Digital Signage Is a Quiet Giant of the Display Industry
By Gary Feather
The digital signage (DS) sessions at Display Week opened with discussions of the market aspects of the technology, then followed with implementations of the displays. Conclusions were that display innovations will grow the DS market over a billion dollars annually in just two years.
The target markets now and in the future are overwhelming. Business and technology solutions worldwide discussed at Display Week included:
- Sports venues and public arenas
- Vegas and gaming (sports books and entertainment)
- Transportation (trains and planes)
- Government (command, control, communications, and information)
- Retail and digital out of home (DOOH)
- Corporate and conferencing
- Interactive and AR entertainment performers in the AR environment with huge audiences
- Cinema (to replace DLP projection)
The current billions of sales in DS display solutions are largely unknown to many in the industry. Signage includes the special (and often artistic) implementation of LCD panels, LCD tiled walls of hundreds of square feet, OLED panels with unique image quality, and LED-based, seamless tiled panels of any shape, size, and pixel pitch. Digital signage is currently exploiting all the developments of the display industry to give consumers unique and valued “visualization solutions.”
Presentations included the following developments: LED COB offering tighter pitch and greater ruggedness; improved multiplexed drive showing improvement in the current passive addressing schemes; moving from passive backplanes to active-matrix; and moving from the current PWM to a more continuous addressing. All displays in the past (except DLP) made these transitions, and direct-view LED will transition in the next few years based upon image-quality requirements. The quality of today will only get better. The insights from existing systems show that moving to cinema solutions is within reach to replace projection with direct view.
Evolution in digital signage is accelerating, like all display solutions with a target. Looking forward, 2018 will see great growth in innovation and businesses that expands and exploits new and existing markets.