SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The promise of interactivity between potential customers and display technology is only at its beginning; however, advertisers are looking to enable a higher level of engagement with digital signage audiences by enabling a backchannel. Due to the simplicity of SMS messaging and the ubiquity of wireless handsets, 40 percent of new networked digital display platform installations will leverage SMS for interactivity by 2012, according to MultiMedia Intelligence. This is up from approximately 5 percent in 2007.
SMS is not the only manner for providing interactivity. Other wireless methods such as RFID, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi will also find significant penetration in interactive digital signage platforms. In 2008, 169,000 newly installed digital displays had Bluetooth, RFID, Wi-Fi or SMS capabilities or some combination of these four protocols.
“Wireless is the operative word for how digital displays engage customers,” said Rick Sizemore, chief strategist for MultiMedia Intelligence. “Implementing SMS interactivity is a path that opens new revenue streams and will bring back 1-to-1 marketing. MultiMedia Intelligence expects that no alternatives will find the potential success enjoyed by SMS.”
MultiMedia Intelligence also found that:
- In 2008, 90 percent of all networking connections from the servers to the set top boxes or digital media adapters in digital signage networks were Ethernet.
- Cabling options to the display include Ethernet, 1394, HDMI, Wireless HDMI, and co-ax. HDMI promises to comprise 70 percent of connections to newly installed digital displays by 2012. Cabling and related electronics will account for U.S. $170 million in 2008 revenue for companies like Gefen and Belkin in digital signage.
- Europe is becoming more significant in the digital signage market. Germany is seeing a significant rise in deployments with 5,000 new digital signage display screens expected to be installed in 2008.