EPISODE 133 | Guest: Debbie DeWitt, marketing communications manager for Visix
Digital signage has become so ubiquitous that people are finding new and innovative ways to transcend common uses of digital signage, expanding the technology’s reach into more uncommon contexts.
In this episode, we cover some of the newest ways organizations are using their screens to communicate to, connect with, and immerse their audiences in unique experiences. And yet these, too, will be more widely adopted and will eventually become, themselves, commonplace.
- Understand the most common uses for digital signage today
- Hear how digital wayfinding is being expanded to parking garages
- Learn creative uses for queue management and smart restaurants
- Discover how screens are enhancing libraries, museums, galleries and public artwork
- Explore shopping enhancements using mirrors, digital signage, AI and IoT
Get more ideas in our Masterclass 3: Digital Signage Content Guide
Derek DeWitt: As we so often say on this podcast, digital signage seems to be everywhere you look – from retail spaces and environments to college campuses, hospitals, corporate hubs and offices, and even manufacturing floors.
Today we’re gonna talk about some of the more uncommon uses, and to help me with that, I’m speaking today with Debbie DeWitt, marketing communications manager for Visix. Hi, Deb. How are you?
Debbie DeWitt: I’m good. How are you doing?
Derek DeWitt: Excellent. Excellent. I’d like to thank Debbie for talking to me today. And of course, everybody out there for listening to this episode of Digital Signage Done Right. You can review us on IMDb. You can subscribe to the podcast, and you can follow along with a transcript on the Visix website.
The most common thing that one might see on digital signs is some kind of message, whether it’s a, hey, there’s a meeting or a town hall, or, hey, don’t forget to sign up for the 401(k), or things like this; all kinds of different messages for all kinds of different reasons. You’ll also see data visualizations for all sorts of different things like charity drives, or anything else that has a time limit and a goal of some kind.
KPIs are another common use of digital signage, where employees can see real-time metrics on how things are progressing with the company, progress towards goals, things like this.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah, definitely. I think data-driven content’s getting more and more popular.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah.
Debbie DeWitt: Because obviously there are a lot more data sources out there, and so a lot of people wanna pull those in on their screens. And I think if you’ve listened to any of our episodes, you’ll know that the most common thing on all digital signs are event schedules.
Derek DeWitt: Right.
Debbie DeWitt: So, that’s data driven, but it’s also very timely. And like you said, it’s all about employee engagement, employee information.
Another thing that we’re seeing lately is a lot of hybrid offices using it to show who’s in the office, to show where there’s an open desk or a workstation or an office you can book if you’re in the office that day.
Derek DeWitt: Hotdesking!
Debbie DeWitt: Hotdesking, office hoteling, all of those things get tied into digital signage.
Derek DeWitt: Of course, when we’re talking about engagement, one great way to get employees and other audience members engaged is to do recognition. And some places are starting to sort of create recognition walls to create a positive workplace culture, right? So, it’s not just boardroom presentations and wayfinding and reminders of different things. It’s also celebrating achievements with dynamic displays that show milestones, employee spotlights and the like.
So, try and imagine you walk into your office lobby, and you’re greeted by a digital wall showcasing all the latest things that your colleagues have accomplished. Hey, this person met this goal or exceeded this goal. This department is on track for this. We’ve done this many service calls. The specifics will obviously depend on what kind of an organization you have. But just this little sort of a check-in boosts morale and creates a sense of camaraderie and appreciation within the workplace. Even when you’re seeing stuff that isn’t about your team or your department, it still kind of helps knit everybody together into a cohesive whole.
And they’re not always limited to just achievements either. You can have interactive elements like employees can share their own success stories or nominate peers for commendable efforts. The result often is a visually stunning testament to the collective success of the team, and, as I said, it reinforces this really positive company culture. And this is especially true, I think, as Deb mentioned, when we have a hybrid office scenario where people aren’t there five days a week. So, it gives them a chance to feel like they didn’t miss out on anything.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah, definitely it keeps people connected or feeling connected. If you wanted to make it interactive, letting somebody actually use a template to just do a shout out, you could actually have that right there on an interactive screen. Or of course, you know, if it’s through the software, they can do it at their desktop or phone.
But I would say also, like, we talk about this a lot for corporate, but a lot of schools do this. You know, they spotlight teachers and students. Obviously, a lot of clubs and teams have achievements.
And a lot of healthcare facilities and education and government and things like that; they’re using digital signage to spotlight donors. You know, it says thank you to our patrons and it encourages other people to give, so it’s really nice. And it’s really just anyone you wanna highlight and recognize.
Just to mention, I noticed lately at Visix we’re doing a lot of interactive donor boards and hall of fame boards lately. So, it’s a hall of fame for whomever, if it’s a donor, if it’s a sports team, if it’s alumni. But a lot of these sort of, let’s call out and give some information on the people who’ve contributed to our success.
Derek DeWitt: One thing we’ve talked about in the past, and given as advice and now we’re starting to see people actually do, are live polls and surveys. Throwing up live polls and surveys on digital signage, lets attendees use their smartphones to participate in giving realtime feedback. And then the results are dynamically updated on the digital display. Now this adds not only an interactive element, which is totally fun – this can be for presentations, conferences, anything where a bunch of people are participating – but it also gives valuable insights into opinions and preferences of the audience. If you wanna engage your audience, find out what they’re interested in.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. And I think we had Andrew Brown from ABC do a great episode on surveys. You mentioned doing this, you know, on phones, but you could also just have them take a poll on the touchscreen. And another thing is, you know, a lot of people tune out ’cause they’re like, I don’t have interactive screens. Well, if you don’t have a touchscreen, you can just show a QR code that takes them to the survey right there. And, you know, they scan that on your screen, take the survey, and then those results can feed back in with the auto-updating data feed pulling from, you know, SurveyMonkey or whatever you’re using.
Derek DeWitt: Sure, sure, sure.
So those are two up and coming uses of digital signage. And as we see the technology evolve and it just becomes more and more commonplace in people’s minds, people are finding more uncommon ways to use this messaging and communications medium.
So, I’ve hunted down some things on the web, and I even used ChatGPT to give me some ideas of more uncommonly common uses of digital signage. Of course, as always, when using ChatGPT to give yourself an outline of some kind, you then have to check it to make sure that what it’s telling you is accurate, because it does hallucinate from time to time.
All right, the first one was wayfinding in parking garages. Yeah, once in a while you’ll find one that’s cleverly organized or painted – red floor, green floor or what have you. But a lot of those places are really, like, they’re hard to get around. There’s a famous Seinfeld episode where they cannot find where they parked their car at the shopping center, right?
So, some parking facilities are starting to implement digital signage to give realtime wayfinding assistance. So, the dynamic displays guide drivers to the exits, and people to elevators and stairs, and they can display start-to-finish paths on the maps. And then other information can also be available, like how many parking spaces are available, which streamlines the parking process and obviously reduces congestion, and, let’s face it, frustration.
Debbie DeWitt: It makes sense. A lot of places that just used old signs like LEDs, you know, that had a green arrow, or they would always show this whole floor of the parking garage is full, things like that, turning those into screens ’cause you can do a lot more.
I will say, even though, like, building wayfinding’s one of the most common uses of digital signage. I think it’s cool that people are using them in parking garages if you strap it to whatever, say, the destination is. If this is a parking garage for a hospital, for example. Why not have your wayfinding in that parking garage? Because I have to say, especially for women who are traveling alone, or if they’re with children, finding that most direct route from your car to your destination or from, you know, the exit on that floor to your destination, is really important, especially at night.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s true. I don’t know if anybody listening out there’s ever been to Germany, but you’ll see if you go there that almost all public parking garages have spaces reserved at the front for female drivers. Not because they’re weak or anything silly like that, just because it’s safer, you know?
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah, yeah. They usually put them near exits, near sunlight, so that you can basically get out quickly. It’d be really nice, though, that, okay, once I go through that exit door or go up those stairs, and I’m out on the street or I’m on some path, what’s next?
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. And I also think it’s a really interesting point that you make with people with children. You personally might be okay with wandering around for 15 minutes, but you know, that 6-year-old, they’re not gonna be too into that.
Debbie DeWitt: Little Timmy’s a nightmare.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, right. He needs ice cream now.
Another thing ChatGPT came up with was sort of an extension of the menu board, which is when you have basically a digital menu. Instead of paper menus, you’ve got screens up on the walls that are showing what’s available in that particular restaurant. Could be a fast food place; obviously it’s not gonna be, you know, your high-end $80 steak place is probably not gonna do this, but plenty of other places this is appropriate for. And they can be interactive, and they can have all kinds of information. But now we’re starting to see a revolution in something that is being called smart restaurants.
So, try and imagine the restaurant not only has their menu offerings for the day, but it also showcases great images of the dishes, and it updates in real time. So, it can show daily specials, it can show promotions, it can show chef recommendations. And it can tie into the inventory system as well. So, as you run out of a particular item it just drops off automatically from the menu, so people don’t get frustrated when they say, I want that, we don’t have that.
Also, you can daypart for different times of the day, different days of the week, different seasons and so on. This gives a flexible approach to showcasing your culinary offering. So, for example, a coffee shop might highlight iced beverages on hot days during the summer, and in the winter, hot chocolate and other hot drinks that will warm you right up. The result is that you get a menu that’s not just visually enticing, but it also is adaptive and almost anticipates the diners’ desires.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. And I think we’re seeing a lot of this being done already. I mean, we know most fast food places now you walk in, you order on screen, you pick it up at the counter, but you know, certainly this can be adapted. It’s never gonna be, like you said, really high end, but it can be adapted to things like, you know, what if I order it and then go to a table, you know, and it gets delivered there as opposed to picking it up at a counter.
Some of the other things we’re seeing, showing nutritional information’s super important. Allergy information. A lot of this is even required by a lot of the states.
I was thinking, too, while you were talking, about seasonal things, you know, sustainability and things like that are very important to consumers. So, you could advertise where you’re sourcing your ingredients, where you’re getting your food. You know, I think that’s all really important is a lot of people look for not just nutritional information, but sort of responsible consumption.
Derek DeWitt: And again, if you are composting old stuff or your recycling containers and things like this, this can also be promoted up on the digital signs to remind everybody, hey, we’re, we’re paying attention to this, we’re doing it.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. It’s all customer experience and it’s also helping to build maybe more of a relationship with the brand as opposed to just, you know, this is where I like my fries.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, right!
The next item is queue management in the entertainment context. So, obviously we have the post office, service centers, doctor’s offices, government offices; queue management is very important. If it doesn’t actually save them time, it does reduce what’s called perceived wait times, simply because people are getting sort of common updates on their progress in the queue. But it can be way more than just that.
Like you said with the parking garages, in the old days when it’s just LED screens, well, you’re kind of limited; all we can do is show these numbers and maybe an arrow. But with a digital sign, well, you could put anything up there. So, while people are waiting, you can show news, you can show educational content. You can go a little further and make it more fun like for showing up trivia. And it can be trivia about that specific place or organization.
Debbie DeWitt: I think you should gamify your queue management where, like, if you’re putting up queue numbers, you actually have some gamification that, like, once an hour, somebody gets a reward of going to the front of the queue.
Derek DeWitt: Actually, that would be fantastic!
Debbie DeWitt: Right? Take our quick survey, like one-question, two-question survey, and you might get jumped to the front of the queue. Gamify anywhere you can.
Derek DeWitt: Oh, that’s for sure. Yeah. And you know, if you have interactive screens, you can also have interactive games on there. This is especially something that is useful in an environment, say, like a hospital where you might be waiting for quite a while, and you might have kids with you and you know, they get bored pretty quick. So, hey, go do the penguin on the iceberg game over there on the sign.
Debbie DeWitt: I always say, even if you don’t have touchscreens, putting something on your signs other than CNN can help the visitor experience. Nothing against CNN, but you know, especially somewhere like you said a hospital or like a doctor’s office, you’re trying to lower the stress. So, maybe Fox News or some other news station isn’t the best.
And as a marketer I always have to ask, like, isn’t there something you want your audience to know? Like, these are your clients or your community or something. Why not use the time they’re waiting to put some information in front of them?
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, for sure. Or I’m also thinking of say, like, I don’t know, some kind of government office where, like, I don’t know, the DMV or something like that. Hey, when you come up here, if you’re coming here for this reason, please have the following documents ready. You can be ready when you get to the front of the queue.
Debbie DeWitt: I used to work at a DMV, I have a lot of ideas for that. I also think places like that are a great place to build in some humor. Show like, hey, you do need a power of attorney to get your husband’s license plates renewed, but do it in a fun way, do it in a jokey way, you know? Relieve any stress you can.
Derek DeWitt: Speaking of stress, obviously another use of digital signage that is quite common actually is for alert notifications in case of some kind of an emergency, right? As we know, if you don’t have good communication, that emergency can quickly worsen because things become chaotic. People panic, they don’t know what to do, they don’t know where to go.
Digital signage has been a critical component of emergency messaging systems for a while. You get realtime updates and guidance to the audience. Where should they go? What should they be doing? What should they not be doing? Like, hey, it’s a fire, don’t touch the hot door handle, things like this.
Debbie DeWitt: Don’t use the elevators.
Derek DeWitt: Don’t use the elevators, right? And again, these don’t have to just be static messages. They can integrate with sensors and external data sources, and this gives you a dynamic context-aware information stream. So, for example, let’s say there’s a natural disaster, I don’t know, a tornado; digital signage can display the evacuation routes, emergency contact numbers, live updates. All of these things can help ensure the wellbeing of people in the affected area and minimize stress and panic, and injury.
Debbie DeWitt: Our digital signage software has an alert app that’s triggered by what’s called Common Alerting Protocol (CAP). And it lets you set up different alert, you know, notices, and then whatever the CAP trigger is tells it what to put on screen. But I will say, yeah, the biggest thing here, whether it’s digital signage or not, is you need a crisis communications plan well in advance.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, for sure. Plan, plan, plan, and then test, test, test.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah.
Derek DeWitt: Run some drills. Why not? There’s no harm in running drills.
Debbie DeWitt: I think educators have been doing this for decades. We’ve all done fire drills as kids and stuff like that. And, I think, corporate and government offices and manufacturing plants, all of those people are starting to really do this if they’re not already.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, that’s for sure.
In a previous episode about the Internet of Things and digital signage, we talked a little bit about environment-aware digital signage. And one of the most common ways we’re seeing this being used today is with what we might call weather-activated content.
So, you’ve got a digital sign or a digital billboard that changes its content based on what the weather is. So, on a hot day, it shows where you can go get a nice cool beverage or public swimming pools or where you might find beach vacation options and so on and so forth. On a rainy day, here’s where you can go get umbrellas or here’s some things you can do to stay indoors. Obviously, this can tie into, as weather gets more extreme, oh by the way, it’s not just a snowy day, there’s a storm coming, and then obviously the alert notifications can kick in.
This is an adaptive content approach that really, I think, helps make digital signage much more relevant and much more engaging. It’s really about what’s going on here and now.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah, everybody wants to know what’s the weather’s like, what’s the weather gonna be tomorrow?
Derek DeWitt: The number one conversation in Great Britain.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. I mean, weather is one of the most common uses of digital signage next to event schedules. I think every single one of our clients use weather, show weather, at least current, if not the forecast. And we already have an episode, and we’ve done some white papers and things where we recommend using seasonal themes, because it just makes your content feel more relevant, more up to date, you know, more timely.
But also using data-triggered text, data-triggered artwork and backgrounds, which our product does, you can actually automate screen changes based on the weather data. So, say the temperature is a certain amount and the forecast is sunny, your background is a blue sky, you know, with sun and the icons are different, obviously. But also, if it is raining and depending on how hard it’s raining, you can have an animated background just showing some sprinkles. You know, you can have lightning flashes, things like that.
Derek DeWitt: Torrential downpour!
Debbie DeWitt: You actually can, because, you know, people looking at those screens would be like, oh, you know, I’ve been in the office all day, I had no idea that there’s a thunderstorm outside, ’cause I’m in a cubicle.
Derek DeWitt: If the weather suddenly gets really extreme out there, you might also tie into traffic feeds and current traffic data as well, because, you know, if it’s raining or snowing or blustery out there, it’s going to affect commutes.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. And we’ve talked a lot about, like you said, a campus or anywhere that has like buses or a bus transit system, you know, being able to see, hey, why don’t I wait inside because the next bus isn’t for eight minutes.
Derek DeWitt: And you know, if it’s raining really hard, expect delays.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah.
Derek DeWitt: One place we see digital signage really being used in a number of different ways is university campuses. The offerings are so diverse, the audience is so diverse, ’cause you’ve got your students and you’ve got different students in different years and different disciplines, so they have different interests and needs. You’ve got staff and faculty, you got visitors, you have the general public. So, there’s a lot going on there.
We’re now starting to see interactive learning hubs, a new way to use digital signage to further the goals of education. So, try and imagine you go into the library, and you see one of these hubs powered by dynamic digital displays that go way beyond static information. So, you get like an immersive learning experience. Information is presented through a sort of a gamified method, presenting the information and then kind of quizzing people. Hey, this is the video you just saw, or these are the slides you just saw, or messages you just saw; how much did you retain? You can also have interactive maps and really, the sky’s kind of the limit with this stuff. Historical narratives, scientific simulations. I mean, honestly, the possibilities are as vast as the different subjects that are covered, right?
Debbie DeWitt: We mainly see schools and libraries using digital signage, not only for messaging, but to show like available study rooms, computer lab spaces, things like that. I see more of what you’re talking about, timelines and that kind of thing, at a museum.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. I think environments like that, we’re gonna see that this is a much more common use of digital signage.
Speaking of museums and yes, even art galleries, right? Traditional art, we all know what it is. You get your painting, your sculptures, your drawings and so on. But we’re also seeing more and more artists really leveraging technology in very cutting edge ways. And we’re seeing some galleries and museums really doing these full digital displays way beyond static placards and things like this. You can really enhance the visitor experience.
So again, imagine you’re standing in front of a masterpiece, I don’t know, one of the Dutch masters, and there it is. And in the old days there was maybe, I don’t know, a paragraph, if you were lucky, of information about it. But now with digital signage, I can have a phenomenal amount of information about that painting just by tapping the screen. Not just about the painting itself, but the art style, the time period, biographies of the artist, behind the scenes footage like, hey, we spent four years restoring this. Totally transforming the way that people interact with art and culture.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah, it’d be nice to have like a, if you like this, go look at this. I mean, that’s our whole…
Derek DeWitt: Go to gallery seven.
Debbie DeWitt: …our whole online life is, if you like this, you might like this. It’d be useful, ’cause some museums are quite large. It’d be nice to sort of have a recommendation of you might wanna skip the next gallery because it’s all this guy.
And we’re talking about galleries as well. So, galleries are repping an artist. You know, you can have maybe even a purchasing system right there. Or put a bid in on something. ‘Cause you know, galleries, generally, they are for sale, and generally they don’t have the entire artist’s collection out there. In a lot of cases, they might have one piece. And so, you could have a whole catalog for that artist, you know, on a screen.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. Or going much bigger scale. So, let’s say we’ve got an ancient civilizations display at a museum. Well, some of this stuff is on loan, some of this stuff is being stored, some of this stuff is being restored, and yet everything that is available can be shown on the digital signs. You show all the historical artifacts.
Like I’m thinking of, you see like, oh, here’s a jar with this really lovely painting on it. And we have like 20% of that jar, and we’ve assembled it as much as we can, but here’s a computer mockup of what we’re pretty sure it looked like and what it was used for and things like this. So, you could really kind of bring this stuff to life.
Heck, you could go crazy. You could virtually unwrap mummies. You could explore ancient scripts. Put the museum visitors inside the historical context in a much more engaging and interesting way than just looking at, you know, a whole bunch of old things. And I’m not downplaying the old things, but I’m saying it could be quite exciting. This would really transcend the traditional museum visit. And for people that don’t like museums, it might make it more interesting for them. Maybe they would go more often.
Debbie DeWitt: Places I’ve been the most successful is that interplay between the physical exhibition and then augmenting that with other things, which is like either digital or, you know, sometimes they just have a printout of this is the vase restored, you know, that kind of thing. But I think a blend is the best. You know, that’s the most common use of digital signage we see with, like, museums is augmenting the art. Because, you know, I took an art appreciation class.
Derek DeWitt: Wow!
Debbie DeWitt: You know? Context makes a huge difference in how art’s perceived. If you just look at a piece of art compared to looking at it with some background and some context, you’re gonna have a wholly different experience. And I would say also, especially when it’s coming to new art galleries and museums, sometimes the digital signs are the art.
Derek DeWitt: Oh, well. Yeah. That’s very true. Which leads us very neatly (did you do that on purpose?) to the next thing, which is interactive art installations.
In public spaces, touch-sensitive displays can invite people to interact with the artwork, change the artwork, altering patterns, colors, playing music based on user input. More sophisticated installations or also using sensor technology and AI and IoT to create something that’s truly a unique experience.
Right there in the park or in the public square, humans are walking by and they’re interacting with this kind of digital mind, if you will. And together they’re co-creating something that everybody can enjoy. I know you’re, Deb’s laughing at me, but I love this stuff.
Debbie DeWitt: No, I’m with you. I’m with you. I’m just watching you get so excited. And I was gonna say, we’re seeing a lot of entertainment venues that are blending art and experience, like these 360 degree immersive video rooms or screens with audioscapes, and sometimes even smells and the temperature changes, things like that. Even escape rooms are using some digital signage.
And actually, it’s interesting the blend between what’s art, what’s just an experience? Like, we recently went to Berlin, and we’re at a pub.
Derek DeWitt: Oh yes!
Debbie DeWitt: And in this pub, there is a very small room they called the “chalet”. It was all done up like a little Austrian sort of, you know, lodge. What we thought were, you know, just normal screens along the wall showing a view of the Alps, actually had an entire storyline that played out over a couple of hours. People coming and going along those screens, doing little mini stories. And at some point, the weather changed, and there was actually a fake, like, thunderstorm in the room.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, yeah. Like the lights actually went out for just a moment in the room when the displays showed a nearby lightning flash.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. And I think that’s where digital signage really crosses over into an immersive experience.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. And you know, it worked. Because it was so cool, and we were so interested, once we clocked it, that we stuck around, I think, much longer than we would have normally.
Debbie DeWitt: To see the end of the stories.
Derek DeWitt: We wanted to see the end of the stories.
Debbie DeWitt: And we wanted another storm.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, yeah. That was very exciting. So, they got quite a few beers out of us.
Debbie DeWitt: Yes!
Derek DeWitt: Sneaky, sneaky, sneaky.
Another idea that ChatGPT came up with was fitness motivation screens. Like at the beginning of the year, gym memberships skyrocket. And then by the middle of the year they find out that actually they’re only at half capacity, ’cause people intend to go, but they don’t actually show up. And I think part of this is because gym routines are monotonous.
So, we already know that we’ve seen on stationary bicycles and treadmills, they’ll have a TV or something like that, so people can be entertained while they’re exercising. But we’re seeing this really branch out much more using digital signage. Screens not only showing something entertaining, but also workout instructions. And even going further, like a motivating immersive exercise environment, kind of like a virtual coach or trainer.
Try and imagine you go into your fitness center or your gym, and there are large digital displays with this dynamic content. Boom. Some workout tips, some motivational quotes, some realtime fitness metrics. I mean, who knows? Maybe you could even have, like, a little sensor of some sort on your body, like a wearable or a fitness tracker. Like a Fitbit.
Debbie DeWitt: Your Fitbit.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, exactly. And that ties in, so your stats are on the screen, if you don’t mind everybody seeing them. Maybe you could anonymize it.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah, maybe. I mean, we’ve seen gym equipment with screens for decades.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah.
Debbie DeWitt: So, I think it’s more about getting creative with that content. You know, I think that people, it used to be just watching local news and then it turned into…
Derek DeWitt: Or Friends reruns.
Debbie DeWitt: Right. And then it turned into like all of our televisions. Now it’s this unlimited amount of things you can choose. But yeah, getting creative with what you could choose. I think it’d be cool if you could choose a personal trainer for your screen, like a celebrity or an athlete, you know? Can I call up…?
Derek DeWitt: Arnold!
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. Can I call up somebody, you know…
Derek DeWitt: I worked out with Arnold today.
Debbie DeWitt: And also get it off the bike. You know, there should be screens in different, you know, maybe there are even, you know, the yoga room and things like that, but like, getting the screens out of there. It’s all about customer experience.
But like you said, I think if you can offer something cool like this, you’ve got an edge over your competitors.
Derek DeWitt: Oh, absolutely so.
Another idea that’s come up is interactive mirror displays in fitting rooms. And when I first saw this, I thought maybe, because I really dislike clothes shopping, I thought, eh, who cares? But I could see for someone who’s likes clothes shopping or needs to buy a bunch of stuff, this might be interesting.
So, retailers are experimenting with mirrors that are mirrors, but they’re also interactive digital signs. The customers can request different sizes or colors or styles without leaving the fitting room at all.
We’ve seen this in, I don’t know, Black Mirror episodes and science fiction movies for a while now, where I have my thing, I go up to the mirror and I kind of virtually try things on to see, hey, would this look good on me, will this, you know, does this shirt make me look fat? I don’t know. Now I can see. And then you can see if they have in stock something your size and so on and so forth. Also, style tips, accessory suggestions, just about anything. It’s an augmented reality mirror.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. I mean, I want it. I want it, I want it right now. I think right now what they’re experimenting with is, you know, when you say you can request a different size or color, obviously a person has to go get that for you and bring it to you. But that’s nice. Anyone who’s ever been stuck in a changing room, you know, and I’ve got 17 things to try on, and I just need this one size up.
Derek DeWitt: And you’re sweating.
Debbie DeWitt: I’m not. I don’t sweat.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, I sweat.
Debbie DeWitt: But a lot of people have probably already seen mirrors with screens in them. They’re showing up just in like bathrooms of restaurants and things like that. So, it’s building on that theme.
And of course, you know, to me I’m like, the moneymaking scheme is if you’re in your closet at home and you ask your AI, show me different outfits overlaid over my body in this mirror, and it starts putting things together, and then it inserts something you don’t actually have. I don’t own that top, but boy doesn’t it look good? You wanna order that? ‘Cause we can have somebody, a drone’ll deliver it today before the party that you’re getting dressed for or whatever. Like, that’s the future when we get into more IoT, more personal AIs, all of that, like I’m for it. And this is one of those sort of everyday things I can see being very cool.
Derek DeWitt: So, that is the end of my list of common uses of digital signage and uncommon uses of digital signage that might become more common.
These all really demonstrate the adaptability of the technology in various settings. These showcase its potential to innovate and, honestly, redefine experiences across diverse industries. As the technology continues to evolve, we can anticipate, I think, even more unconventional and creative applications that really leverage the capabilities of digital displays in unexpected ways.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. And I think, as we mentioned a couple of times, AI is the game changer.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah.
Debbie DeWitt: A lot of what we talk about for uses of digital signage, is it’s just about how creative can you be? You know, start with the creativity, start with what you want to do, like all art. Then choose the medium, then worry about the technologies, then worry about does my software have a widget? Can I program this, will my player, do you have that resolution? Things like that. But start with the creative side of it and meet a need.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah, absolutely so. Or meet needs that maybe people didn’t even know that they had.
From reshaping education to fostering positive workplace cultures, revolutionizing dining experiences, and enhancing the way we engage with art and fitness and shopping, digital signage is a dynamic force that is propelling us into the future. So, keep your eyes wide open because it’s just going to become more and more interesting. The power of digital signage is that it’s no longer just a tool, it’s a canvas of endless possibilities waiting to be explored.
I’d like to thank you all for listening to this episode of Digital Signage Done Right. I’d like to thank Deb for talking to me today. Thanks for chatting about what is here and what is coming in digital signage. Even though some of it sounds offbeat, I think we’re gonna see this stuff happen more and more.
Debbie DeWitt: Yeah. And faster. And faster.
Derek DeWitt: Yeah. Here’s to the exciting and ever-evolving world of digital signage. And thank you for listening to the podcast. I remind you again that you can follow along with a transcript on the Visix website, where there are also lots of helpful links.