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A decade of Digital Billboards

By Darren Friskney

A lot can happen in a decade. In 2007, the iPhone was introduced, Mad Men was the acclaimed new TV series, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 14,000 for the first time in history.

2007 also was the year that Watchfire Signs made its foray into digital billboards, and a good deal has changed in the outdoor display industry during the past 10 years.

Digital billboards are approved in nearly every state. Today 46 states have passed laws permitting digital billboards, compared to approximately 33 in 2007. As of July 1, 2016, the OAAA reports that there are approximately 6,700 digital billboards installed in the U.S., and there are now over 1,000 localities allowing digital billboards.

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5 Digital Signage Trends Driving Customer Experience Innovation

To understand the various trends at play within digital signage, it’s important to step back and understand where our market is heading. What’s becoming clear is that “digital signage” as it was narrowly defined just a few short years ago is giving way to a much more immersive experience. It’s not just about catching someone’s eye with digital signage, it’s about engaging people once you have their attention – and that includes longtail engagement that continues subsequent to the customer leaving an establishment. Museums, brick & mortar retail, tourist attractions, tradeshows & events, educational institutions and hotels – these segments and many others are embracing the latest technology and using digital displays to entertain, inform and engage their patrons.

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The top 3 environmental threats to digital signage

The inevitable byproduct of digital signage ubiquity is that equipment is finding its way into some very unconventional settings. Breakthroughs in display design and content delivery enable signage to be placed virtually anywhere. And while this is great for the industry, integrators must now manage a host of environmental challenges that conspire to cripple these creative new installations.

An aquarium, for example, can present a wide range of challenges for digital signage, such as humidity, water and salt build up. “In any aquarium setting, splashes and leaks occur quite frequently. For that reason, we designed our IT infrastructure be extraordinarily durable,” said Ryan Palley, senior manager of AV at Georgia Aquarium.

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Digital signage captures Death Star plans with Rogue One campaign

Lucasfilm teamed up last month with O2, World Duty Free, Gillette and Kaspersky Lab to promote “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in the UK and Europe, which opened in the UK on Dec. 15. The campaigns feature augmented reality deployments, DOOH campaigns and more, according to a press release.

O2, a telecommunications company, ran a campaign advertising its Priority app, which customers could use to enter a contest to win tickets to see a pre-release screening of the movie. Customers that purchased an O2 product could also enter to win one of five gifts including Rogue One tickets, a six-month DisneyLife subscription and more.

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Trends in 2017

The stage is set for a massive battle in 2017 as digital signage companies fight to provide smaller pixel pitches, bigger screens, better resolution, faster refresh rates and much more. As this battle rages, retailers, financial institutions and customers will begin to look at digital signage not just as an isolated deployment, but a complete customer experience solution. These are just a few of the trends on the horizon for 2017, which we explored in the 2017 Digital Signage Future Trends report.