Digital Signage technology: our take-aways from the ISE 2014

Two from our EDIFICOM team – Ian and Kate – attended the 11th ISE (Integrated Systems Europe) convention in Amsterdam on February 4th.
More than 40,000 people are expected to attend the show between the 4th and the 6th to visit more than 950 exhibitors showcasing digital signage solutions, residential solutions, unified communications, and smart building solutions.

Our primary focus was to research digital signage solutions and regard trends that are happening in this space.

The digital signage hall alone consisted of about 170 booths, however across the whole RAI convention center complex, there were over 323 companies exhibiting digital signage solutions. It was immense!

Spotted trends:

–  Touch screen. Everything is leading toward touch screen – it really engages the user, capturing their attention way longer than an old-fashioned paper poster could ever do, and it’s just downright fun.

–  4K (Ultra high definition) digital signage is really picking up momentum. Every booth seemed to have a huge “4K” callout. You can’t believe the definition and clarity that these monitors emit! It’s like watching live theater less than two feet away.

–  Video wallsThe more screens, the bigger the message – or multiple messages at once – the better.

–  Interactive retail and restaurant digital signage is definitely becoming a standard. No more paper posters or handwritten menu boards.  Those deploying digital signage can easily adjust prices or options across many locations with a simple touch of a button.  Bonus: more eco-friendly than producing / discarding paper.

  • Great examples:
    • A cool concept shown off by Scala was a coffee app Your menu board is touch screen allowing you to choose your coffee type. Once chosen, a picture is taken of your face.  Above the barista is a board that shows customers’ pictures along with their coffee order that will indicate when their order is ready.
    • Another Scala solution that is in Tesco stores in the UK was a liquor information board. A small cabinet featuring several different types of whiskey was displayed. When you picked up a bottle of whiskey, the digital monitor immediately illustrated the type of whiskey, the price, the origin, tasting notes, etc. If you picked up two bottles at the same time, a comparison chart would pop up.  Very user-friendly and engaging.

– Outdoor digital signage: Retail advertising and Education are target consumers for these solutions. These are nice for higher education in terms of using way-finders for large campuses or complex buildings.

  • Example shown in retail advertising: We visited Onelan’s booth where there was a small camera attached to the monitor that could detect who was standing in front it and would then reactively change the advertising messages. When Ian stood in front of it, an advertisement for a car popped up. When Kate stood in front of it, an ad for cologne popped up (sexy man included).  Great for city centers and commercial complexes.
  • A separate booth showed this feature a bit more in depth: video surveillance showed you on screen and predicted your age and mood. (Kate was quite happy to have been captured as being a 24-year-old female. No comment on how off this was, but it’s apparent the app needed some tweaking.)These technologies are able to take targeted marketing to the extreme.

–  Simple management. A lot of digital signage solutions come with templates and are easy to use (so a graphics person on payroll is not necessary). Also user-friendly is the simple management from not only a computer but a tablet or even smart phone. Again, with the click of a button, users can change an item from their smart device and implement an immediate change within seconds, or program a change for the future across multiple devices.

Bottom line: digital signage technology today is all about engaging a customer/viewer at the highest level possible visually and physically.

Take a look at some of our photos from our fun day at Amsterdam RAI, including the holographic signage that I am certain we will see more and more of in the near future:




  • 6 Feb, 2014
  • kate
  • digital signage, digital solutions, ISE, technology solutions,

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