A New Revelation for Retail Technology.

Types of Retail Technology.

Introducing the new retail technology blueprints including smart fitting rooms, digital ways to pay and an enhanced customer experience.

touch screen retail technology

Latest evolutionary computer engineering has opened up the world of digital signage, to stage which was only thought possible in science fiction films. Back in the 1950’s there were design ideas for futuristic and imaginative ways of changing the way we see life and use our time, but who would have thought, just a few generations on, we would have a 3D mirror, with a virtual store assistant giving us advice, selecting a different size or even picking out an alternative garment; thinking ‘outside the box’. A scary thought, but it is already out there in our malls, welcome to retail technology.

Touch screen Retail technology.

Touch screen technology has brought retail technology to the average customer; and not necessarily the high-end stores. Branches of well-known chain stores are investing heavily in the new digital posters and mirrors. Just think how much more convenient it would be to use a touch screen in store; research a little more information about the product, select your preference of colour and size and if it isn’t in stock, the store will order it for you. Of course most stores have other forms of contact, like a website, but that isn’t always convenient via your cell or smart phone – lost signal, inability to connect to the internet on demand, yet in store, these obstacles are overcome as the store supplies the means to order. And they’ve got you captured… you’re in the store, in the mood to purchase, a little disappointed you can’t buy the item there and then, but you can order it for a time which suits you. The store is doing everything to make a sale, even if it means communicating through a touch screen, rather than a human being!

How would you feel about a virtual personal shopper? There you are in the changing room, removing your own clothes, when a face appears in the mirror – ahhhh! No, it’s not quite like that, it is more unobtrusive. Whilst your privacy and modesty are preserved, the virtual assistant can offer constructive advise on the piece of clothing you are trying on. Depending on the software package accompanying the digital screen, will depend on the advice or suggestions from the 3D assistant, for instance the program may suggest a different size garment, as it has calculated your proportions (it would be flattering if it suggested a smaller size – don’t know how I would feel about needing a larger size on the advice of a screen!). But can you really trust a virtual assistant? It isn’t someone spying on you through the 2 way mirror, it is an actual digital poster, with a touch screen facility. You can switch it off, alter the suggestions, and order from the privacy of the curtained changing room just by using your finger to make choices.

Then it comes to paying; shall we use traditional cash? How many of us have cash in our pocket these days? Ok, so a card payment, well, even that is out dated. Many of us a re familiar with ordering goods on-line and keying in the account details, or using a payment site like PayPal, so Apple thought they would launch their own, as ‘i’ products have become so popular. Once the account is set up, it is just a matter of a security check at the point of sale and the transaction is complete – one happy customer.

Understanding the technology used for advertising in the retail sector helps us all, try to remember some of the points for retail technology.

Advertising Using Wall or Free Standing Digital Signage Hardware.

Digital signage hardware to increase your businesses profit.

Advertising is vital for the success of a business; this is why using digital signage hardware is so successful.

Even the oldest profession in the world needed to advertise! But now, no matter where we look there are electronic signs everywhere. From shopping malls to places of worship, the simple fact is that digital signage works, so let us look at the digital signage hardware solutions available to the everyday business owner.

Wall mounted digital signage is there for everyone to see, it can display the specials on the menu in a Quick Serve Restaurant, it can provide automotive service promotions in an automotive garage, or just used to promote a small mom and pop stores inventory.

Essential parts of a profitable digital signage hardware deployment.

Let us look at what is needed for the digital signage hardware to function almost straight out the box.

Content creation, this is essential and can be simply created using free templates available online, or by using images you have taken of your service or product. Failing that, if you are reselling a product you could ask the manufacturer to provide high quality images. Then once the content is created how you want it to appear, you just add it to the media player using a flash drive.
Set up the ads using the onscreen menu, set the time you want the screen to power on and power off at the end of the business day and you are set, that is presuming you have powered the unit up.

Mounting the digital signage hardware.

digital signage

Wall mounted displays specifically designed for digital advertising can be placed in either portrait or landscape, the best position in our experience is portrait, otherwise it just looks like a television.

As the name suggests, these come in a floor standing housing that is designed for indoor use, content creation and updates are carried out just as before. Yes these have more impact; they tend to engage more with consumers.

The housing can even be wrapped in vinyl to brand the kiosk with the logo of the business, adding more impact to the advertising message.

example of digital signage hardware

Screen sizes.

Both solutions come with commercial grade screens, which is essential as the digital signage hardware is capable of running 24×7. These high tech displays are available in sizes 32”, 40”, 42”, 55” and 65”. Normally the most affordable solutions are the sizes up to 55”, the jump to 65” is usually too much.

Now when you compare printed advertising, there is no comparison, you are competing against other contractors and businesses offering similar products and what’s in tonight’s edition of the paper are thrown away tomorrow. This is one of the reasons why newspapers usually have an online presence.

Digital advertising has been around for a while, but now the costs are falling, enabling business owners to get in and use digital signage hardware to promote their business.

Solutions For Retail Digital Signage Success

Is your store using retail digital signage?

Faced with a myriad of electronic advertising methods, it can be difficult to find solutions for retail digital signage success, but as technology is expected by consumers, let’s narrow down the options to make the decision easier. A state-of-the-art theatrical, custom production is within many retailers reach, as it is mostly computers and screens which do the hard work. It’s just a matter of creating an interesting featured background in which to house the screens and hardware. By deploying retail digital signage, you are a step ahead of the competition, who are still using traditional forms of printed ads. The success of digital signage is so great that it is worth billions of dollars and is increasing all the time, which in turn increases your revenue, whilst keeping costs under control; in fact once the hardware has been purchased there is little else to include, other than regular content.

The results of many consumer surveys has revealed the following facts:

  • Brand awareness was constantly featured
  • One of the best locations was POS or POP (point of sale or purchase)
  • Passers by were attracted to the screens and stopped to take a look
  • Printing costs were vastly reduced and in many cases became obsolete
  • The digital signage enhanced the customer experience, by customizing and personalizing
  • Customers engaged with the application, as we are now more comfortable and familiar with electronic devices, like smart phones and tablets
  • Additional revenue can be generated by integrating with third parties
  • There is so much choice for designer software

Retail digital signage is all about getting your message across; brand awareness sells products.

retail digital signage

Customer behavior studies have shown who, when, why and what is likely to be purchased. This information is then directed into particular campaigns aimed at specific demographics to achieve the optimum results. For consumers, the in-store retail area is all about the shopping experience; if a person feels comfortable, empowered and entertained, then the greater likelihood of a positive outcome; making at purchase. Reaching out with new technology is embracing the need and desire of the potential customer.

Here are some ideas where retail digital signage is predicted to be successful:

  • Rather than waiting frustratingly in a food queue, the restaurant window converts to a touch screen where orders can be placed and even pre-paid with a wireless terminal.
  • In-store clothing ordering; you know how annoying it is when the store doesn’t stock your size or the colour you prefer, but you can order it at the click of a button whilst shopping.
  • Design-your-own; cocktails, meal starter combination or even paint colour – the options are endless. This has the benefit to the store too, by being able to quickly adjust their stock levels.
  • Most of us have used a check-in facility via a touch screen, at medical facilities or in a hotel. This digital screen can also be utilized by supplementing the information with commercials.

Most of us welcome the presence of a smile from a sales assistant, cocktail server or hotel receptionist, but there is room in our busy lives for quick access via a touch screen, which frees us up to enjoy other things.

Knowing what digital signage can do for your store, are you tempted to use retail digital signage now?

Tablet Digital Signage Sweeping England

Tablet digital signage solutions.

Many people may have encountered tablet digital signage, yet recently the growth in England has been tremendous. From major retails to restaurants, they are all using mobile tablet devices to promote their businesses.

Retail tablet digital signage.

tablet digital signage

Argos who is the main shopping catalog store in the UK, with retail outlets in every city, some even have two retail outlets! The brand used a large printed catalog with all the products in and was created per season. The costs must have been expensive as these catalogs were in colour and even after proof reading before the print run, errors are found in the fully completed, bound catalog. They have now deployed digital signage in the form of tablets in stores rather than the bulky brochures. If anyone knows the catalog they will testify that the weight is a lot!

Restaurant digital signage using a tablet.

Restaurant digital advertising is another use for tablets, as here they can be used to build a list of subscribers to send updates too and offers. They get the customer to interact and review the dining facility whilst they are there; if a problem presents itself the manager can resolve it (hopefully) immediately. The customer completes a short survey and enters either their email or cell phone number to receive promotional offers. Some cafes even use tablets to present the menu along with complimentary drinks. One such outlet is a specialist tea shop that has over 200 teas, so you can choose either the food or drink and the tablet will recommend the best match for food or beverage.

Mom and pop stores.

Any small local business with an office or counter can use a tablet to promote products and services they offer. In the reception it may feature the main business activities then demonstrate the new services or products added. On a counter top this solution may show over stocks at a reduced rate on the original sales price, making it more tempting to prospects and at the same time boosting the bottom line of the store.

Benefits of tablet digital signage.

As in the example of Argos, errors can be spotted in the printed catalog and reprinting the section, page or brochure would be too expensive and the lead time would be too long. Tablet digital signage allows the retail outlet to edit a promotion at any time of the day, they can add a new line when it has restocked, as well as up selling offers, all down to the units being controlled over the internet and Argos even offer free WIFI connection in store for customers when shopping. This is one store that has not been affected by showcasing.


With everything positive, there has to be negative, the yin and yang of life! The bad is that these units have to be secured otherwise the hardware has a habit of vanishing. Also make sure when using tablet devices that the screen is locked to the page you want, this stops the user of the tablet from browsing the internet on the tablet. You would not like to hand the tablet to a family after a group of guys have been looking at adult sites!

Digital signage is growing and with the low cost of tablets, makes tablet digital signage an option for any business.

Digital school signs cost less than you think!

Digital school signs – good or bad?

With the popularity of digital school signs, schools see the cost as a barrier, however now there is a cost effective solution that will fit in every developing schools budget. Enabling teachers to communicate with parents in a simple yet affective manner as reported on Digital Signage Today.

Education is a three way partnership; the school, the pupil and home, using electronic signs can inform parents of future tests, examinations and what the child needs to revise. A more day to day benefit may be to remind the parents of the end of year school trip, when deposits are required, what clothes to wear.

The school has become a super secure environment in the past 5 years, with most doors having access control on them; this prevents anyone who should not be in school and a potential threat to our children to be kept out. It also stops parents from going into school at the end of the day to have a chat with the teacher. This is one way the digital school signs are effective in providing the support from school for teachers. If a parent needs to discuss a child’s development the correct procedure is to contact the school and make an official appointment.

Challenges within schools.

digital school signs

Not only do the teachers have challenges delivering lessons, in some instances they also encounter challenges from unruly pupils. It has been reported that the number off physical attacks on teachers from pupils is on the increase, these pupils when removed from a class room situation may lash out and if a digital sign is near by, the frustration the pupil has, may end up being vented at the school sign. This is why most digital school signs are located in public areas, such as reception areas or they are protected with indoor screen housings. Keeping them out of “harms way”, ensures the pupil does not harm themselves on a screen that has been damaged, accidentally or on purpose.

Digital school signs cost?

Digital school sign costs can dramatically be reduced, when the installer takes it under their wing and creates an income stream for the school, by finding local businesses that wish to advertise on the digital signs within the school. In some instances the schools can earn around £2500 per year from ads on their digital signage network, that can be managed to ensure the content is in keeping with the schools media policies. Companies that tend to advertise are school uniform suppliers, travel agents, restaurants and even taxis, these ads are aimed at primary school parents, when they drop off or collect their children.

Some company’s offer a complete solution, from installing the signs within the school, configuration and then updating the content. Some even provide training to staff, but if the digital advertising hardware is managed, this takes a massive headache away from the school. With everything dealt with by a third party, that is just a phone call away.  Using displays for advertising and marketing is a good idea and expect to see more of digital school signs.

Through the Digital Signage Lens

Digital Signage ideas.

Research and exhibition statistics are all about the deployment and innovation of digital signage and where better to review the outcome than after the InfoComm annual conference. Apparently it was inspiring, informative and full of thought provoking ideas and concepts and other spring boards on which to launch innovative dynamic-place-based digital signage. Pushing the boundaries in this segment of technology is already advanced for its age, but really it leads to infinity…

One sector considering digital signage screens was the US Department of Transport, after a study of roadside dynamic digital signage safety was carried out. The results were of interest, as it was stated that CEVMS (commercial electronic variable message signs) had no significant consequence on driver safety. So, will we be seeing screen-media billboards on our roadside verges?

digital signage

Terms used in the digital signage industry.

Many terms for the general phrase ‘digital signage’ is banded about, like ‘Screen media’, ‘dynamic-place-based’ and ‘enterprise media'; all have one thing in common – they display products for sale. It could be via a brand awareness campaign, particular sale or offer or a promotional campaign, but you can be sure other names will appear for this media term.

Unsurprisingly the number of new patents has been submitted for various devices, encompassing the digital signage stage, particularly including the Eco-systems of screen displays and mobile devices in a commercial or retail setting. Also, many of the authoritative names in the game are partnering up with others to provide a package – an all-in-one system of supplying the hardware, matched with the software and installation. Screen-media display boards has been utilized by almost every sector; from owner to shopper, to traveler and including staff and students within education.

The size of a screen caused much deliberation among various stands, as the smallest screen used is generally a 26”, which suits applications like elevators, counter tops, shelving or reception desks – particularly where wall space is not accessible. And one of the most popular sizes for other screens for other areas is a 52”, with a thin bezel frame, allowing greater visibility, especially when tiled to form a video wall. 4K HD displays are the fashionable screen of the moment, as the imagery is stunning coupled with the program content and software resolution. Although slow on the uptake, 4K is the screen choice of the future, after further development and is a popular screen for retail fashion displays, museums and attraction exhibitions. After initial teething problems, one of the next technological break throughs will be laser-based projectors. Its increasing popularity comes due to its projected life span, including the 20,000 hour bulb life, an increase from 600 hours on projector bulbs currently; just the installation and maintenance costs are to overcome.

Which ever term you wish to use, at the end of the day, these screens are digital signage advertising billboards!

Enrolling Digital Signage Into A High School

An enterprising US high school has enrolled various digital signage screens into its premises, to interact with students, teaching and non-teaching staff and the wider community. The educational facility is also looking at integrating the digital signage system with the smart phones and hand held electronic tablets of students and parents, giving access to the school website. The uses include the day’s notifications and announcements, events, classroom changes and emergency planning procedures. Optional feeds are also broadcast to allow teachers to show information on the Smart boards in each classroom.

Influencing students with digital signage.

One sure way of getting through to children is to display TV sets around – OK so the latest block buster movie isn’t being played, but there is opportunity to supplement the investment costs by ‘selling’ advertisement space. Of course this needs to be scheduled at an appropriate and useful time, but many educational suppliers, apparel retailers and local businesses will benefit from the air time. It is also appropriate to include infomercials of; dietary information and suggestions, health and safety issues, field trip notices, after school clubs and assignment reminders. The display screens can be incorporated into the schools morning announcements; no-one has a reason for missing information. It is also handy for students to revisit and remind themselves; there is NO reason not to know!

digital signage in schools

Deciding where to place the screens is a logistical consideration, but for most educational environments, one or two in common areas; for example at the entrance, but also in large meeting areas like the cafeteria. Don’t forget the screens can be placed outdoors, particularly if they are housed within a security enclosure. This protects the digital display screen from the elements, theft and vandalism or just about anything which would stop the screen from working. Internal heating and cooling – working on a thermostatically controlled internal unit, keep the temperature constant, averting overheating and condensation build up. The viewing window allows the screen to be clearly seen in any lighting conditions, is a tough material which will not smash.

It has been embraced with interest from all age groups and demographics, with requests to include content and announcements from the diverse ‘family’ of the school. Educational budgets are geared up to include the latest technology, like digital signage screens. Many of the schools own departments are involved in producing the content for the benefit of the whole school. It gives the students an in-site into how, why, planning and delivering content, which we find all over our urban landscape. It could open up new opportunities for career development, as students see the project through from start to end. Digital signage encompasses a wide range of the curriculum and within a short space of time, should take over altogether. It is seen as an educational tool as much as an informational means of bringing awareness to staff and pupils. As far a cost is concerned, after the initial investment costs, it is much more cost effective than printing ever was, can be altered or updated at a moments notice and can include the internet for an even wider information platform, now technology has changed we update content with digital signage.

3D Digital Signage Solutions

3D digital signage – what to look out for.

A major American technology company today announced a significant evolution of a fresh approach to 3D display signage, which the company claims to maximize this new optical phenomenon from an standard viewpoint to reduce the influence of 3D-crosstalk and display motion image and improve 3D displays.

3D digital signage tracking.

The new 3D eye-tracking system, is as near as any technology has achieved thus far as it produces “smooth and realistic” 3D images, according to the company, and by combining the company’s proprietary 3D image processing engine, there is no need for 3D glasses, as in the past. The company’s technological breakthrough in their “auto stereoscopic” display method, incorporates a specialized eye-tracking device that detects the individual’s eye position and engagement with a high level of accuracy.

As auto stereoscopic 3D digital signage displays become increasingly popular, there have been some issues to overcome that limit the value of 3D technology like; ghost images, image reversal and the limitation of suitable 3D viewing spaces. It is a fine balance between increasing the number of viewing points, yet decreasing the density of the 3D image. So, it is difficult to both minimize image reversal whilst achieving a high density 3D quality image. This dilemma appears to have been resolved without using a multiview 3D display, but by using only a two-view 3D display with high-density technology, its 3D image processing engine and an eye-tracking device. This system calculates the persons eye movements and varies the objects apparent position calculated on the view point without decreasing the quality of the 3D image.

3d digital signage

The picture operation software converts dual images, optimized for the main features of the auto stereoscopic display; which correspond with the observer’s eye position, are detected by the eye-tracking device, and can optimize standard viewpoints to reduce the influence of 3D errors on the display position. The system monitors the observer’s eye positions and varies the twin lenses based on the viewing angle of the object. This is a phenomenal tool for the development of 3D digital signage, where a product can be seen by the customer with an all-round view. It then becomes a virtual product, reducing the need for shop floor stock – freeing up expensive floor space.

This new 3D Technology, with the new 3D digital signage eye-tracking system, will be demonstrated at SID Display Week 2014 this week in San Diego USA.

The Benefits of Digital Signage for Shopping Malls

Shopping is becoming more of an entertainment industry than a necessity of purchasing goods, which is where digital signage comes in. Where we were once influenced by static billboard advertisements, vibrant eye-catching digital signage screens bring a myriad of images to bombard us with the latest trends, special offers and discounts, and why we should spend our hard earned money in their store. It is an art form of entertainment, where you can watch anything from a beach scene; advertising holiday essentials (and it looks so real you could run the sand through your fingers) to persuasive advertising on a imaginative and dynamic screen, where you are influenced into purchasing a brand of trainers which are the current must-have accessory.

So where is the best position for the digital signage screens to be most effective? Obviously high-traffic areas are going to be a logical locations, but consider the prospect that it could also be a crowded and popular area, where the digital screen would be obscured from view. One of the most analytical places is around the escalator, where height offers a vantage point which can not be obscured. This is suitable for anywhere, not just shopping malls, but places like sporting venues, restaurants and hotel lobbies. Also most people look around when on an escalator, and take in their surroundings.

For an interactive and way-finding facility, the digital signage screen would be located near the entrance to the shopping mall enabling the customer to plan a route around the area, taking in the stores of interest. Clever content, within the advertising digital screen, also displays appropriate advertisements, according to the data collected from the customer. For example, a teenage girl may search for trendy clothes stores, which prompts the screen to offer promotional discount codes (or coupons), either by way of a printed ticket, a QR code or a bluetooth message, to be redeemed at the till. This can also incorporate promotions for the food outlets within the mall.

Designers have been able to incorporate digital signage screens into the fabric of the building, like encasing pillars with digital signage screens, tiled wall panels, window displays or many forms of independent floor standing kiosks or platforms: some concreted into the ground, mounted onto a pedestal or set within a frame. The design of which knows no bounds, as any style or color of frame and surround can hold an electronic advertising screen.

shopping mall digital signage

Audio technology can also be incorporated, which is particularly useful for people who are hearing impaired; a speaker at head height or a headphone port allows for a verbal advertisement, information, messages or routes to be broadcast. Other considerations for physically impaired customers are screens at ergonomic heights, even for wheel chair users.

Digital signage and advertising screens can be synchronized and choreographed to run simultaneously, scheduled at pre-set time intervals or run as individual and independent screens. Research over the past 5 years on digital advertising campaigns, has shown it to be one of the most successful forms of advertising ever.