We are currently living through the most boundary-crossing revolution in industry, thanks to humanity’s advances in digital technology. Whereas the First Industrial Revolution used innovations in steam and hydropower to mechanise production; the Second, electricity to create mass production; the Third, electronics and information technology to automate processes; the Fourth describes a fusion of technologies that blurs the boundaries between the digital, physical, and biological world. Such technologies include artificial intelligence, robotics, quantum computing, 3D printing, and more.
Much like the Third Industrial Revolution, the Fourth builds on the use of electronics; but the difference is that now, their utility lies beyond mere automation. This new technological revolution is characterised by its unprecedented velocity and massive scope, with new developments happening at a rate that is unparalleled in any other time in history. A classic example would be the current-day ubiquity of smartphones; their 24/7 connectivity to far-reaching (even global) systems has helped create a whole new online universe in which we create and cultivate personas, friendships, networks, and online branding. Our image and presence online have a palpable impact on our ‘real’ lives: for instance, our ability to participate in business and discourse, apply for jobs or further education, make a living, make consumer choices, and sustain friendships and relationships. What is real and what is digital is therefore less clearly defined, and technology becomes a kind of appendage to our biological selves.
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution is so widespread – affecting the physical and digital identities of people around the world – that businesses will need to find a way to keep up with this highly digitised world. In Klaus Schwab’s book The Fourth Industrial Revolution which coined the term, he explains that ‘In the future, technological innovation will also lead to a supply-side miracle, with long-term gains in efficiency and productivity. Transportation and communication costs will drop, logistics and global supply chains will become more effective, and the cost of trade will diminish, all of which will open new markets and drive economic growth.’ As such, businesses will need to recognise and capitalise on the fact that innovative technology has become more efficient, more profitable, and in turn more pervasive in our lives and in public spaces, interacting with us in ways not previously thought possible.
How does digital signage fit into the Fourth Industrial Revolution?
The digital aspect of our signage explores and innovates the ways in which advertising and information technology interact with the physical/biological world. For instance, the DOOH industry brings LED screens into outdoor contexts where they were previously difficult to install and maintain, creating interactive, dynamic displays. These capture the attention of contemporary audiences far more effectively, most of whom are now mostly immune to the still displays of posters and billboards. In fact, 69% of viewers take some sort of action after seeing a digital street-level advertisement.
They also facilitate interactive experiences in the exchange of information in contexts such as airports, train stations, or any place that uses digital helpdesks, giving specific and individualised advice to passengers/customers. This could include traffic information, seasonal opening hours, safety information, KPI scores, in-store promotions; the list is endless. The ability for digital signage to understand and respond to context – such as seasons, time of year, or relevant safety information for the pandemic – demonstrates its close interaction with the physical and biological world that characterises the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
Technological advances associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution also allow digital signage to be made durably, with built-in dust and heat regulation now a feature of many digital signs. Furthermore, the ability to update digital signs through its software – rather than having to physically replace the sign itself, which would be the case in traditional signage – results in less waste and cost, all-the-while allowing updated information to be displayed. This is especially useful for social campaigns, advertising new products, updating travel information, and more. In our constantly changing world, digital signage allows you to be ahead of the curve with minimal cost and waste.
Furthermore, the ability for large-scale screens to show motion for hundreds of hours on end creates more engaging displays, giving the audience an experience that is immersive and in real-time. The quality of LED screens is such nowadays that they allow for HD video experiences, even on very large screens. This level of quality and the scale on which it can be achieved leave a lasting impression for products/brands, allowing businesses to mould a more specific, impressive, and dynamic brand and personality. For businesses looking to stand out, a video wall may just be the solution for you.
The fast-paced and highly digitised world in which we now exist can feel overwhelming. But thankfully, the ever-evolving capability of digital solutions allows you to keep up. For more information about digital signage, find out here. We are more than happy to chat about the existing digital signage we offer, or to give you advice and consultation on unique digital solutions that have never been done before. Whatever your needs, we can offer bespoke digital signs that make you stand out from the crowd, and fully join in on the innovations of the Fourth Digital Revolution.
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