Florian Rotberg from Munich’s invidis consultancy did a state of the industry brief on a webinar I was part of Tuesday, and he mentioned how digital signage that enables simple access control has become a red-hot customer ask in Europe.
Simple digital sandwich boards, also called digital A-frames, are being placed outside stores, public offices, restaurants and just about any venue that sees a lot of people coming through in a day.
Social distancing brought on by the pandemic means many of these venues have staff or contracted security guards controlling access manually, waving a person in once another person walks out.
The idea of the digital posters is that sensors can pick up approaching people, and trigger stop and go messaging to take the place of some poor soul who’d have to do that bouncer work all day. The displays would run off a simple software application, and in theory people exiting could be picked up by sensors, as well.
What piqued my interest was Rotberg saying there were orders for something like 100,000 units in Europe, so these things will be somewhat common. The hardware cost is relatively low and Rotberg suggests the ROI – based on no longer needing to staff the door access – is one month.
I wrote a piece Monday about a similar application in Israel (see pic below).
There are tons of these things made and marketed in China. The only companies I know with them outside of Asia – though I assume there are many – are Allsee and Armagard in the UK , Kuusoft in Vancouver, BC and the American firm, Pacific Digital Signs.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.