Adding up current 2013 gross shipments of digital tablets from all manufactures, the tablet market has quickly grown to be about the same size as the currently shrinking PC market. The tablet market is also witnessing rapid growth of desirable performance, useful features and handy apps, yet pricing remains attractive. This is potentially good news for businesses that are looking to fulfill their agendas with these practical devices for digital signage.
Many short or long term business objectives can be achieved using digital signage applications, which properly programmed, can bring greater efficiency, enhanced customer experience and potential cost savings for:
restaurant menus and ordering
conference room management
interactive kiosks in retail or service centers
POS signage; and
Sam Ruggles, business solutions manager for an Android-powered digital door sign system, recently noted, "A key benefit of using digital tablets for door signs comes from the reduction of labor redundancies by automatically updating and displaying event and scheduling information using existing data."
Ruggles makes reference to the networkability of digital tablets. Networkability provides access to databases of popular event management software (EMS) programs such as Microsoft Exchange Server/Outlook, Dean Evans EMS or MICROS Opera PMS, which gives digital tablets an instant source of vital event information to display at key locations for conference, meeting and training rooms — all automatically. This minimizes scheduling conflicts and participant confusion, empowering staff to do their jobs with greater effectiveness without putting more effort into it.
Just as we see with any digital device, there are a myriad of options and features that may or may not be useful in a business setting. That's why it is important to consider selecting first a digital tablet vendor before splurging and buying a zillion units that may not fit your application.
A business should look for a vendor that is skilled at creating either Android or iOS apps that can be designed and customized to meet specific needs. Moreover, this vendor should know how to properly network the device, and if necessary, write coding to achieve system integration. This is a vital key to making digital tablets work smarter for your business.
Besides expert programming to interface tablets to existing databases, EMS, PMS and POS systems, a valued tablet vendor can also provide mounting devices that keep the digital tablets secured in a public environment. These mounting devices can secure tablets on walls, shelves, counters, and most recently, on stand-alone pedestals that create quasi-kiosk applications.
Another value-add from a competent vendor would involve the selection process for tablet hardware that best suits the needs of your business. Some tablets come with nifty ports that can enable system installers to plug in P-o-E (Power-over-Ethernet) to simplify the installation. Other useful features may include high resolutions screens and mini USB ports. Some features like cameras and docks, which are handy for consumers, only add cost and weight for business applications that may not require these features.
The fact is, there are endless ways digital tablets can help fulfill business agendas. The key to making this product work for you is finding a vendor that scales to your needs, has the expertise to program custom apps, and can properly integrate the hardware into a system for a winning solution.
David serves as Keywest Technology’s director of marketing and has a background in emerging digital technologies, working for more than a decade as an electronic field engineer with digital video equipment manufacturers before joining Keywest Technology.