«Digital displays not only communicate advertising messages, they also create an atmosphere»
What do you like most about digital signage?
Patrick Bucher: That the communication is direct. Digital signage addresses the customers exactly where they are located at that particular time. This creates a lot of opportunities. Our software not only makes it easier to show a company’s own content, it can also network with selected advertising from third parties on a shared display, should this be required. Information screens thus become profitable advertising spaces. The owner of the display keeps control of the content at all times. They are free to decide what type of third-party advertising is shown.
Every application has it limits. When is digital signage not suitable?
There are certain environments where digital signage should not be used. For example, while providing information about classrooms at universities is not a problem, law firms and medical centers should not display details about room occupancy. Disclosing the names of clients is taboo in these cases. However, displays in waiting rooms could show a wide range of products. And this is well worthwhile, as people sitting in waiting rooms have a lot of time on their hands.
«Innovation needs a cooperative mindset.»
What do potential customers have to bear in mind when they develop an interest in digital displays?
The first hurdle is the infrastructure that is required. New hardware often comes hand in hand with additional work and investment for IT installation and maintenance, thus deterring a lot of companies. This is why we targeted a technical partnership with Green from the very outset. Innovation needs this cooperative mindset. As an option, the displays have Green internet which means they are not bound to a particular location. We also have a close working partnership with Samsung. As the sole provider, the software from revolutionSCREEN is already pre-installed on their digital signage displays. Customers can procure them directly from us or from conventional dealers and they do not need an enhanced IT infrastructure.
«Flexibility and user-friendliness are embedded in our corporate culture.»
The most common applications are advertising and corporate communications. Do your customers also come up with unusual applications?
Yes, they do. Displays not only communicate advertising messages or mundane information, they also create an atmosphere. For example, we installed an entire LED wall for the Anker restaurant in Lucerne. This acts as a design feature rather than a means of communication. It’s like a digital work of art.
Technology is continually changing. How well can digital signage keep pace?
This is our most significant advantage. As we work closely together with the market leader Samsung, we are informed of changes to the hardware and the operating system long before they take effect. Digital signage evolves along with the technology. We design in line with the interfaces available. Also, we purposely exploit the advantages of today’s media. A projector, a screen or an LED wall could be the right choice, depending on the situation. Each medium has its own advantages, and our team of developers can respond quickly to changes or customer requirements. Our app store includes up-to-date applications for live weather, Instagram, RSS news feeds and the fully-integrated API Real Estate Feed. Flexibility in terms of content and user-friendliness are embedded in our corporate culture. This ensures that we stay flexible too.
«With imagination and ambition, impressive illusions and memorable experiences can be created.»
Where is digital signage headed in the next few years?
Live communication is one option for the near future. This means that the displays will show more tailored content – depending on who is standing in front of them. That would be really cool once it becomes feasible. The advertising is more targeted than a poster that thousands of cars race past at the same time. There are lots and lots of great things that one could do. Sadly, everything is subject to stringent regulations in Switzerland, whereas much more is possible in metropolises such as Beijing, New York and Tokyo.
Assuming there were fewer regulations and more willingness to experiment – what would be possible?
Pragmatically speaking, there is a lot of potential in wayfinding systems with interactive direction signs. You can also digitalize entire shop windows that interact with those looking at them and display tailored offerings. In Tokyo, as another example, there is a digital waterfall. With imagination and ambition, impressive illusions and memorable experiences can be created.