Digital signage (also called dynamic signage) is a form of electronic display that shows video, image, text, RSS, animations and HTML information in public and private places for informational or advertising purposes. A digital sign usually consists of a computer or playback device connected to a large, bright digital screen such as an LCD, LED or plasma display.
Digital signage is used in retail, manufacturing production lines, schools, libraries, office buildings, medical facilities, airports, train and bus stations, banks, hospitality and other public venues. If the display is connected to a computer, the data on the screen can be updated in real time by means of an Internet or proprietary network connection. Data transmission and storage are streamlined by compression to minimise file size. The system can employ multiple screens if multiple messages are required.
There are several advantages to the use of digital signs instead of paper signs. Digital signs can be updated at will by remote control while paper signs require individual replacement and physical travel to sign sites by personnel. Because digital signs require no paper or paint, they are more environmentally friendly than traditional signs. Digital signs can be animated and can deliver sound as well as visual content.
The applications for digital signage are diverse, but include:
Corporate Communications - An example may be to provide all staff with some identical content common on all screens, but unique content just for the call centre in one field, marketing in another and accounts in another, with meeting room bookings displayed at the front of the boardroom.
Education - Digital signage can be used to effectively communicate messages to staff, students and visiting guests in reception areas, staff rooms, common rooms, etc allowing only relevant audience content on the required screens including:
- Welcome & Principal Messages
- School news/rules
- Crucial dates and events (Term dates, exam times, excursions, school production etc)
- School photo album
- Broadcasting of events and activities or emergency or critical event assistance information
- RSS News feeds
- Local business sponsorship
Health - There are numerous applications for digital signage in health services including doctors waiting rooms, dentist etc to display useful health information, promote services, display live TV or waiting times. Hospitals may use digital signage at reception areas for touch screen way-finding assistance, staff rooms, common rooms, etc allowing only relevant audience content on the required screens.
Hospitality - In hotels, restaurants and shopping centres, digital signage is an invaluable tool for communicating to visitors and customers via screens that are not only intuitive, but touch interactive. These include:
- Promotion of daily specials in restaurants & bars or concierge
- Welcome Messaging and Information Guides integrated into hotel/motel TV networks
- Live broadcasting of news, events and activities
- Broadcasting of Emergency or Critical Event assistance information
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