Digital Signage Solves ‘Real Business Problems’

Published: February 13, 2014

For a digital signage deployment to be truly effective, it needs to use standards-based practices, must possess some level of intelligence, needs to be easily manageable, requires strong security and has to be measureable.

That was the overarching theme of the 2014 Digital Signage Expo keynote address by Jose Avalos, visual retail worldwide director of Intel’s intelligent systems group entitled “Digital Signage Futurecasting: Insights & Predictions.”

During the session, Avalos announced the launch of Edison, Intel’s development platform that’s the size of an SD card. The mini-computer “makes it possible to deliver a whole new realm of experiences,” he says, highlighting “smart, interactive and fun” as three ways users want to be engaged today.

Mobility, says Avalos, is the “single biggest factor” in today’s buying decisions and should clearly be in the thinking of those who are looking to engage customers. About two-thirds of people use their smartphones to make buying decisions now, meaning retailers and others looking to sell their products must embrace this new approach.

Avalos remembers finding “a very fragmented industry” when he first entered the digital signage space five years ago. Today, that’s changing and he notes several examples in which Intel played a role in helping that turn around.

Adidas has added a virtual footwear wall in many of its stores, helping the company make available all of its shoe styles even when shelf space is limited. In London, the company sold more in one store in two weeks than it had in three stores in six weeks before the footwear wall was enacted, says Avalos, representing a ninefold sales improvement. Sales in adidas’ New York store improved 40 percent in an equally short period, he says.

With Intel’s help, LEGO created an augmented reality kiosk in more than 100 of its stores thay allows people to play with virtual 3D sets. This helped the company realize a 20 percent sales increase, says Avalos.

And the McCormick spice company introduced such innovative programs as Guess That Spice, which asks users to identify a product based on a description and other sensory clues. More than 70 percent of visitors have tried the game and McCormick’s other unique gimmicks.

“Digital signage is being used to solve real business problems,” says Avalos. “It’s part of the solutions that make a difference in the lives of customers.”

There are many more innovations where these came from, says Avalos. PepsiCo, for example, are launching smart coolers that will be able to glean information from their users in myriad ways.

“Digital technology is making it possible to transform any device into a smarter technology,” says Avalos.

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