History of digital signage is not as old as some people are lead to believe and can be linked with the developments of technology. As the tech industry grows so do new developments in all sorts of different markets, with the digital signage industry one of the main to thrive. The digital signage industry is a fast growing market. The industry was estimated to be worth 19.61 billion in 2016 and is predicted to be valued at 32 billion by 2023
So, how did we get to this level of digital signage and what is the driving force behind it?
To start the history of digital signage we have to consider the fundamentals of any type of signage. signage is used to provide information to a person so that they know how to manage the current situation. For example, in a retail store, signage is needed to instruct customers in regards to the location, price and name of an item they wish to buy. They also need to know what your brand stands for and to decide whether to shop at your store again (marketing). Even early retail developments understood the need for customer retention.
The process of presenting this information is constantly changing. Early business used tablets and wooden hanging boards to present their information. Paper signage was and still is used heavily in any type of business establishment. These solutions all have their downsides which are quickly being answered by digital signage.
Before we even think about today’s signage, we should step back to the 80’s and 90’s retail stores. During this period, retailers used video monitors in store to promote their brand. They would pre-record their promotional content on VHS tapes and play them over on a continuous loop. This coupled alongside regular paper signage provide the best possible solution.
As we moved from VHS tape to DVD in the 1995 retailers switched from VHS to DVD players. DVD players are still now used in some retail establishments today. Fast forward a few years and the introduction of high definition blue-ray discs and any retailer now has a cost-efficient solution
Digital signage has not always been content and multimedia on a screen. The first generation of digital signage also included dot matrix digital displays to reach a wider audience. More commonly used in train stations and airports, the displays would display information built into a database. Although effective in displaying mass information, dot matrix systems do not have a built-in media player. This limits them in regards to the content they can show. Ultimately meaning they cannot display multimedia content
The introduction of using a computer driven media player with a powerful content management system was a big development. This provide users of Digital signage an even bigger playing field to work with. The majority of retailers today have replaced their old DVD players for a digital signage unit which either has an internal or external media player. The benefits of this are astronomical, these types of units are cost-efficient, time-efficient and relatively easy to navigate.
At the moment, the industry is going through another development: The introduction of interactive displays and smart signage such as Ellips Innovations Digital Mirrors. Each Digital Mirror by Ellips Innovation is custom-built for a customer’s chosen mirror size, color, and desired screen orientation & placement.