Display signage has historically been a one-way communication platform. For decades, signage displayed content and audiences looked at it. Regardless of whether the display was digital or static, the audience’s only interaction with the display was the consumption of its content. That was it. They observed and consumed the content, but contributed nothing in return. Developments in the digital display industry are changing this dynamic by incorporating information about and interaction from audience members. The advancement and proliferation of touch-enabled large-format display technology, mobile connectivity, and augmented reality features, along with the integration of audience measurement platforms, have transformed digital signage. Audiences are no longer communicated to or at, but are instead communicated with. The ways each of these tech developments collect and act on audience data are all different of course, but they strike the same chord philosophically; they aim to turn digital displays into two-way communication platforms.

Humanize Your LED Displays to Engage with Audiences

Display owners, advertisers, and content creators collectively want to better engage their audiences. To do so, they are prioritizing strategies that humanize their display technology. The most engaging communicative experiences most people take part in involve a give and take with other human beings, with each party contributing to further the discussion. Mutual participation is what makes for great conversation because it requires a degree of intellectual, emotional, or mental investment. People care more about content when they are allowed to interact with it, and especially when their interaction influences the topic or direction of communication. Touch screens, mobile connectivity, and augmented reality tech all allow audiences to directly affect the display content they are shown. Audiences get to actively participate in their display experiences now, which in turn creates a much more memorable impression. That leaves audiences entertained, and display owners, advertisers, and content creators satisfied and successful.

Digital Signage Leaves Impressions on Audiences, and Vice Versa

Audience measurement tools operate differently than these other technologies. While touch screens, mobile connectivity, and augmented reality tech allow audiences to directly communicate their interests, preferences, and actions, audience measurement tools instead gather viewer information passively. Though audiences don’t have any individual control over what information these tools collect, they should still be pleased with the proliferation of this tech since it allows displays to present more appropriate content. Audiences don’t get a say, so to speak, but they are still shown content more likely to appeal to them. That’s a big plus. This doesn’t quite mirror the two-way participation of the aforementioned display advancements, but it still brings display communication closer to what people are used to.

As with many other aspects of modern life, the human ability to observe, adapt, adjust, and facilitate within the context of communication is being integrated into digital communication platforms. Displays are being equipped with technology that further replicates how human conversation works, so while we’re still a ways from being able to speak to a display as if it’s our friend, audiences are at least able to leave an impression on displays as displays leave impressions on them.