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Innovation In Signs Around The World
Signage has been around in one form or another for thousands of years, with notable examples such as the Cave Canem found in Pompeii depicting what we’d now know as the “beware of the dog” sign.
Other famous examples include the Hollywood Sign in Los Angles (formally the Hollywoodland sign), arguably the most famous induvial sign in the world. This humble sign was installed by a local housing developer in the 1920s and grew to be much loved by the local inhabitants of the area!
Even though there is a two thousand year age gap between the Pompeii and Hollywood sign, they both share the same fundamental quality - working as an informative tool. However, with today’s technology we now have the power to produce signage that is not only informative but offers an experiential experience as well.
Since the development of the LED, LCD and OLED technology, the ability to produce digital signs has become far simpler. This technology has also led to changes in our television sets, with over-sized cathode ray tube televisions being replaced with slim, HD-ready LCD and plasma displays.
Today, LED, LCD and OLED technology continue to be improved upon, resulting in more advanced and cost-effective signage displays. Subsequently, this has lead to a decrease in the amount of fixed image signage such as the Hollywood sign and a rise in signage featuring a variety of LED images, graphics and 3D visualisations.
It has become quite a common occurrence these days to see science fiction technology becoming a reality. A good example of this in the signage industry is Tom Cruise's Minority Report. Originally released in 2002, the film featured a futuristic world where the public was tracked by technology resulting in personalised bespoke advertisements. Well, this is no longer just science fiction but verging into science fact!
Let’s talk about near–field communication. Never heard of it? Well, chances are you have an example in your wallet! The wireless chip in your bank card is an example of NFC in action.
This technology can be applied in lots of ways and has a huge future within the advertising industry. One of the ways it's currently being used is to give out promotional information when an item hovers over a screen or reader. (As seen below)
Soon, this technology may be able to pick where you go, what you buy and build up a profile, resulting in advertising billboards being able to target you with specific ads. Think this is far away? No. Products are being launched this year which aim to simulate just this!
Soon you will be able to walk along the street , see something you want to buy on a billboard, wave your phone over it and the product will be automatically delivered to your door, maybe even by drone!
Referring back to Tom Cruise’s Minority Report, the signage in the film is customised based on the biometric scan of the main protagonist’s eyes. Now, this isn’t quite a reality yet, however, biometrics are starting to be used in a variety of ways when teamed up with digital signage. Companies are using biometrics and analytics to hone marketing techniques with smarter content. Exact segments of the desired demographic can be targeted by using tools such as anonymous facial analysis to gather information about a customer and his or her level of interaction and engagement with a product. This information then triggers predetermined content based on the knowledge supplied to the system.
At the rate that technology is currently advancing, there will be many more areas of advertising which will continue to be revolutionised. Here at Identity, we stay at the forefront of signage advances and aim to be able to provide our clients with the latest signage solution.