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From analogue ads to digital dreams

We always look ahead to what is coming our way. For once, we do things differently. We take a closer look at the origin and evolution of digital signage and how it has developed into today's versatile and powerful tool. It is striking how digital signage remains dependent on other technology. Think image carriers, network connectivity, computing power, etc.

Origin and early stages (Late '80s - Early '90s)

The first signage systems emerged during this period, albeit in a rudimentary form. These systems utilized CRT screens and were mainly limited to displaying static images and text. These early implementations of digital signage were focused on advertising purposes and were used in public spaces such as airports, train stations, shopping malls, and stadiums. The 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee, is considered the event that marked the first large-scale commencement of (mass) communication through bulky screens. At this expo, hundreds of electronic boards were activated to disseminate information, wayfinding, and advertising messages. (Source: Knoxville history project)

Technological advancements (Mid to Late '90s)

In the '90s, technological advancements such as improved LCD technologies and more powerful computers began to expand the capabilities of digital signage. This allowed systems to display more sophisticated content, such as videos, animations, and external data.

Network connectivity and content management (Late '90s - Early '00s)

A significant milestone for digital signage was the emergence of network connectivity and content management systems. This enabled users to remotely manage and update content via the internet, making it easier to control multiple displays and showcase dynamic content.

Interactive capabilities (Late '00s - Present)

In recent decades, digital signage has undergone further evolution with the rise of interactive technologies. Touchscreens allow users to interact with displayed content, turning digital boards into interactive information points. These primarily appeared in stores, museums, and other public spaces. Game studios were actually the (real) pioneers in terms of interactivity. Starting from the '60s, this began to simmer through gamification in large arcades.

More about interactivity

Real-time data integration and personalization (present)

Contemporary digital signage systems are capable of integrating real-time data, such as weather forecasts, news feeds, and social media updates. This allows organizations to display dynamic and relevant content tailored to the needs and interests of their audiences.

More about data integrations

Cloud takes everything to unprecedented heights (present)

Another significant development is the transition to cloud-based digital signage solutions. This makes content management and distribution even easier and more flexible as everything is hosted via the internet. Digital signage has come a long way since its inception. However, technology continues to evolve through new innovations. The medium has transformed from a static advertising board into a powerful communication tool that has become indispensable in many sectors (across the globe).

Cloud benefits

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