Blog: Frank Kenna 

Frank Kenna (bio)
President and CEO
The Marlin Company

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

First, let's start off with my 2014 predictions and see how I did.

I said:

  •     New embedded computers and 4k displays would be insignificant. Check.
  •     Many more companies would realize they need digital workplace communications. OK, that was a no-brainer, but check.
  •     More c-suite execs would start the search for workplace digital signage, as opposed to operational folks instituting it and trying to get the concept to bubble up. We certainly saw that — check.
  •     There would be a continued evolution of digital signage to mobile, e.g., iPads and smartphones. I was a little ahead on that one I think, but still believe it, so I'll make that a push to my 2015 predictions.

That was pretty much it for specific predictions, so giving myself partial credit for that last one, I get an 85-percent correct rating.  I love being able to grade my own tests…

Now on to the 2015 predictions:

1. Connection of company data to their digital signage will become very important. Yes, this could just be KPIs, financial data and the like, but I think it'll go deeper than that. Simple stuff like work schedules, price lists and cafeteria menus exist in company databases today, but most digital signage systems require the user to go find it, convert it, then send to the digital signage. There's got to be an easier way, and companies will start looking for that way in 2015.

2. Communications will have to be instant, or at least much faster. The schedule-driven metaphor that most digital signage systems use takes too long to get the message in circulation and too long to take it down. In an age of more than 5,000 tweets per second, waiting to get a piece of content on the digital signage and then having it drone on for days is getting old.

3. Hyper-local messaging will start to happen. I don't think anyone other than industry geeks like me will call it that, but managers will want their messaging to get to their employees wherever they are, whether they have email, smartphones, desktops computers – or not. This is a real challenge, but those managers are experiencing advertising everywhere. If national brands can do it with their sodas and sneakers, managers will want to know why they can't do it with their safety and teamwork messaging.

4. Managers will look for ways to get more and faster feedback from their employees. With all the smartphone and tablet apps floating around, and online discussion forums and interactive TV becoming commonplace, it makes sense that managers will want to get information from their people in real time. This means that employees will need a way to get the requests and respond to them digitally, and whatever system is being used will need to summarize the findings as they arrive.

5. This last item is what we won't see: The list includes 4K TVs, beacons, NFC, and 3D and curved displays. If you don't know what some of those items are, you're proving my point.  Most other people don't either, meaning the technology is still too early for the workplace.

While technology gallops along, the typical corporate communicator is behind the technology curve, and really, always has been. And that's as it should be. The bleeding edge of technology is fine for the early adopters and gadget geeks, but shouldn't be designed into workplace products until they are well understood and technologically rock solid. The iPad is a good example of this. Last year was when we first saw our customers asking for tablet-based communications products; the iPad was announced almost exactly five years ago, in January 2010.

Posted by: Admin AT 03:09 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  

Post comment
Email Address

(max 750 characters)
Verify image below
* Required Fields
Note: All comments are subject to approval. Your comment will not appear until it has been approved.


Our members are among the most prominent and respected suppliers of digital signage, kiosk, self-service and mobile technology solutions.

Request project help from DSA members

Tweets by @iDigScreenmedia

Digital Screenmedia Association | 13100 Eastpoint Park Blvd. Louisville, KY 40223 | Phone: 502-489-3915 | Fax: 502-241-2795



Website managed by Networld Media Group