If your digital signage falls in a visual forest, can anyone see it?

Familiarity, as the saying goes, breeds contempt, and basic digital signage deployments have become ubiquitous enough that they've lost the novelty factor they used to have.

And as the signage industry continues to move from static to digital signage, the visual noise and clutter is only going to increase, so deployers and end-users of digital signage will have to work harder or smarter to make their installations stand out amidst the visual Spam around them.

Digital Signage Today and NEC Display Solutions of America recently held a webinar, "The evolution of digital signage: Are your installations unique enough to capture attention?" that looked at the need to make digital signage deployments unique and attention-grabbing to capture eyes and mindshare.

NEC's Director of Sales – Vertical Solutions, Richard Ventura, and NEC's National Manager for Solutions Sales and Operations, Michael Ferrer, presented a discussion that examined how digital signage can be adapted to unique applications and how the technology is changing to meet needs of vertical markets, and to reach areas once considered inaccessible.

But while novelty is necessary to capture attention, Ventura stressed that the novelty must still be driven by very practical factors.

"Always remember that the requirements of a project are what will drive its uniqueness," he said during the hourlong webinar.

According to Ventura, "unique" is becoming the norm; he cited Corning's "A Day Made of Glass" videos, and talked about how smartphones and tablets are shifting the interactivity of digital signage. The industry is moving closer to the long talked about possibilities of the movie "Minority Report," he said.

"We're really stretching the boundaries of technology," he said. "Now, I'm not saying that we're going to be having digital signage on boxes of cereal or on every wall that you walk through, but we are starting to see the technology being used in applications that are so new."

And he cited examples from the prosaic, digital signage on trashcans in London, to the esoteric, translucent or transparent display screens in retail or an entire store façade made up of digital signage screens.

"The sky's really the limit," he said.

Ferrer then ran through a selection of eye-catching video wall examples, saying that video walls are the fastest growing segment of the industry and "really becoming the digital canvas." He gave examples of video walls using Microsoft Kinect technology to make a video wall gesture-interactive, massive video wall storefronts, and video walls being used in Broadway shows and in museums, airports and operations control centers.

Zacky's storefront video wall

Afterward, Ventura again stressed that the needs and requirement of the end-user still drive unique installations, and will drive the future of the digital signage industry as well.

During a nearly half-hour question-and-answer session to finish the webinar, Ferrer and Ventura fielded questions that ranged from asking about the importance of the "creative side of digital" (Ventura said, "Content's going to drive all of this.") to what the future of outdoor digital signage looks like.

"The future of outdoor is unbelievably huge," Ventura said, after talking about the formidable technical challenges inherent in taking electronic component and installing them outdoors. "There's so many great solutions and technologies out there, and I think we're still just scratching the surface. I think where we're at today for outdoor is similar to where we were five, six years ago when we did a lot of the indoor stuff: The sky's the limit ... We're going to see such a dramatic change in the technology that's pushed for outdoor over the next two years, and a lot of that is being driven because of needs."

Click here to download the free, on-demand version of the webinar.

Read more about digital signage trends.

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