As we continue into a strong Spring season, the digital signage industry continues expansion in multiple sectors, including retail, corporate communication, and, as always, DOOH advertising. Let’s look at the week’s news in the context of some of the big themes we’ve been covering over the past year.

The hybrid workplace is still here

We’ve covered the growth of Humly as a leader in the hybrid workplace solutions space over the past year, and the European firm continued its U.S. expansion this week with the announcement of its partnership with BTX Technologies for U.S. distribution. With an array of tools including room and desk reservation hardware and software, it is notable that the sector remains strong despite initial worries that the post-lockdown world would see a complete return to traditional workplace environments (as context, we also covered the Humly-Exertis partnership in March).

As we have seen with the world headquarters of Insight, which made onsite work optional and wooed employees back simply by creating an experiential workplace, firms that lean into a hybrid experience not only benefit from employee satisfaction, but they enjoy some level of future-proofing in case of any future disruptions to standard onsite operations. Despite the calls from certain Silicon Valley and Wall Street quarters to mandate a complete return to onsite work, it seems clear that workplaces and industries remain leery of completely discarding their investments in solutions during the pandemic and ensuing age of hybrid work; the sector has not only endured, but as some players like Humly demonstrate, there is still growth potential as well.

Official bodies are recognizing the value of digital signage

This week’s news of the Lake Cumberland Tourist Commission’s adoption of digital signage in Kentucky further underscores the theme of various government bodies (including national parks and tourism boards) which are embracing the value of digital signage and wayfinding. We’ve seen the growth of Soofa’s solar-powered kiosks in various locations, including this February’s Trenton, New Jersey project; the proliferation of these technologies, interestingly, has led to interesting quandaries about data and privacy, as we saw in March when questions arose about Soofa kiosk technology in Boston that can read certain cell phone data of passerby. The utility for municipalities of gathering certain information about foot traffic and the tension with privacy concerns neatly mirrors similar tensions in the DOOH advertising world, where ever-smarter programmatic DOOH (increasingly fueled by AI) is capable of sophisticated data gathering, leading to interesting legal and ethical questions. Regardless of where regulation develops, it’s clear that cities and governments are embracing the value of digital signage in a big way, marking a fertile field for industry growth.

Cinema and entertainment continue strong growth

We’ve seen notable growth in cruise ship applications of digital signage, but this week we saw Carnival and Effy partner in a solution that marries retail and entertainment on the high seas. Using virtual reality to allow customers to do virtual try-ons of rings at the Effy shop, this also plays into a growth in the area of augmented reality and self-service that we have seen in retail over the past year (remember Zyler’s collaboration with Larusmiani in the Milan high fashion world last May). It’s an interesting theme — just as digital signage as an industry is dissolving silos and is seeing cross-pollination across sub-categories (and even competing firms!), so too we’re seeing the unique applications of digital signage creating cross-pollination and new opportunities for the industry to grow.

This is perhaps nowhere more powerful than in the entertainment category, where virtual production is revolutionizing both Hollywood and live events, and where holograms, 3D, and laser projection advances continue to revolutionize the space. One of the fastest-growing digital signage markets, India, continues to lead in this area, as we saw a major partnership between IMAX and Miraj cinemas this week, demonstrating yet again that the pandemic-era nonsense about the death of cinema (and consequences for the digital signage industry) were completely unfounded. As Rick Roman, cinema operator and guest contributor to Digital Signage Today put it in March, “movies are back!” It’s a success story that echoes the resurgence of taxis (and taxi-based DOOH advertising) that we saw post-pandemic in our coverage of the rise of Curb.

Surviving or thriving? The decade to come

Just as workplaces adapted after pandemic, our industry continues to adapt and thrive through constant innovation and adaptation. Undoubtedly, we’ve entered a new era of unknowns, from the rise of AI to ongoing questions about global supply chains or uncertainty about current events. However, what remains constant is the power of the digital signage industry to connect people and businesses across communities — and people are always going to need connection.

The super-power of digital signage, in all its incarnations, is to connect people, and that is why the industry continues its powerful growth globally despite every new challenge. The way forward is to continue with a laser focus on serving users with accessible, innovative technology and with original, organic content that surprises and delights. The environment is always changing, and new challenges will continue emerging — but that is precisely what fuels the kind of innovation and adaptation that will make this digital signage’s best decade yet.

(April 12, 2024). Daniel Brown – Editor, Networld Media Group. Retrieved from