weather and is also vandal resistant. These interactive digital signage solutions are ideal for this environment. Then go and collect your meal from the pedestrian collection point, screens of 47” are used and they have a high bright, back lit LCD display that is 2,500 candelas, bright enough to be seen in direct sunlight.

Now the weird and wacky – An interactive bus shelter!

interactive digital signage

By Bus Stop Wizard

These interactive bus shelters, allows people to play games on the displays hen waiting for a bus, these look cool but we can see a problem in the future, with many teenagers hanging around the bus shelters putting other people off using the public transportation. Would you want to hang around listening to them? I know I would not. The displays by Bus Stop Wizard are 72” in size and perfect for outdoor use, they are certainly vandal resistant and weatherproof. Content updates are carried out using 3G ad players, so content updates should never be a challenge again.

More information on interactive digital signage hardware including touch screen displays can be found at