Biometrics and Extending the Function of Digital Signage

In Technology by Daniel NewmanLeave a Comment


This post is sponsored by Samsung Business. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Digital signage has yet to reach its full potential, but a new technology is taking it to the next levels of interaction and customization. Biometric technologies—such as iris, fingerprint, and face scanners—are changing the medium as we know it.

As I mentioned back in April, digital signage is like a caged bird—only limited by the bars people place around it. Digital signage serves brands well to engage with their audience, track metrics, and increase brand visibility and awareness. The versatility of digital signage opens the door to endless creativity—if we can imagine it, digital signage can help us produce it, in most cases. Little did I know, then, that biometrics represents the key to the cage—the technology that will fully unlock the true, vast capabilities of digital signage. Are you ready?

Explore the Vast Capabilities of Biometric Signage

Most people think of digital signage as a content delivery system—simply a digital means of marketing or wayfinding. But what happens when those digital signs become a real-time data collection system? By integrating biometric scanners and sensors, digital signage technology can do exactly that.

Biometric technologies have helped businesses for a long time, mostly to optimize security. Fingerprint or iris scanners are deployed in many high-security businesses and organizations. The technology is proven, but we’ve yet to tap into its full capabilities. Combining biometrics with digital signage helps realize the full potential of both technologies.

How Biometrics in Digital Signage Works

Biometrics in digital signs works by collecting anonymous facial scans and analyses to gather information about a customer’s level of engagement with a product and/or advertisement. New digital signs with biometric capacities offer a wealth of new information to marketers, including:

  • Shopper identification
  • Viewer demographic information
  • Viewer mood and reaction to content
  • Traffic patterns
  • Effectiveness of screen placement
  • Real-time content effectiveness

This information can trigger an automatic response in the system to display predetermined content according to the viewer’s demographics or reaction. Picture a shopping mall signage display. As a young woman approaches, perhaps a clothing or perfume ad appears. Teenagers would be treated to signage advertising the video game store across the mall. If a consumer’s attention strays, the ad might change to something that may be more relevant or eye-catching.

Visualize the Potential Benefits of Biometric Signage

Digital signage with integrated biometrics can provide retailers with insight into their customers’ shopping habits and reactions to specific products, sending the data straight to the merchandising and buying departments for easy analysis. The biometric scanners can calculate retail heat maps to optimize product mix and store layout for maximum results.

It’s clear to see this unlocks a whole new range of possibilities for marketers. Smart digital signage of the future offers a real-time data collection and analytics platform for the physical world, enabling business owners and marketers to collect data on how a viewer reacts to content or a product, scanning his or her face and translating expressions into hard data.

Marketers no longer have to limit the content of the sign to a single audience or run a string of advertisements in the hopes that the right people will see the right ad at the right time. In a nutshell, biometric scanning identifies the viewer, sends this information in real-time, and allows marketers to change the content accordingly. It’s a win-win: It serves up hyper-relevant ads to the consumer, while providing marketers with a massive amount of big data.

The technology can benefit virtually every industry, from retail to transportation. Already, transportation hubs such as train stations and airports use digital signage for wayfinding and to promote products. Imagine a world where we could simply walk in front of a biometric camera and the system would automatically verify that we are passengers. No waiting in line or showing our IDs. This could revolutionize the travel industry—saving time and vastly increasing efficiency and traveler satisfaction.

Reap the Rewards of Smart Signage

Digital signage solutions already offer a range of benefits, including cost-efficiency and a competitive edge in the marketplace. Imagine what having a vast amount of specific data could help you accomplish as a marketer. Persistent targeted information gives you the opportunity to tailor your efforts to a specific audience, with a much-improved likelihood they will pay attention to your message and remember it in the long term.

I’m not exaggerating when I say that smart signage can revolutionize how we do business. With such a wealth of real-time consumer information at our fingertips, our options are virtually limitless. In a marketplace that puts more emphasis on the customer experience than at any other time in history, biometric digital signage would enable you to create a powerful, immersive, and completely customized experience—without the repeat costs inherent in many other marketing tactics.

Targeting the right people at the right time is the cornerstone of good business. That will never change. What has changed, and for the better, are our technologies for doing so. As digital signage continues to harness the power of biometrics, businesses will have an essential tool at their disposal—the ability to capture real-time, specific audience information and then optimize brand messages with absolute certainty of their relevance.

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Photo Credit: MedicinesforEU Flickr via Compfight cc

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.

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