Is AI the Answer to Maintaining Compelling Content?

Published: January 8, 2024
Image courtesy of Sony Electronics.

“Content is King.” You’ve probably heard that phrase in the digital-signage world. It’s pretty straightforward. It means that no matter how much attention, equipment budget, and human resources you devote to a digital-signage rollout, that program’s success after day one likely rides on this question: will the content shown on those screens be compelling, not only on day two, but one year later? Two years later?

Just a few years back, some in the AV world might have responded to that question with “It’s my job to the get that network up and running. What happens with the content after that is the client’s concern, out of my control.” That was then. This is now: If you’re an AV integrator or digital-signage provider, or even a display or software provider, planning for content needs can help you and your customers succeed. The good news is that new tools are available to help with content planning, deployment and ongoing management — even if you’re not in the business of directly creating content.

AI is the most revolutionary new tool that addresses that challenge. How is AI helping the creation of better, more robust contextual content? The key to understanding AI and content: Look at the “ownership” dynamic in all sophisticated AV and digital signage systems. Then ask, “Who is responsible for the content?” Understand who has the right tools to turn that ownership from a challenge to a successful deployment.

You may have heard from some industry analysts that AI is where the perennial problem of how to refresh content could be solved. We’ll get to that, but first, let’s lay the groundwork for better digital-signage deployments by learning how AI can improve the entire design and project management of a deployment before the screens even go live.

Related: AVI-SPL Boosts ReliaQuest UX with Sony Pro BRAVIA Displays Nationwide

Understand the Metrics

Let’s move beyond AI wishlists, to checklists. What specifically can AI do for the project? It’s all about “Metrics”, one of the most important words in digital signage. AI-enabled software and devices like sensors, beacons and cameras can help you determine:

  • Where specifically should you put the digital screens for your deployment?
  • What eyes are looking at the screens? You can’t leave it up to just the tracking and people counting software. You need AI to learn real patterns and drill down in both time (day-parting, and dwell time) and space (what works where in the space to convert traffic to action).
  • How different spaces — lobby, hallways, service counters, etc. — might have different display and content needs.

It’s all about knowing the lay of the land, metrically, and demographically, before you install the screens and go live.

Can AI Help with Generating Content, and/or Curating Content?

Sony Digital Signage sidebar content is king, AIThe answer is yes, it can. Because new generation Application Interface Programs (APIs – software tools that enable better software-to-software and software-to-hardware communication) now enable content management automation, reducing labor cycles tied to scheduling and trafficking content, as well as optimizing dynamically driven content to leverage a range of contextual triggers. So, it’s now easier to keep content fresh and relevant with less day-to-day work required in the CMS. What does that have to do with AI? AI-enabled edge devices including cameras and sensors, and the CMS, can now more easily work together to create context-triggered content experiences, drawing from more real-time input on location.

The next step? AI that enables content mining 24/7 (it doesn’t sleep), so it’s machine learning how to curate content from asset libraries and often combing that content with input from real-time data pools. The result? More content developed with generative AI elements. We’ll be fully there faster than you think. And we’ll all be much more comfortable with the question “who owns the content?” We will more likely be asking “who takes the credit for that amazing content?” in a constantly content-refreshed and contextually-nuanced digital signage deployment.

As we head there, how can you keep your feet on the ground, and tap into new tools for that job that’s on your desk today? Start with asking your digital signage display provider, and your CMS provider, how, specifically, their offerings tap into the new power of better APIs and AI-enabled devices that can make you excited, not anxious, about owning the content.

Hungry for more digital signage-related news? Our continually updated resource is here to help you master the art of captivating displays and maximize your project’s impact. From the benefits, the types of display technologies to the software and top brands to know, we’ve got you covered! Visit our digital signage hub page.

Chrissy Sara

Courtesy of Sony.

Chrissy Sara is a senior sales support engineer at Sony and one of CI‘s 40 Influencers Under 40, Class of 2023.

Posted in: Insights, News

Tagged with: AI, Content, Digital Signage

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