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A Brief History of Digital Signage

Digital signage is a relatively new form of advertising that allows companies to use electronic screens to broadcast information, commercials, or anything else of their choosing to large amounts of people. This kind of advertisement is spreading to different venues like wild fire. From malls to restaurants to airports to post offices, digital signage is sweeping the advertising market. But where did it all start? Digital signage was used in the 1970’s in stores with VCRs and televisions to attract customers but it was always on a closed circuit and everything was pre-recorded. It wasn’t until recent years that companies were able to display high quality content that was supported by a broadband internet connection.

Digital billboards and interactive screens are relatively new. People and companies are just starting to realize the potential digital signage has. This kind of advertising could revolutionize the consumer market in the span of a few years. We have all seen the huge screens in places like Times Square and Las Vegas, but now, they are everywhere, directing you in places that you may or may not want to go. Even five years ago, this kind of advertising would have been too expensive considering LCD and Plasma screens were either experimental technology or too costly to be worth the investment.

Now, thanks to the availability of high speed internet, a large digital signage network has emerged on and around the internet. Many companies are now linked together because they use this kind of signage. These networks are now developing new strategies along with better digital signage software in order to maximize effectiveness and, ultimately, profit. Now that LCD and Plasma screens have decreased in price, they are more affordable now and the investment for businesses is more reasonable. Right now, Microsoft, Cisco, and Google are all trying to chase the market because of the potential this market has to offer.

At the moment, Cisco has gotten a steady foot-hold on the digital signage market. They are the ones who have created the device which allows for images and videos from the internet to be directly imported into a large LCD or plasma screen. They have now eliminated the need for costly computers and a lot of the security risks of using digital signage in airports and retail stores.

Digital signage has come a long way from pre-recorded closed circuit advertising. It has become an advertising monster and could end up influencing people more than they want it to.