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The Internet of Things is Changing Digital Signage

Digital signage is already part of our everyday experience, but when paired with the Internet of Things, it can deliver a message that’s so interactive and direct it turns people’s heads.

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the connection between sensors—often in individual objects—via cloud-based applications or networks. Tech research company Gartner estimates that by 2020, 26 billion devices will be able to communicate with each other; it’s already having an impact on everything from our obsession with wearable devices and personal health monitoring, to manufacturing processes and water distribution.

This network of data and devices is also creating myriad opportunities for marketers who can think beyond flat advertising.

Here’s one fun example: A Swedish hair care company recently placed a digital sign in a train station that featured a model with long, flowing hair. Thanks to a sensor and a computer, as well as a local network, an arriving train would make her hair “come alive” in the breeze—captivating and delighting commuters as they passed by. The more eyeballs on your brand, the more potential sales, right? Imagine how many commuters passed through that rail station every day.

Digital signage 2.0 Means More Opportunity, Deeper Integration

With so many devices set to come online over the next few years, digital signage is about to become part of a highly tailored and heavily integrated experience. We’re really only at the cusp of imagining what these experiences will be—from the workplace to retail, from medicine to leisure activities—the possibilities are practically endless.

Millennials are already known for being tied to their mobile devices, and the next crop of consumers is guaranteed to be even more wired. Last year, UK schools implemented a new curriculum that will teach programming to kids as young as five; not only will they be immersed in this interconnected world, they’ll be fully equipped to tap into—and make adjustments to—the web of data that surrounds them.

This broader understanding of how objects can be linked will spur the growth of digital signage usage at record speed, and marketers will reap the benefits via personalized campaigns and increased interaction.

In Singapore, for example, RFID tags attached to pieces of clothing alert dressing rooms to change the background music to match “fashion style” of the clothing being tried on. Imagine if digital signage in the dressing room also knew to recommend accessories or different outfit possibilities. This is the type of customized branding and personalized interaction that creates a loyal customer.

Digital Signage in the Workplace

The integration of IoT with digital signage can also be a time and money saver for businesses.

Companies already use digital signs to broadcast security alerts and general messages, but the IoT makes new scenarios possible—there’s no limit to what sensors can be engineered to do.

In a factory, for example, the technology can be crafted to monitor machinery malfunctions and cut downtime. At the first sign of trouble, the appropriate on-site worker could be notified—or, with the incorporation of cameras, video of the problem could be streamed in real time directly to the mobile device of an off-site expert.

It’s amazing just how far the Internet of Things can reach with a little creativity of digital signage integration. Think big-VCA is here to help you every step of the way!