Getting it Right the First Time Outdoor digital signage has numerous applications including drive-thru menu boards, advertising, and interactive branding. The latest developments in screen technology and software have made digital signage more versatile while delivering a higher return on investment (ROI) than ever before. Outdoor digital signage presents both unique opportunities and challenges. Read on for some basic things to consider when looking at outdoor digital signage solutions. Software High-quality outdoor digital screens are very important, but this hardware is often underutilised by inadequate or “unfriendly” software, leaving a business reliant on a third-party service provider to manage their content.
A major benefit of integrative digital signage should be that the user can easily and immediately change, update, or modify content themselves. This reduces cost and eliminates unnecessary lead time. The software should, therefore, encompass the following broad characteristics:
Dynamic: Software should be able to easily incorporate content from a variety of sources and formats. These should include real-time widgets, video, and image files. Functional: Some basic but very important features include the ability to control and upload content on individual or multiple screens. Scheduling content for a specific time is an ideal way to provide regular and seamless transitions between content that is relevant at any given time.
Status monitoring tells you when a screen is down which is important when you are accessing remotely and can not physically looking at the displays. User-Friendly: Software should be intuitive, and you shouldn’t feel overwhelmed when managing content. A clean user interface with a focused approach to professional-looking content will minimise wasted time and eliminate frustration. This will give you the desired results without relying on any outside agency to manage your content.
Outside Conditions A considerable challenge with outdoor signage is protection from the environment. Special consideration should be had for water, temperature, and sunlight. Using a waterproof enclosure or casing has a variety of drawbacks, for example, they can cause condensation from the heat generated by the display which will impair visibility and require manual attention. Enclosures can also be difficult to match to an individual screen. Today you can get outdoor screens made for all conditions including rain and humidity, as well as both freezing and hot temperatures. Outdoor displays are affected by sunlight or, more specifically, the brightness of the sunlight. If the outside is brighter than the LED display, then potential customers will not be able to see the display; on the flipside, having signage only visible at night is a waste of money, opportunity, and space. Therefore, the display must be capable of achieving a great enough brightness relative to where it is being placed. A brightness of 700 Nits (unit to measure brightness) is usually adequate in sunlit environments. Additionally, the screen must have an ambient light sensor that will automatically control brightness based on the external brightness of the surrounding environment.
There are many more technical considerations such as WiFi connectivity and network security that have not been discussed here for this article. However, these should be carefully considered when evaluating any outdoor digital signage solution.