Digital Signage in Washington DC, USA
I recently returned back to Australia after a two week business trip in Washington DC, USA and I thought I’d share and comment on some of the digital signage implementations I saw.
Firstly, when I arrived in LA Airport for a stop over, I was welcomed by these screen – digital signage is pretty much everywhere you go in the airports:
If you look closely, there a four smaller screens at the bottom of the two larger screens. The smaller screens are in fact touch screens which can be used to find more information about hotels, restaurants etc within LA – there are also phones that can be used to contact businesses listed in the directory. I like the idea of using the bigger screens to attract the visitor’s attention and then direct them to the touch screens – a very clever “call to action” method.
Next stop was Washington DC Airport. Once again I was not surprised to see digital signage in this airport. I noticed that most of the screens were manufactured by NEC which showed Airline/passenger information. There were also LG screens which were displaying CNN News.
The colour themes on the screens at both airports were very similar. The text was white and the background was a light blue. The screens constantly kept passengers informed about flight information – the digital signage solution was also being used as a “visual announcement board” (this was used in conjunction with an audio message on the PA system) e.g Mr XXX please contact the United airlines customer service desk.
The next place with a strong presence of digital signage was Pentagon City Shopping Mall. Like in many shopping malls around the world, digital signage was used to advertise products and businesses. In this example, a product video from Consumerwatch was playing.
In the same shopping mall I encountered an innovative digital signage implementation. I have read about this type of interactive display on the Internet, but this is the very first time I have actually seen it with my own eyes. I don’t know who are the manufacturers of this solution but the one I’ve seen on the Internet is Catchyoo. From what I could tell, the solution is using a very large (the biggest projector I’ve ever seen), a mirror, a small form factor PC and some sort of motion detection camera. The solution works by displaying an image on the ground, the customers can walk on the image and interact with the display. During the short period I was watching the display, I noticed that only kids were interacting (more like playing) with the projected image. Now don’t get me wrong, the solution is very innovative but is this solution targeted to kids or potential customers? .
The next location that I found a digital signage solution was Borders – the book store. An LCD screen with a computer attached to it displayed a template with a zoning configuration (you can literally see the PC stick out above the screen) . The zones were setup to show the following:
a News scrolling ticketer at the bottom of the screen
- an Advertising Banner on the left hand side column which displayed internal products (CD’s, DVD’s, Books, and products from their cafe)
- the largest area on the screen was used to display videos (interviews, Film/Book previews) and the weather
My last stop was at Washington DC Chinatown. Walking through the busy streets of Chinatown, I noticed that the two large Telecomunications giants (Verizon and AT&T) both had external LED screens placed in front of their building. The Verizon Centre has the largest LED screen in town – very hard to miss.
At the time I took this photo, they were displaying stock information – I’m not too sure how many people are interested in this kind of information but it must be a reason why they were displaying this.
Although AT&T didn’t have the largest screens in town, they did however stand out from the crowd when it came to being noticed. Outside of their AT&T building (nicely located at the corner of the main street in Georgetown), there are 3 LED screens which display independent content from each other.
Well that’s the end of my trip. Hopefully I’ll get to see other digital signage implementations in the different parts of the world.
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