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Customer Experience

Digital signage steps into 2021

While COVID-19 isn't going away yet, digital signage is coming out swinging in 2021 and is ready to tackle all its challenges head on.

Digital signage steps into 2021Image via

| by Bradley Cooper — Editor, ATM Marketplace

2020 has been a long and wild year for digital signage, as vendors have suddenly had to deliver social distancing content and deliver touchless interactive solutions. However it is a new year, so its time for us to look ahead as best to our ability to see what lays on the horizon for 2021.

For example, COVID-19 will likely not go away completely into 2021, and as a result some of the trends that grew during 2020 such as touchless interactivity, temperature screening, virtual receptionist devices and more will grow into massive trends going into 2021.

Digital Signage Today spoke with Tomer Mann, EVP at 22Miles to learn more about these trends and what we can expect in 2021.

Q. What do you see as the most prominent digital signage trends going into 2021?

A. In 2021, I see a lot of enterprises across various industries focusing on reopening – the return to the new normal requires many new precautions, and digital signage software and technologies will play a major role. Features like access control, temperature screening, and hoteling/hotdesking will make the most significant impact into the new year as companies explore how they can best navigate the post-COVID workplace, prioritizing public safety and business continuity. Safety and agility can be achieved with innovations in digital signage and content management platforms, and I think many companies will begin to leverage more of that.

Q.How will digital signage address COVID-19 next year?

A. To everyone's disdain, COVID-19 isn't going away at the end of 2020, but I think a lot more companies are looking to tackle their plans regarding returning to work head on. There will be a new journey for any workplace, campus, or public locations, and many opportunities to embrace new digital signage and communications tools.

Digital signage will be an integral part of venues, rather than a nice-to-have technology. Beginning with immersive digital communication displays, temperature screening and virtual receptionist devices within the lobby of a building and leading to dynamic wayfinding to show anyone where their rooms, desks, or safe timed locations will be, many different applications for digital signage will serve as a guide for traffic flow, allowing better social distancing enforcement and density controls. Digital signage technology will alert occupants of essential safety measures via infotainment content and public health guidelines, and will also support wayfinding by leading occupants to room booking tablets that highlight available rooms and seats that are sanitized and ready for use.

Digital signage to address COVID-19 goes beyond the typical video wall or kiosk; communications will also be pushed to a mobile experience. For example, at 22Miles we offer a feature called Secure Mobile Control as part of our Protection as a Service software solutions suite, that allows users to control any digital display using any OS on a mobile device. Users access SMC via a web-based app, and with a QR code scan (network required), can interact with the display from their mobile web browser with no application install or download required. Leveraging SMC supports social distancing by encouraging users to access important information from their own personal devices, rather than gathering and physically interacting with digital signage and displays, such as wayfinding in shopping or transportation centers, visitor kiosk check-ins for healthcare or hospitality facilities, and others.

Touchless touch solutions are also a growing trend — from voice controls to gesture commands — to offer safe but simple ways to access important information. Enterprises will evolve to safer environments for all, not just because of COVID-19, but because hygiene and communication are best managed together.

Q. What are some factors people are overlooking with digital signage?

A. I think people are still learning about and understanding all that digital signage can do. It's not a novelty anymore, but rather a dynamic medium for information that creates an entertaining, immersive experience. Digital signage used to be just airplay or DOOH focused, stopping at single screens or single interactive kiosks. Now, users are starting to explore the necessity for safe and real time information, controlling density throughout a building, managing occupancy within rooms, workplaces, retail environments, and more, and driving more adventurous objectives that lead to measured productivity increased communication for all.

Q. How will people use digital signage differently in 2021?

A. In short, the concept of touchless touch will see growth — voice, gesture, and mobile controls are already the big buzz words as we look to reduce touchpoints and improve accessibility, so we definitely anticipate growth there for the new year. The communicative elements of digital signage and content management will go beyond a one-way instruction; room booking through hoteling and hotdesking with new triggered occupancy and cleaning protocols will give enterprises a new resource for managing productivity and safety alike. The virtual solutions that reduce human physical interactions will be key to new digital signage applications and growth, and will likely be more widely adopted than ever before.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is the editor of ATM Marketplace and was previously the editor of Digital Signage Today. His background is in information technology, advertising, and writing.

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