“Are there any new technical capabilities in hardware and/or software opening up new creative options for content playback, design, or interactivity? How are they being applied? How well are they being applied?”
The world of digital signage is not stagnant and is continuing to experience very swift development. The attention is focused on the impact of social media, which allows for the creation and exchange of user-generated content and provides a configuration for people to get organized, argue about, and collaborate with signage.
I believe you will see more API partnerships and plug-in integrations that will make content creation far quicker and easier to deploy to the displays. I think you will see more video walls, certainly more interactivity, and more engaging displays, with wireless solutions being offered, plus cloud-based content and data storage.
Other areas still being developed are 3D screens, customer profiling using cameras and microphones, including eye tracking, and voice and facial recognition. As digital signage gets smarter, the content will become more tailored to people as individuals, while allowing them access to the greater online community at the same time.