The sky is the limit!

Sept. 19, 2012 | by Jeff Hastings

Digital Signage is interactive, mobile, cloud-ready and video-enabled. In short, it supports most of the major consumer technologies, as well as the majority of the popular online tools. The limit on what can be done with it is not the technology — we are limited only by our imagination.

Smartphone vendors changed the way we use and think about a "phone." No longer is it a device just for making phone calls — it is your email, Web browser, social media, camera, camcorder, oh, and of course your phone.

The genius in this is that manufacturers built a device that you "wanted" to interact with versus one that you "had" to interact with. Digital signage has that same potential. It is so much more than a new way of conveying information.

In my previous blog, I highlighted the way in which digital signage is going social, with live updates and full interactivity. It is also mobile, embracing the smartphone generation. Support for all types of video, the fastest growing form of online content, is growing ever stronger. Digital signage is also cloud-ready — and in fact has been for quite some time. Taken together, this is a powerful package providing the functionality to do just about anything an integration specialist might dream up. I believe that the real strength of digital signage lies within this newfound potential to interact with customers in unique and engaging ways. This is not just the older-generation displays looping video, this is an interactive experience to capture and captivate the viewer.

Today, solid-state players provide almost all of the functionality of a PC in a much more user-friendly, affordable and stable platform. The introduction of a new generation of players that will truly provide all of the functionality of a PC, and more, is on the horizon.

I'm always thrilled when I see the ways that customers are using our products to support business models that we didn't conceive of when we designed them. That, to me, is the very essence of what a platform should be — a stable foundation that doesn't constrain the size and the shape of the construction above. Solid-state digital signage players are precisely that, and I expect they will be the catalyst for innovation that will continue to drive our industry forward into new and exciting frontiers.

Topics: Cloud-Based Digital Signage , Customer Experience , Mobile Interactivity , Social Media , Software

Jeff Hastings / BrightSign CEO Jeff Hastings joined BrightSign in August 2009 while it was still a division of Roku Inc. In late 2010 with digital signage activities growing so rapidly, BrightSign became a separate firm. The holder of eight U.S. patents, he also has a history of tech industry leadership, including as president of mp3 pioneer Rio.

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