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The New Wave In Digital Signage

Feel like you've been hearing more about digital signage lately? That's probably because you've been hearing more from it as well. Marketers and their consultants increasingly are rolling out digital signage networks in which audio is more than an afterthought ? networks in which customized, sophisticated sound systems match top quality, high-definition video.

Sarasota, Fla.,-based Real Digital Media recently has teamed with PumpMedia, an outdoor media company in Torrance, Calif., and Avocent, a specialist in connectivity and control products for video and audio data based in Huntsville, Ala., to roll out a new system that links digital signage at the fuel pump with the point-of-sale system inside the convenience store that so often shares the premises.

“Audio is part of the deal,” says Ken Goldberg, CEO at Real Digital Media. “The audio adds a lot, as the key value propositions are to provide engaging content that enhances the ads for the convenience store.”

According to Bill Collins, head of Decision Point Research in Cincinnati, there's undoubtedly a place for speakers triggered by activity. He also sees growing links between a store's digital signage network and customer cell phones, PDAs, iPods, and the like. This linkage will let retailers deliver video and audio content, including coupons, directly to a customer's cell phone or other device, with the content changing according to where in the store the customer is browsing.

“The future of audio in digital signage is through the use of technologies such as RFID or proximity sensors to trigger an audio event to happen,” says Spinitar's Creative Director Scott Werlein.

Werlein also cites gas stations as a prime arena for this technology.

“You lift the pump handle, and it acts as a trigger,” he says, delivering a message to “come inside, pick up a nice cool drink.”

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