“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?”
There are always new developments when considering technical capabilities, both of hardware and software. While I’ve seen some very interesting things such as transparent display glass, 3D-projected displays, curved displays and flexible displays, most of these have not been deployed in a big way as yet due to costs and timelines to implement such new technologies.
Software is a little harder to quantify in terms of new capabilities – as most software for digital signage is already quite powerful, and really is more customized to the project than just a generic off-the-shelf product.
In any case, it is the best reason to go to the trade show portion of the Digital Signage Expo. It is where you would find the newest of the new, how to potentially apply those technologies in your own environment, and how you can fit a given hardware or software solution to your imagination. I am looking forward to it once again this year!