Blog | Digital Signage: Future Scenarios


Jul 12, 2021

To keep up with the pace of digital adoption, content customization and personalization, content created by AI, machine learning and neural networks have emerged as an essential tool for content automation and customization.

Businesses continue to accelerate their digital transformation timelines from years to months, to adapt to the changing customer behaviors. Digital has accelerated to the point that we’re seeing at least a 5-8 year advancement in how people interact with technology in their day to day lives. Consumer mindsets have rapidly shifted, people are more open to trying new digital ways to shop and almost everyone has adopted how to experience the everyday aspects of their lives in a new way - as a virtual participant streaming through the lens of a webcam.

Smarter Signage: The Future of Trackable Media in the Multi-Touch Attribution (MTA) Model

Digital signage with on-board vision sensors, and other IoT based tracking will provide the critical data for large retail media ecosystems. Making the once non-addressable in-store media with the connections needed to help brands + retailers better understand the impact of each media along the customers path to conversion for both digital and physical retail.

Redefining “Experiential”

Over next 18 months will see a continuation of the trend of accelerated digital adoption, redefining the industry’s most over-used term — experiential marketing. The inevitability of face-to-face re-emergence at work, schools, stores, and entertainment venues will create a host of new opportunities for businesses to converge digital + physical storytelling experiences to meet increasingly pent-up demands of people who have beenquarantined at home for 10 consecutive months, raising the bar for very different, in-person + live experiences – that support the newly entrenched digital behaviors. Digital signage is one of the most critical enabling technologies needed to bridge the digital + physical divide.

AI-Created Synthetic Media

To keep up with the pace of digital adoption, content customization and personalization, content created by AI, machine learning and neural networks have emerged as an essential tool for content automation and customization. In 2020, synthetic media made the headlines with photorealistic digital human avatars as company spokespeople, computer generated social influencers and various types of celebrity deepfake videos. The same synthetic media AI tools that are used generate fake videos of realistic looking celebrities can be applied to digital signage content to create real-time personalized videos that incorporate the viewer’s likeness into the advertising content. People walking down the street, looking into a store window, would see themselves staring in the video ad, playing golf, driving a car, wearing the latest fashions.

Addressable Retail Media, Data Privacy, and the “Cookie-less future”

While digital out-of-home media networks aren’t new to the digital signage industry, 2021 will see a groundswell of new interest from retailers that experienced unprecedented growth in their e-commerce and mobile app channels in 2020. The rapid adoption of digital by customers has provided retailers more customer insights and expanded first party data collection.

Retailers have long sought to replicate the successes of Amazon + Google’s Ad businesses and see an opportunity to create a more comprehensive ecosystem that combines digital media, addressable in-store media and bothonline and in-store customer behavior insights. The main incentive to launch an addressable in-store retail media platform is a reaction to Apple’s new data privacy policy taking effect in 2021, which will provide consumers with in-depth personal data usage transparency. This will fundamentally change how mobile ad targeting works and Google’s plan to join Safari and Firefox todeprecate third party cookies in the coming years.

The Emergence of Connected Surfaces

In the next 18 months we’ll be hearing a lot more about micro-LED technology, new prototypes and production versions will be released, inspiring conceptual ideas on how to create new types of mixed reality experiences. The infusion of micro-LED emissive display elements as part of architectural design, wearables, building facades and transportation vehiclesare just a few interesting use cases for this technology. The combination of 5G intelligent connectivity, IoT, AI and room-sized displays will enable the creation of “connected surfaces” that will transform a location or room with AR- and VR-like visual experiences without the need for a headset or mobile device.

Guest post: Manolo Almagro, Managing Partner
Q Division – A STRATACACHE Company
Q Division is a team of business management consultants, connected commerce-focused industry experts and solution engineers that provide brands and retailers with data-driven, best in class customer experiences. In this blog, Manolo gives insight into future trends in technology.