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Woo Hah! What a Year! 2018 was nothing short of interesting twists in the digital signage industry and spectacular projects. We’ve seen new trends like the digital signage for smart cities rise and new scandals break out. But what’s more important, 2018 was another great year for the booming industry: from interactive displays hitting the new high to 4K becoming more and more popular among the digital signage devotees. Let’s take a look at some of the highlights that made 2018 so memorable.
Prospect Of The Year: Digital signage for smart cities
Simply put, a Smart City is a municipality that uses IoT and communication tech to increase its efficiency, share information and goods with its citizens and improve services and welfare. And that’s where the new opportunities for digital signage arise.
While such megalopolises like Amsterdam, Dubai, New York and Stockholm support smart initiatives and continue implementing both tech and green solutions, there’s an increasing number of cities being built and rebuilt on the foundations of the “Smart City” concept. Among the latest cities to fuel the hopes for the new urban reality are Xiongan (China) and Konza Technology City (Kenya).
Earlier this year, China Daily published the master plan for Xiong’an New Area, the creation of which is “a strategic decision with profound historic significance made by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with Comrade Xi Jinping at the core.”
From Colombo Port City (Sri Lanka) to Dumq (Oman) – Smart Cities have become the epitome of a new way of strategic thinking, financial lure, urbanistic ambitions, and technological challenges. With a large scope of technologies to be implemented, there’s enough room for digital signage solutions. Read our article on how the digital signage helps to reshape the smart cities’ infrastructure.
Digital Signage On The Rise: Videowalls and touchscreens
According to the FMI report, the market for video walls is expected to witness an outstanding CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of 14.1% by 2027. The market is expected to rise to a valuation of around US$ 13,966 million by the end of 2027 from a valuation of about US$ 3,738 million in 2017.
These numbers clearly indicate users’ increasing need to stand out with their digital signage and attract more customers. While common digital signage solutions are effective to a certain extent, video walls offer a new experience for both the company and the customer. One of the main advantages of video walls compared to single displays is their functionality – with a versatile digital signage software you can sync a series of screens and turn it into a large canvas, that will become an ultimate attention-grabber.
Another digital signage technology that gained more recognition in 2018 was an interactive display. Certainly, touchscreens have been around for years, yet with the recent software developments and the availability of low-cost PCs, interactive displays become a popular digital signage solution: from information kiosks to digital menus and trade show booths. Many companies opt for touchscreens when they need to show 3d models, games and interactive videos to up their game in customer experience.
One of the important issues linked to the interactive touchscreens is hygiene. Obviously, when installed in public spaces, touchscreens are subjected to bacterial interaction. For some companies, this issue can become a serious threat, like the recent McDonalds case.
Scandal Of The Year: McDonalds kiosks
In November, a number of media outlets across the US burst out with sensational claims that fecal bacteria were found on touchscreens at eight McDonalds locations in the UK. These findings caused an outrage regardless of the company’s firm position – all of the touch screens kiosks are sanitized daily.
British media, Metro, together with microbiologists from London Metropolitan University, tested all eight aforementioned locations and published the results. According to senior lecturer in microbiology at London Metropolitan University Dr. Paul Matewele, researchers were “surprised how much gut and fecal bacteria there was on the touchscreen machines. These cause the kind of infections that people pick up in hospitals.” From Staphylococcus to Listeria bacteria. But what’s more flabbergasting – the discovered bacteria can stay on touchscreens for days on end.
Rivalry Of The Year: SoC vs Media players
Among the recent major trends in digital signage are the advancements in SoC monitors and lower-cost digital signage media players. System-on-chip (SoC) technology has all the required computer components in a single, integrated chip: an application processor, memory, power management circuits and a range of peripherals. With all these components on board, SoC is the foundation of the self-service digital signage model. This low-cost, out-of-the-box digital signage solution is slowly becoming a rival for media players with third-party software.
However, one of the main reasons why digital signage software providers and media players like AppleTV are still ahead of the game is in the versatility they offer users. Certainly, SoC’s have intuitive and simple software for creating digital signage content. But it’s the dev support, management, and application range that require improvements. Currently, not many vendors support SoC technology, but the increasing popularity sees an upward trend in production and spreading. Will 2019 see another round of competition?
Impressive digital signage of 2018
Star Wars Join Forces campaign
— Limited Space (@LimitedSpaceOOH) October 18, 2018
“In order to better entertain viewers digital signage should be interactive. This LEGO Star Wars campaign nailed this concept by immersing people into the game by using the responsive display. This allowed the players to actually participate in the game and resulted in an amazing use of DOOH as well as fantastic promotion for the Star Wars brand.” – Pavel Fedukovych (SMM Manager, Kitcast)
MTA Arts & Design’s Digital Artwork Skyyys™ at Fulton Transit Center
“Artist Dave Greber’s video installation Skyyys™ (for MTA Arts & Design) is the most spectacular digital artwork to appear on the screens at Fulton Center this year. The digital artwork represents the constant stream of visual information that surrounds us and offers a vibrant response, mixing images of familiar objects. Greber’s immersive 52-channel video installation is a vivid example of how digital signage project becomes a work of art.” – Artem Risukhin (Content Writer, Kitcast)
2018 was a game-changing year for digital signage. With a wider than ever range of implementations throughout industries (from banking to sanctuaries), digital signage solutions helped companies and institutions reinvent the way they communicate with their audience. Next year is going to bring more innovations and possibilities for companies who opt for digital signage software. We’ve covered the most interesting 2019 digital signage trends in the major industries. Read our article The Upcoming Digital Signage Trends and Insights of 2019. Industries Overview