In case you have forgotten how bad the economy is, there are reminders everywhere. People are foreclosing on homes, thousands are being left without jobs, and businesses that once thrived are now just struggling to survive. But it’s not hopeless on all fronts. As a matter of fact, some markets are actually expected to prosper this year, and M2M (machine-to-machine) technology seems to have a hand in some of these markets.
Projections say digital signage will be one such market prospering in 2009. According to the “Digital Signage Market Analysis” report, published by ABI Research, www.abiresearch.com
, Oyster Bay, N.Y., this market is expected to experience a 33% increase in total revenue during 2009. The digital signage market consists of various types of software, hardware, as well as installation and maintenance.
M2M technology essentially plays two roles in digital signage: Remotely updating digital signage content and monitoring functions that let users know the signage was updated correctly at every location.
This eliminates the process of manually updating each sign. In addition, some digital signage solutions include “smart” signage technology. For instance, facial recognition applications using cameras installed in signs can determine audience demographics, and some are programmed to automatically adjust signage images to appeal to the current audience.
Despite current instability in the market, ABI says the growth in digital signage can be attributed to long-term trends in advertising. In a society that is slowly moving away from print and into a digital media world, traditional print advertising is attracting fewer and fewer consumers over time.
The advantages of digital signage versus print advertising are obvious. Digital signage can deliver messages to a greater number of locations quicker and more efficiently than ads that appear in print. Another advantage of digital signage is that advertisers are able to update and customize messages aimed at certain target customers all in realtime.
Improvements in ad displays, the declining price of electronics, and cheaper data storage are all factors encouraging the adoption of digital signage. Users have a more compelling experience from the medium, which in turn means more feedback for marketers.
Despite the growth projection, there are some potential roadblocks ahead such as market fragmentation, which creates customer confusion as to which technologies and solutions will be the best fit for them. Lacks of standards and data security also stand as potential causes for concern.
According to Zippy Aima, industry analyst, ABI, another issue during these financially trying times is the cost of the technology. She warns even with revenues expected to increase, companies shouldn’t expect rapid success.