Webinar To Portray Digital Signage 11 Years Out. Yeah, Right.

March 12, 2014 by Dave Haynes

soothbunnIf I go back 11 years, to 2003, almost none of the technologies and services that define our day to day lives even existed. They weren’t even at the noodling in the coffee shop stage.

YouTube was still a couple of years out from being started. The Facebook didn’t exist. Windows XP was dominant. Palm Pilots were cool. Color screens on phones were a big deal. Bluetooth and smartphones were on the “trough of disillusionment”  on the Gartner Hype Cycle. IPads were still 6-7 years out. Hosted web services and the term cloud were in their infancy.

So how the hell is anyone supposed to have a grip on what this space will look like 11 years from now, in 2025???

Yet that’s the premise of a webinar next week by Lyle Bunn, as floated by the Digital Signage Federation. DSF-BUNN NETWORK OPERATOR: DIGITAL SIGNAGE IN 2025!!!

Digital signage is evolving at a quickening pace and some current practices are pointing the way to what could be expected of the medium in 2025. These changes are going on now and are characterized by rapid incrementalization, improved cost/benefit performance, win-win-win-win scenarios and contributions to productivity by the square foot.  

In this presentation, digital signage industry analyst, advisor, and educator Lyle Bunn will describe what digital signage will look like in 2025, based on shifts that are occurring related to:

  • Primary Retail Directions
  • Changes in Consumer Characteristics
  • Principles Governing Sign Use
  • Digitizing versus Digitalization
  • Factors Impacting Sign Options and Value
  • Current changes in Signage Use/Plans
  • Future examples now

I have known Lyle for years and years and years. Lovely, lovely guy. Definitely knowledgeable from years of being around this sector. We compete on some business here and there, but Lyle has also kindly steered work my way when I was the better fit or he was just plain booked.

I am on safe ground suggesting my technical point of view might be a little deeper, and my BS filter about a foot thicker. And I can’t soothsay my way into suggesting where this space will be in three years, never mind 11. The whole industry – the whole shootin’ match – is in the midst of massive, rolling disruption.

Nobody would have predicted two years ago that there would be 60-plus Android solutions on the market. And more coming.

I doubt many would have expected cloud or web services to get so pervasive and intertwined there’s now no end of platforms that can serve or tie into digital signage.

If you bought into the hype that was prevalent three years ago, we’d all be hanging glasses-free 3D screens and flapping our arms to “engage” with displays and have “experiences”.

And so on and so on.

You ask wickedly smart people in this space, who really, really know technology, where they think things will be at in 3-5 years, and you’ll typically get an “Oh man” deer-in-the-headlights look. Who the hell knows!!!

The only things you can really suggest are macro statements like smaller, faster and very different. There will be many more consumers, and they’ll all have what was a super-computer 10 years ago embedded in their watches, glasses, belt buckles or tooth fillings and moving data around at crazy-fast speeds.

The same holds for retail and particularly payments. There’s absolutely no clarity on the direction of how stuff even gets bought three years out. Let’s count all the people, in the age of technology, who five years ago would have seen Best Buy as a troubled retailer.

The DSF does itself no favors by promoting this goofy stuff. You want to be taken seriously, do serious work, not lead-generation aimed at the poor uninformed souls who might think this session will or could be anything more than vast, sweeping generalities, lovingly seasoned with the latest buzz phrases.

Sorry Lyle, but really???

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