How the Internet of Things is changing the face of digital signage?

The Internet of Things – what is it? In a nutshell, it is implementing the latest digital technologies to allow physical objects to “talk” to one another. It’s a transforming area to be in, and the U.K. is aiming to be a major player in shaping the Internet of Things.

Gartner[1] has estimated that by 2020, 26 billion (yes, billion) devices will be transmitting data between each other via the Internet. All of these devices will be using the latest Web technologies to communicate — and with primary and secondary school children in the U.K. set to learn coding from September 2014, the new era of coders will be well equipped to influence the world we live in, more so than ever before.[2]

With the expected growth of the IoT there will be a plethora of data sources, devices and objects to connect and communicate with. These sources will open the doors to completely synced and integrated retail experiences, health care services, leisure and tourism activities, and much more that many can only begin to imagine.

Digital Signage will play a crucial role in the IoT, and even today we’ve seen some fantastic uses of digital signage interacting with physical objects and their data sources, for example content being activated by wind pressure changes on the Swedish Subway[3][4] and the communication between mobile apps, Apple iBeacons and digital screens[5] — and this is happening now!

The expectation of communication between devices and objects will rise as more and more products are developed to incorporate multiple devices. Gartner has already highlighted products such as advanced medical devices; factory automation sensors in industrial robotics; sensor motes for increased agricultural yield; automotive sensors and monitoring systems for sectors such as transportation, water distribution and electrical transmission.

In the future, digital signage will have to interact with all types of other products, and as the digital signage industry continues to grow, the single screen with text, images and movie content will start to become “old hat,” and the new era of communication between the these new products, digital signage, mobile and wearable tech together with the physical environment will be paramount. The world we live in will become a global network of computers, data, sensors, cameras, databases, devices and virtual artifacts all communicating to impact our daily lives. We are in a prime position to embrace this rise in technology and to develop our industry further to provide truly unique and groundbreaking solutions cementing digital signage as a critical part of the IoT.

What do you think? How do see the future of the IoT impacting the digital signage industry? Is your business already fully embracing the IoT, or is this unchartered territory for you?


By Drew Harding on