Ask the Board – February 20, 2017 | MARGOT MYERS


How has touch interactivity evolved over the past few years, and what are some important things to consider today before implementation?”

In the early days of interactive displays, the content was relatively simple. Initial uses were for things like wayfinding in a shopping mall or figuring out when the next train to Trenton was leaving. In the past few years, we’ve seen far more complex and engaging interactive projects, such as the British Airways billboard that interacts with aircraft flying overhead or several deployments in Times Square that allow people to share photos on digital billboards.

Like any digital signage project, it’s not about the equipment. It’s about the business case. Do you want interactive signage because it’s cool? Or because it will meet a specific need that will help you achieve your business goals?

Research and Markets’ Global Interactive Display Market 2015-2019 report projects, “the revenue of the global interactive display market to grow at a CAGR of 14.90 percent over the period 2014-2019. By volume, the market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 17.27 percent during the forecast period.” That would seem to indicate that many end users are deciding that interactive displays will be an important component of future deployments.

In addition to assessing the strategic need, there are several other factors to consider:

  • Durability: There has been improvement in displays that are specifically designed for outdoor placement. Considerations must include security and weather (humidity, rain/snow, heat), among others. For a widespread network, the same displays to be deployed in Maine may not be suitable for Arizona.
  • Accessibility: Whether indoors or outdoors, displays should be accessible to the targeted audience, which may include kids, people in wheelchairs and people with hearing or sight impairments. This could mean installing some displays at lower heights than others and making additional accommodations.

Content: The content for an interactive screen may be significantly more complex than a non-interactive display, and therefore, more expensive to produce. Not only does the programming need to respond to simple requests such as, “How do I get from here to the Apple Store?” It also may need to play content based on the viewer, which could be a response to the viewer’s input or could use video analytics and other tools to determine the most appropriate response.

About Author

Director, Global Marketing & Communications
The Platt Retail Institute

Industry Consultants Council

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