Digital signage, like other sectors of the pro AV market, is prone to fluctuations and can be affected by outside events. Taking his annual look ahead while opening this year’s Digital Signage Summit (DSS) during ISE 2020’s conference programme, Florian Rotberg, Managing Director of invidis consulting, said the market had been improving compared to 2019 but that the impact of coronavirus and the uncertainty over Brexit could have ramifications in the coming months.

At the time of DSS, the manufacturing plants in China producing components for digital signage systems had been shut down to contain the coronavirus. Since then the country has started to come out of the crisis, with factories beginning to ramp up production again. Even so, it is likely that, as Rotberg said at ISE, the downturn in production could “cascade” through 2020.

On the UK’s departure from the EU, Rotberg commented that there was uncertainty because a final trade agreement would not be settled until the end of the year. “We hope common sense will prevail, but things won’t be easy,” he said. “The UK is an important market, as are France and Germany, and it is likely we will see more paperwork involved. It also might be more difficult to win projects.”

Rotberg quoted figures from Futuresource Consulting showing an 8.8% growth in digital signage for global units. “There are new players emerging that are taking share from older companies,” he commented. “But the market is still growing and there are a lot of opportunities.”

Technology is changing, with Micro LED being considered for displays, despite being more expensive than LCD. “It will come,” Rotberg said. Other technologies “on the up” included transparent LED, particularly the organic variety; shelf-edge displays, UST (ultra-short throw) projection; and people-tracking systems. Those on the downward slope are LCD video walls and all-in-one LEDs.

A growing issue in signage is the need to be more ecologically aware. Rotberg outlined that being greener was a priority for many companies. Among these is Microsoft, which has stated that it wants to be carbon negative in ten years. “There is also the Green Signage Initiative and the first White Book is published this year,” said Rotberg. “The aim is to raise awareness and influence the industry in making changes. This is a pressing issue and it cannot wait.”

Digital Signage Summit ISE took place on 12 February 2020 at the Hotel Okura Amsterdam. Please find the image gallery here. See you next year at Integrated Systems Europe 2021!