Digital signage innovators are constantly trying to re-vamp how companies can present media rich content that is both informative and acutely controllable — bridging the gap between the visitor or customer and the location or brand. Location-based content is valuable for communicating events, alerts, directions and even branding, and is quickly setting the pace for well-informed customer service.
As digital signage pioneers work towards adding more control over content and creating more streamlined, chic display technologies, the range of possibility for visitor or customer interaction is only getting larger. Better technology means more options for exactly what digital signage can accomplish and this means more possibilities for efficient service. One service that continues to be developed as technology matures is wayfinding.
Wayfinding can serve a variety of purposes. From simple turn-by-turn directions to event triggered media distribution, wayfinding makes navigating environments not only easier, but engaging. How users are consuming wayfinding is expanding right alongside of the content.
A wayfinding technology that is on the forefront of this digital signage odyssey is mobile integration.
As mobile technology continues to become an integral part of our society, both socially and commercially, the ability to navigate specific locations via a smart device in accordance with digital signage content management systems is an erasure of yet another barrier between the visitor and the establishment. However, just exactly how information is communicated from the content management system to the personal device varies with each type of digital signage software.
Four Winds Interactive, a developer of digital signage solutions, offers an HTML player that allows interactive directories and wayfinding applications to be hosted on the Web. With this specific digital signage software, any device with Internet access can view whatever content is being shared by the HTML player. In regards to wayfinding, a guest can now access a detailed map of their environment via their smart device, allowing the interactive application to service the guest no matter where they are.
Other companies, such as Jibestream Interactive Media, offer platform-specific wayfinding apps. Jibestream’s NovoMap features a variety of content for its guests, one of these features being wayfinding, which are accessible on a personal smart device thanks to the company’s focus on mobile integration and the creation of a mobile app for their NovoMap platform.
The number of ways that software developers can translate digital signage content for a smart device is growing, and these two examples are only two instances of how software-specific mobile integration is possible. From QR codes to open source Web code, developers are looking for ways to create unique mobile answers for the already effective practice of digital signage — more specifically wayfinding.
Integrating mobile technology into a wayfinding system can mean the difference between a handful of kiosks or digital signage displays over a single or multi-site campus, to only a few purposefully placed displays and increased efficiency with the help of a smart device.
Deciding which route for mobile integration best fits a location, however, is completely dependent on the application and the range of specificity needed. Thankfully, if there already is not one, someone can make an app for that, which will be as unique as the content being displayed.