Although there are plenty of experiences in a person's life to remind them "you get what you pay for," there are still many stalwarts out there who believe that the cheaper way is the better way. We hear this all time: "An integrated touch display costs what?!" Well sure, you can buy a consumer grade TV, slap on a touch overlay and call it a day, but where will that get you? I can guarantee Frankenscreen will be in the trash before you can say "I shoulda listened."
Engineered for longevity
Though most large-format displays look the same, commercial-grade screens have a number of features built in to withstand the elements of being in a public space:
Heavy-duty hardware for a longer lifespan;
Multiple inputs to accommodate the numerous types of network connections that you might be inclined to use;
Designed for 24/7 use and can be mounted in portrait or landscape mode; and
Extra goodies like built-in clocks, timers and cooling to keep things classy.
But we're not just talking about commercial-grade displays. We're talking about some of the best commercial-grade displays out there. For such an experiential solution like touchscreen interaction, you just can't justify quality for price. Instead of asking, "Wow, can we get it cheaper?" you should ask, "How can we make the experience for our users even better?"
Designed for maximum engagement
If your boss or client is still clinging to the idea that a cheaper option would suffice, perhaps we should move onto the issues of design and usability. Touch overlays, although seemingly a lesser investment, actually introduce more costs and opportunity loss due to several factors.
The first and most obvious is poor aesthetics. A two-bezel design with mismatching colors and poor branding elements just can't be in line with your company's or clients' vision for interactive signage. It just can't be. The minimum expectation for technology is for it to be clean and smooth, no matter your industry.
Secondly, overlays introduce a space between the glass and the actual image on-screen which creates a parallax. That's a fancy word, isn't it? It's an apparent displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight. This translates into an interaction issue when the user attempts to press on-screen "buttons."
Integrated Touch Display:
The air gap between the overlay and the display surface also traps moisture causing condensation to collect in the viewable area.
The best integrated touch displays are designed to be beautiful and compact. Each monitor should have its own metal design to ensure the best fit, form and function. The upgrade in the bezel construction also allows for unique branding opportunities. Deployers can choose the bezel's color and finish, and then add a company or client logo. As you know, the more your audience is exposed to your brand, the more powerful it becomes.
Future-proofed for re-use
Integrating interactivity into your strategy is a phenomenal step for you or your clients' brand, as you now have the opportunity to become relevant to this new generation of consumer who have fallen in love with interactive technology. But, we also have to remember that as you are evolving your marketing strategies, your audience is continually adapting to new technological advancements in their day to day. As a result, you are forced to anticipate future trends and developments to make this investment a success. Don't worry, it's not as difficult as it sounds.
Today, you may simply need a single-point touch display for a trade show — but what about tomorrow? Will your company squash their trade show presence? Will single-touch be seen as ancient gesturing in a few months' time?
By future-proofing your solution, your hardware will be able to deliver UI/UX principles or new gestures for multiple-user software without costly upgrades or replacements. Seize this opportunity to integrate multi-touch, webcams or RFID into your interactive solution.
Brian Solis author of "What's the Future of Business" says it best, "We live and compete in a perpetual era of Digital Darwinism. But, nothing today is too big to fail nor too small to succeed as long as relevance and value are in scope. . . the good news is that you have a role in defining where all of this goes."
So how much do they cost, already?!?!
Knowing what I do about today's typical blog reader, there's an 85-percent chance you haven't read this article and have simply scanned the bolded sections to get to the most "important" part. Get to the point already, Jessica! Well, I'm sorry to say that I can't give you a price here.
Just a ballpark estimate you ask? Fine. A single large-format touch display can range from $1,500-$80,000. But why the wide range you ask? Go back and read the dang article!
Jessica Webster is the Art Director for Horizon Display, an interactive solutions company which focuses on creating dynamic experiences that align with customers’ business objectives. She is responsible for working with Horizon’s interactive strategy team to engineer graphical representations of clients’ concepts.