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Month: February 2020

Covid-19 Digital Signage: The Game Changer

Covid-19 digital signage updates are no different than if you see a store employee erasing a chalkboard and rewriting the price. Since this is digital, no one needs to leave the desk to touch the sign. The task is taken care of when inventory is placed, or systems are updated throughout the day. 

Brief History

They say, to understand the present, one has to know the past. And if we are to make a timeline of the history of dynamic digital signage, we could trace it way back to the first primitive men who scribbled images on cave walls. 

However, the first digital signs did not exist until the modern age. First task it to understand what digital signage is before its advancement to dynamic digital signage.

Birth of Digital Signage

Analog displays were used in stores to promote their products even before things got digitalized. This means that the information was stored in analog media such as VHS tape. If you remember these black bulky pieces of digital boxes that held recorded videos. Yes, they were very precious back then. When digital media became available, primarily in the form of DVDs (Digital Video Disc or Digital Versatile Disc), the first digital signage displays came into being.

The modern digital displays that are prevalent today have only been around for about five or six years, but the term “digital signage” was created in 1992. This was in reference to a network of video walls in UK shopping centers. In the early years of digital displays, both VHS and DVD content were displayed on CRT monitors, these are the old type of tube televisions that people used before flat panels entered the market.

The evolution from analog video signs to digital has advanced digital signage to new heights, providing many new retail applications. It has only been within the past six years or so that digital signage has taken off in many commercial environments. Digital signage is used in many vertical markets, with the retail industry being one of the fastest growing. 

Technology is also driving this incredible growth. New advancements in digital signage free displays, signage players, content management, interactivity, and analytics software can engage consumers in ways never before imagined. 

From Digital Signage to Dynamic Digital Signage

Personalization is the key to modern marketing and you cannot have customized messaging without dynamic content. The term “dynamic” has come to mean so much more than the word suggests. There’s a force behind the notion that things can change for the consumer as soon as they walk by. It is like experiencing first hand magic. 

Interactive displays are the trademarks of today’s new signage. The most common interactive feature is touchscreen technology. This feature improves customer engagement and makes the experience more memorable. Touchscreens enable customers to search for information about a product or provide rewards and incentives. Shoppers can also use them to scan QR codes for freebies or play mini games that fuse promotional content with entertainment.

Another recent advancement in digital displays is social network integration. As people are frequently using social media to take selfies, send tweets and update Facebook status, this is a natural step forward. Some companies are displaying their social media channel in real time as customers interact with their displays.

Personalization is now more personalized than ever! One does not have to be famous, an A- lister, or a celebrity to be able to express one’s opinion on certain products or services.

For example, some restaurants post displays outside their front door where customers can see real-time conversations about the food and quality of service. While diners are waiting to be seated, they can participate on social media and see their tweets, comments, feedbacks, recommendations, likes or dislikes instantly displayed on the screen. 

Covid-19 Digital Signage 

Automatic Update

This form of automation provides a level of convenience that is unmatched by any other technology in the retail, travel, hospitality and corporate industries. In this instance, the signage content is dynamic in the sense that it is responding to real-time conditions, making up-to-the-minute information available to your audience.

An Augmented Reality

Dynamic digital signage is characterized by high effectiveness, energy and continuous change. It’s a specialized form of content that is intended to reach a niche audience, with a specific message. Unlike regular digital signage content, dynamic displays can gauge real-time conditions and consequently change the message.

It uses technology to superimpose a computer-generated image into the user’s physical environment. Advertisers can use AR to shake their audience out of their everyday routine with an eye-catching display that changes people’s perception of their environment.

Therefore, “dynamic” ultimately refers to the ability of technology to change when necessary. Yet, it still needs to remain as entertaining and effective as if every move was programmed. The idea is that the viewer walks away with the feeling that the display was meant just for them, the messaging was personally effective and added value to their day.

Why Use Dynamic Digital Signage?

Dynamic digital signage is necessary because things change and the most effective messaging is the type that adapts accordingly. Dynamic digital signage content can cover everything from traffic updates to price changes and emergency notifications. In the case of retail grocery, dynamic digital signage can save both time and costs by responding to cues from other internal programs like inventory databases and PoS systems. It can then use this information to change displayed content in real-time to instantly reflect the updates. Many companies, like Tesco, have started to upgrade to dynamic digital signs to create a network of digital signs that changed according to data from the stores’ POS systems.

Where Does Dynamic Digital Signage Work?

The answer actually is just about almost anywhere you can think of. Anywhere that a digital sign can be placed, it can also be loaded with dynamic content.

Dynamic digital signage is what will put your business ahead of the competitors. We are in this era where people are more drawn to anything personalized and digitally interactive. Maybe it is time that you upgrade your game plan too.

Technology Supporting Data Based Businesses

Technology has found a way to support us with pretty much everything we do as a business. Technology has become the lifeline that we need. Even when going out and driving, we either use our phones or car for the sat nav. Rewind 10 years ago and we wouldn’t have dreamt of being able to do anything like that. So, it’s fair to say that technology is advancing quicker than it ever has been before is any aspect of life. Whether thinking about business or about our personal lives. Which is one of the reasons why we think businesses are now reaping the benefits more than they ever have before. Because the demand from the public is so huge, the demand for us is too. Instead of a business finding customers, customers are there in abundance. But this means that for any business processing large amounts of data, times have got a lot harder. Because there are so many humans, so many issues, and so many processes in life that people follow, data has just grown in numbers. So, we’re going to show you the technology that’s helping all of the businesses focused on data processing. Hopefully if you’re in this niche you can see if any of the following pieces of technology will benefit you. 

Computer Based Systems

Computers really are changing the way that we’re able to run our businesses. Even those who aren’t largely relying on technology will be using computers throughout the day. So basic office computers are now more equipped than ever before with software to face the working day. But there are some big computers and workspaces now being built to accommodate businesses that are analysing big amount of data. Computer learning is better than it has ever been before, making it easier for them to analyse data correctly. Servers for GPU computing, for example, are now more technologically advanced than they have ever been before. Allowing computers to work at a faster rate, all whilst reducing the issue of human error. 

Easy Office Equipment

Now to the office equipment we were just talking about and how that can be beneficial. Big data businesses are often busy workforces with a ton to do, so getting a virtual receptionist can often be useful. Sometimes queries can hold managers up for half of the day. So, rather than ignoring it or having no one answer the phone all day, a virtual receptionist can do it all for you. It’s far more professional than having nobody answer the phone.

Better Support
Finally, we think one of the reasons why technology is supporting businesses so much more is because they’re providing ongoing support after the sale of technology. Anything from free warranty to 24/7 on call support means businesses are now using their technology for far longer. The only issue with technology is that issues keep cropping up the more technologically advanced the piece of equipment is, and turning it off and on again is not always going to fix the problem.

6 Signs You Should Go Freelance

Freelancing is rapidly growing into a very real and lucrative career. With today’s advanced technology, computers, software, and communication platforms it’s never been easier to drop the 9-5 and start working from home.

Many people think about the idea of freelancing but become quickly concerned about the risk of leaving their trusty monthly salary and added benefits. It used to be that people who went alone or started their own business were considered “risk-takers” and maybe back then they were because the business landscape wasn’t designed for them.

Now, that has all changed. The modern business landscape not only makes freelancing easy but it also makes it relatively risk-free. Here are 6 signs that you are ready to go freelance and start working for yourself.

1. You Hate Your Job but are Great at What You Do

It’s normal to feel undervalued in modern business. Competition is rife and it seems like no matter how you perform the ladder is incredibly slow to climb and mass-layoffs are becoming increasingly common. Plus you have all the company politics that makes it even tougher.

Freelancers are generally people with talent, skills and who work hard but have decided they want their fair share. You can have it too. With the right mindset, tools and hard work you can easily start to cultivate your own business working with clients you love and working on projects you’re passionate about.

That may seem like a pipedream but it’s actually really easy to achieve. Do you spend your days doing your best work? Does your boss love your work? Do your clients appreciate you? But do you never seem to move up in the business? Maybe it’s time to go alone and earn your rightful slice of the cake.

2. You Can Throw Your Hand To Anything

Freelancers aren’t just skilled in their main craft, they know how to do a bit of everything. Accounts, operations, marketing, sales, and client handling are all aspects of the business that freelancers can do. If they can’t then they learn how.

Once you become your own boss and start handling your own projects you have to do all the other work too. But don’t worry, you can organize them how you want to make it the most efficient for you. When you are counting up your own money that you’ve earned directly from clients it doesn’t feel like work either.

Once successful and the money is flowing you could even opt to outsource any parts of the business you don’t enjoy to other talented freelancers. If you simply can’t handle looking at your balance sheet, pay someone to do it for you so you can stay focused on the core business.

3. You Crave a Work/Life Balance

Do you spend all your time at work sitting in a stuffy office full of other people and their drama just wishing you could have your own space and time to do other things?

When you go freelance you can decide on your own work schedule. If you’re a morning person you could decide that your mornings are for exercise, walks in nature or spending time with your family. Then you can get to work in the afternoon and evening when the kids are in bed and all you usually do anyway is watch Netflix on the sofa.v

Freelancing gives you the unique opportunity to create a wonderful work-life balance. It allows you to create time for more important and enjoyable things in life.

4. Uncertainty and Instability Don’t Faze You

To be a successful freelancer you need to accept that it has its ups and downs. There are many benefits to be had but it doesn’t come without some issues. Uncertainty over your next paycheck is the big one. A rule of thumb for anyone wanting to fo freelance is to make sure you have some savings in the bank first.

There will be times where you have no work and you feel an incredible sense of instability. Freelancers can handle this, they think positively, they learn in their downtimes, they enhance their skills and they pull through the tough times. If this scares you, it’s best to stay in the office.

For those willing to struggle with uncertainty and instability, the rewards can be extremely handsome. The key to a successful freelancer is consistency and hard work no matter the situation.

5. You’re Great with Time Management

Do you frequently get annoyed at other people when they are late for meetings or social events? Are you always on time or early for everything? If so, then you probably have what it takes to be a freelancer. 

Freelancers must have outstanding time management. Without it, your work can quickly dry up if you keep submitting work late and fail to turn up for important calls. It’s important that freelancers develop a solid work schedule they can keep too and that keeps them on track with their various projects.

When you’re late for your own business you feel the repercussions much harder than if you work in an office with a disgruntled manager to cover you.

6. You’re a Lone Wolf

To be a freelancer you have to enjoy working in solitude. It’s no surprise that many successful freelancers are also introverts. They enjoy being in their own space on their own time and don’t mind not speaking to others for hours at a time. 

If you enjoy your own company you can thrive as a freelancer with just your computer and coffee machine for company. It’s still important to continue to network both online and offline. 

Today, more than 50% of web traffic is bots (click here to find out more) so it’s best to get out there into the real world and make some real-life connections. There are thousands of public workspaces dotted around major cities for you to use and meet new people.

Taking advantage of workspaces is also a great way to network for your business. It’s likely you will meet other freelancers that can either assist you with your work or could even be a potential client. Worse comes to worst you get a great cup of coffee and change of scenery. 

Why Your Restaurant Should Offer ‘Call Ahead Seating’ Online

Over the recent years, technology has changed how people do business, and the hotel industry was not left behind. Like the management of a hotel, restaurants have been able to benefit from the use of technology. There are some systems and mobile apps that were developed to help restaurants manage call-ahead seating, reservations, and table management. Such systems alert the customer via an SMS text when a table is ready.

However, there is a difference between call ahead seating and a table reservation. With a reservation, a table is set aside for a customer while with call-ahead seating, this simply means that you are put on a waiting list.

Why should your restaurant offer call-ahead seating online? Well, in this article, we will explain some of the reasons why you should use call-ahead services at your restaurant.

Improve Customer Services

With a call ahead seating app, you will offer your customers a more satisfying experience, which can give you an advantage over your competitors. A call-ahead app reduces your customer’s wait time even though the actual wait time does not change.

 These apps allow your customers to get the estimated wait time for a table, remove, or add themselves on the wait list. The customers are also well informed with an SMS on how long they have to wait. All these will increase customer satisfaction, thus putting you ahead of your competitors.

Improved Data Collection

When you offer call-ahead seating online in your restaurant, it provides you with a simple way of collecting customer data. You can use this data to generate different types of reports, which can offer you with crucial insight on how to run your restaurant. This data will also help you in making informed decisions on how to enhance your services.

Increase Your Income

Call ahead seating systems are developed with accurate algorithms. Hence, they reduce the number of walk-aways. You will be able to turn more tables since it will be easy for you to optimize your seating automatically. When there are no seating fees, you will earn more per customer.

Easily Affordable

Another reason you should have a call-ahead system is that they have pricing plans that are affordable for any restaurant size. The systems also run on different platforms such as PC, Mac, tablet, and phone.

Real-Time Customer Relationship

A call ahead seating system allows you to message or call your guests while they are waiting for a table. You can take advantage of this and send announcements, promotions, and targeted ads, among others.

Improve Host/Hostess Working Condition

On a busy night, your host/hostess has to deal with numerous questions such as, ‘How far am I?’ ‘I was on a call. Have you called my name?’ With these kinds of questions, keeping track of customers is a real hustle.

However, a call-ahead seating system keeps your customers informed on the updates through an SMS. They also get information about how many customers are ahead of them and how long they need to wait.

A call ahead seating online is a technology that every restaurant needs to adopt if they want to remain competitive. The above are the reasons why you should consider offering a call-ahead seating online in your restaurant.

Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of By Tech Companies

It’s important to note that while many of us believe that tech products exist for the good of most people, they do sometimes have a darker side that we need to be aware of.  A good rule of thumb to go by is that if you’re not having to pay for the service, you are the product being sold. In recent years, controversies related to services such as Cambridge Analytica and other data collection and analysis firms showcased just how electoral processes were manipulated to a questionable degree.

That being said, this is just one cultural moment among an ocean of difficulty that leaves customers out in the cold. For those not in a tech-related profession or those who have the time to conduct deep research into these fields, we can be unaware of how we’re being taken advantage of. But individuals have a right to this information, and they’re starting to realize that. This is why Cell Tower Lease Experts https://www.celltowerleaseexperts.com/ are starting to become a vital tool for those who operate and lease land to cell tower companies rather than accepting predatory deals. If we can take that mindset and understand how to manage the sovereignty of our personal information and usage habits, we can make better decisions. Please, consider:

Protecting Your Data

Protecting your data is an important part of protecting yourself against targeting advertisements and routine online ID profiling. Browser extensions that block tracking, restricting certain operating systems such as Windows 10 in its telemetry tracking, using a VPN, or even installing Linux and utilizing services such as Protonmail can help you get out of the usual Microsoft/Google paradigm and may help you keep your data protected.

Read The Terms & Conditions

Reading the terms and conditions of every contract you digitally accept can be a real pain, but it can be worth your time to do anyway. For instance, purchasing video games online and using their online services could grant them further access to your online profiles than you are comfortable with. The same may go for how certain services use your ‘log in’ credentials when route passing through certain services, for instance when logging into websites via your Twitter account. When you spend the time to read privacy policies and T&C listings, you have more of a chance of enabling a better route forward.

Browse Alternative Options & Assess Value

Considering what value you’re receiving via a certain service and being ready to switch can ensure that the tech companies work for your patronage. This is where holding ethical values as a consumer can be important. For instance, you may not enjoy Apple’s price-gouging tactics to ensure customers are forever paying more to get around planned obsolescence, but your appreciation for their privacy policy may keep you with them compared to other brands. This shows that it takes a wide consumer to shift through their priorities and understand just what may earn their purchase. In this way, critical consuming thought will be yours to utilize.

With this advice, we hope you can stop being taken advantage of by the tech companies.

The Age of Digital Signage Display

Signage may be one of the most ancient forms of marketing. Examples trace from as far back as Ancient Rome and beyond. But even those who aren’t well-versed in history will recognize the old-timey wooden signs that announced the locations of some pubs in medieval England.

Since then, signage has come a long way from its humble beginning. In this article, we will reveal to you the latest development in digital signage technology that you need to know as a forward-thinking organization owner or consumer. Read on through this piece to make a catch up with marketing trends.

What is digital signage?

Before we dig deep into the latest digital signage trends, let’s find out what this technology really means. In general, signage is any graphical display that conveys information to the audience.

Digital signage, however, is a more advanced type of signage that uses LCD, LED, and projection technologies to display contents such as videos, streaming media, digital images, and information. The contents are displayed on a screen for exhibition, marketing, way finding, outdoor advertisement, or any other reason.

This technology has grown in popularity because it engages with audiences more than the static once. The audience can easily access the information and interact in various ways, thanks to the newly invented interaction modalities.

The Trend

Traditional signage is everywhere these days. They comprise everything from the sign stuck into the grass of your front lawn to those gigantic billboards. All these are aimed at attracting people’s attention and swaying their decision making.

However, such advertisement methods are outdated. They underwent many transformations along the way, and these days we boast of technologically advanced digital signage. The digital signage is the waves of the future, and this can be witnessed on the recurrent discoveries. Some of these new developments that we have seen of late include:

Screen size and picture quality

If you have been to New York, you have probably looked at the Times Square screen display pictures. Well, the pictures are so eye-catching that you can’t avoid them. 

How is digital sign display on a screen important to an organization/business?

Human beings are predominantly visual creatures. The vast majority of information about our surroundings pass through our eyes. 

But does seeing a sign in an advert translate to a purchase? Yes, it does.

A study commissioned by FedEx in 2012 reported that almost 76% of the American consumers enter a store they have never visited based on the signs they saw on the screen displays. Consequently, nearly 68% have purchased an item because the signs caught their eyes.

Therefore, by improving the screen size and image qualities, technology only aims to make the information displayed clear and unique to consumers and thus demand their attention. 

Playing well with the screen size as a business owner can win you the game. You may decide to use the giant screen in your retail shop or several big screens. Some business enthusiasts install small screens close to every product category display.

Interaction modalities

Digital signage now offers customers opportunities to interact with it physically. When customers actively interact with a piece of advertisement, the ‘anchoring’ effect occurs in the brain. Anchoring is a psychological term that describes a process that increases recognition and memory retention of what you have just seen.

According to industry information clearinghouse Digital Signage Connection, the recall rate of digital signage is 83%. 

You remember seeing digital sanctions like ‘tell us how we are doing’; this is a perfect example of digital signage that just begs for interaction. Some of the latest interaction modalities invented include:

? Touch and gesture screens that allow users to choose what they want to see; This ensures they get information that is only relevant to them.

? Facial recognition ensures an automatic display of the content, and this creates a more personalized customer experience.

Speech is likely the next in line as it has already been proposed, whether that will possibly work or not remains for debate.

Digital signage is getting more analytical.

Another latest trend that forward-thinking organizations need to consider is that digital signage is getting smarter. They now have the capacity to carry anonymous video analytic (AVA) technology that tracks their real-time performance. The digital signage is equipped with embedded cameras and software that detect when a human face has turned towards the sign. 

This contrasts with the older analytical solution that measured the audience by detecting how many people walked past the sign. This can give unreliable data since not all that walk passed the sign are interested in the advert.

Even though the digital signage analytic solution cannot identify individuals, the performance is quantified and analyzed within minutes. This provides an organization with instant feedback, enabling them to bridge the gaps in performance.

Signage is now integrating with your phone.

Near field communication technology now allows customers to transfer information from a digital sign directly to their mobile device. The data can be a menu or product catalog for placing orders, among others.

Applications

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Digital signage applies to any organization that needs to display any information. The screens can be found in any other public spaces, museum, retail stores, hotels, stadiums, transportation systems, restaurants, cooperative buildings, learning institutions, among other places.

The information displayed will depend on the organization and the targeted audience. For instance:

Education sectors: The use of interactive whiteboards and tablets in teaching children.

Business promotion: Digital signage screens that come in all sizes are used in advertisements, exhibitions, and business location information.

Offices: Digital signage with conference capabilities and 3D presentations can display information at a conference.

Surgery: The surgeons usually use it to display the body parts that they should cut through.

Restaurants: It helps clients order foods in a restaurant through menu screens, enticing, and changing the image of food.

Conclusion

Every retailer wants to have a business that attracts customers. The easiest and the most recognizable way to promote your business these days is through digital recognition.