Digital Signage – Two Years Out

I just finished writing an article for an upcoming edition of the “Digital Signage Future Trends Report”.  The purpose of the article is to convey my thoughts on the prospects for the digital signage industry looking forward two years.  The following is the concluding paragraph from my article.

“My prediction for two years out is this:  A handful of companies will learn to master digital signage and mobile convergence.  Those that do will assume a dominant position within the industry as they facilitate an intimate and measurable experience for the viewers of digital signage.  The great majority of the companies who either refuse or cannot master convergence will be following a path to to their demise.”

Yeah, yeah, I know.  You’re saying to yourself, “What else would Steve say.  His whole life revolves around advocating convergence.  I wouldn’t have expected anything else.”

Well, you’re right.   But there’s a reason for it.  I absolutely believe that signage/mobile convergence is essential to the industry’s survival and well-being.  Let’s face it.  Things are changing.  Our society is changing. The way that people interact with one another is changing.  How they get their news and entertainment is changing.  How they conduct commerce is changing.  Where and when they do things is changing.  And, yes…. Mobile technologies are playing a central role in all of this change.

Every day I Tweet about ways in which mobile technologies are changing people’s lives.  In personal commerce, convenience, safety, security, shopping, communications, health, finances, etc., etc.

To date, the digital signage industry has given lip service to mobile but little else.  I outlined reasons why in my “Future Trends” article.  I’ll let you know when it comes out.

Bottom line, if the industry doesn’t get on the stick, there will be no industry.  It will be an oligopoly.  Showing content on a screen is great, but enabling an end-to-end, immersive consumer experience is quite another thing.

Think I’m overplaying the value of mobile and the real-time nature that mobile delivers, watch the above video to see what Eric Schmidt of Google thinks about mobile and real-time communications.

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7 Responses to “Digital Signage – Two Years Out”

  1. Well you should checkout http://MediaSignage.com they offer Free Digital Signage and support all OSs including Android.

  2. “Demise” is a strong word and may be overstating the situation; however, there’s no doubt in my mind that those who grasp the concept of convergence and can act on it may well leave their competition in the dust. Check out the projected growth of QR codes, for example, in this USAToday interview article: “Why those funny new cellphone bar codes will take over the world.”

    “QR codes will be ubiquitous in five years, and the phone will be like a magic wand — wave it and get things. It will be your access to the Internet wherever you go. And it will be the most efficient way to get any information anywhere.”
    http://content.usatoday.com/communities/technologylive/post/2011/05/qr-code-cellphone-bar-code/1

    • Richard, I appreciate your comment. Good to hear from you.

      Well… QR codes could be ubiquitous in 5 years, but I doubt it. I have, however, been wrong before so it wouldn’t be that earthshaking if I was wrong again. I will say this however, two years ago some of the smartest people I knew said that QR codes would be reaching near ubiquity within three years. We’re less than a year from that 3 year mark and we’re not even close to “near ubiquity.”

      I do however believe that in 5 years NFC will be reaching near ubiquity. Just too many ways to create a solid value proposition and very measurable return on investment.

      Regarding the demise of those who don’t grasp mobile/DS convergence. I have no doubt about this and am absolutely certain of it. I talk to too many customers to come to any other conclusion. I wish I could tell you how many deals we’ve won solely because of our mobile strategy.

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