Touch screens have been around since the 1970’s. Traditionally, touch screen monitors have primarily been used for more durable and industrial devices. They have a great advantage over conventional displays in that there doesn’t have to be a separate input device such as a keyboard which saves space.
Traditionally their use has been restricted to industrial computing, however, there are other industries where this space saving advantage of touch screen could prove advantageous: digital signage.
The rise of the mobile phone has seen the popularity of touch screen increase with many phones, PDAs and tablet PCs operate by them. Touch screens are therefore familiar to us all, so it makes sense to combine this technology that people are keen to embrace with the world of digital signage.
Many digital signage kiosks have already embraced touch screen technology. Shopping malls like them to provide interactive information to customers such as wayfinding but there are far more applications to touch screen in digital signage – even outdoor digital signage.
Many of the traditional LCD TV and plasma screens currently deployed in digital advertising, outdoor digital signage and other Dooh projects (digital out of home) can be replaced by touch screen technology. This enables interactivity, and the advertisements, therefore, go from passive to being more active, encouraging interaction and in doing so promoting the brand message.
Digital menu boards are one example. These menus are often small outdoor digital signage units fixed outside a restaurant or eatery but by including touch screen technology customers can interact with the menu, call up pictures of specific dishes – and even book a table.
A recent report, “Touch Screens: Technologies, Materials and Markets”, from marketing specialist Nanomarkets identified the importance of touch screen in the digital signage market, with revenues from touch screen displays increasing by a third over the next few years.
We can therefore expect to see more touch screen displays being implemented in shopping malls, concourses and even on mainstreets in the from of touch screen operated outdoor digital signage.