History of Digital Signage

Where it all began?

Signage in its most simple form started when the human race began to experiment with leaving markings on the wall of caves. From this historical starting point, we have increased our use and the variety of signage. However, digital signs first came into existence in the modern age.

At this point it is important to understand what is exactly meant by the term “digital signage”. Analog displays were the popular precursor to digital signage. One of the more common methods of storing information by retailers of the time was through VHS tapes. As time progressed digital media became available, through the introduction of DVDs, so did the emergence of digital signage displays.

The form of digital displays that we are familiar with only appeared in the last century, however the term “digital display” was coined in 1992 in relation to a network of video walls in UK supermarkets. During the early days of digital displays, VHS and DVD content were being displayed on Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) monitors. For reference, these are the large televisions that were in common use before the dawn of flat screens.


High Definition, Flat Screen Displays

In the early 2000’s retailers began to adopt flat screen displays as they more cost effective and lower priced. Retailers were impressed through the high-definition quality that came with the advancement in technology. With the continually progression of technology the overall price of these new impressive units began to drop. Allowing this new technology to be the new modern norm for many retailers.

To compliment the drop in price of digital displays more types began to emerge; LED, projection screens and plasma. Retailers took notice of the impact this new form of advertising had on their customers.


Media Players

Computer-based players provided this market space with its next impactful advancement. Through the introduction of these media players, signage was able to delivering more engaging content that was ergonomic for the end user. Users were able to easily update and upload content from the comfort of their internet connection. As a sign of the times (pun intended) DVDs began to be phased out for Blu-ray discs and these in turn were being swept aside by computer-driven media players.

Similar to how paper-based advertising, such as posters, had once been the mainstream source of advertising. Now digital signage holds this title.

At this point you may be reading through this article thinking to yourself, what really is the impact of digital signage on a business? This is a great question so let’s have a look at the facts and figures.


Digital Signage Fast Facts

1, 19% of viewers made an unplanned purchase of something promoted digitally in a retail setting

2, In restaurants, the number of unplanned purchases jumps to 80%

3, 4 out of 5 brands noticed a 33% increase in sales after adopting digital signage