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The future of DOOH advertising is interactive digital signage.

For the digital out-of-home sector, there has never been a more exciting time. From new developing formats to the faster deployment of dynamic DOOH, digital out-of-home advertising innovation is accelerating. Advertisers must develop innovative ways to capture the attention of their target audience as digital signage enters new locations and settings.

Interactivity may make a significant impact in this situation. Interactivity allows marketing teams to differentiate their business by telling compelling tales. Supporting interactive content may mean more interesting and engaging material throughout their network, greater premiums for booking this type of complicated advertising, and the chance to create a splash with joyful social media postings showing off the campaign in action.

What is interactive digital signage?

While personalisation has been a trendy issue in digital marketing in recent years, the interactive aspect is truly gaining traction. Nowadays, interactive adverts may be found on desktop, tablet, and, possibly most commonly, mobile devices. Yet, the internet isn't the only area where you can experiment with interactivity; features like as smart audience targeting and anonymous real-time sensors make DOOH exceptionally well-suited to producing strong interactive experiences.

Simply said, interactive digital signage transforms traditional advertising into a participatory activity by inviting people to physically interact with display content and obtain information that is relevant to them. Unlike standard digital signage, which broadcasts information in a single direction and displays material regardless of whether or not viewers are paying attention, interactive digital signage transforms spectators into users.

An overview of interactive digital signage

The origins of today's interactive displays may be traced back to the early 1980s when touchscreen technology first became commercially available. At the time, interactive kiosks in the form of automated teller machines (ATMs) were also becoming popular, and the ability for consumers to interact in this manner set the groundwork for the interactive digital signage technologies that are still growing today.

While early advances in digital signage were focused on improving hardware—with big leaps in the industry being driven by the introduction of thinner, brighter displays, improved graphics, and overall reliability—the significance of those developments in display technology eventually impacted the content and software sides. When responsive and dynamic display technology grew more inexpensive and widely available, the market became swamped with digital signage systems all fighting for the attention of customers. As a result, marketers and network owners have begun to rely on contextualised, dynamic, and, probably most significantly, interactive content to cut through the clutter and maintain the efficacy of commercial messages in the DOOH environment.

Why should digital signage be interactive?

On any given day, the ordinary city dweller presumably passes by a considerable number of digital displays, most of which are not interactive. Because interactive capacity often necessitates additional equipment and setup, it tends to be more expensive. This is for both media owners who need to outfit the signs and customers who want to acquire more complex campaigns. Is it worth the extra cost of investing in interactive signage?

In a saturated advertising world, the solution boils down to memorability. According to MAGNA research, interactive video commercials receive 47% greater watching time than non-interactive video advertising and are more memorable to consumers regardless of whether they participate. People are also more willing to share personal information in exchange for personalisation and value; by displaying relevant and engaging content, your audience will be more likely to feel comfortable sharing their data, and your buyers will gain insight into customer behaviours that will help inform their future decisions.

Perhaps most importantly for network owners, potential ad buyers are convinced of the effectiveness of interactivity: 81% of marketers agree that interactive content grabs attention more effectively than static content, and 79% believe that it improves brand messaging retention when combined with traditional marketing tactics. With high-end purchasers looking for methods to differentiate their efforts, only those DOOH networks that can provide the interaction they want will be considered to conduct their campaigns.

What you will want for interactive digital signage

It takes some effort to create good interactive material. Network administrators will need to secure hardware capable of powering interactive content, as well as software capable of connecting all of the appropriate elements for the content to execute seamlessly.

Extensible software with an open API is usually the ideal choice for interactive signage projects, but it is also critical to guarantee that the solution is secure and stable. Interactive displays at arm's reach might become targets for tampering by troublemakers, thus they must be guarded.

Lastly, the content on the signs must be engaged with. Depending on the nature of the presentation, this material might take numerous forms. Interactive billboards, for example, will almost certainly display interactive material given by a media buyer wishing to put a specific advertising campaign. The interactive content for an interior display, such as a navigation terminal in a mall, is likely to be handled by the network owners themselves. This is not to argue that all material must be produced in-house. A variety of digital signage content suppliers specialise in offering interactive material that may be customised to meet the demands of a specific network.

Digital signage interactive activation

"Interactive digital signage" is a broad category that encompasses a wide range of initiatives. This is a rundown of some of the most prevalent forms of interaction.


A touchscreen is one of the most frequent ways to make digital signage interactive. Because touchscreens are so common nowadays, this is a safe pick for interaction, as there are unlikely to be many hurdles to most people simply going up and participating in the installation. Touch is frequently used to allow audiences to navigate information on a screen or control on-screen items.

Wayfinding, self-service kiosks, and specific advertising campaigns are examples of common applications.

For example, the LinkNYC network of touch-enabled kiosks in New York City provides customers with access to phone calls, the Internet, directions, and other services, all paid for by advertising on the kiosk.

Gesture/motion recognition

Gesture control is similar to touch, but with more style and less precision. People may come up to the sign and wave their hands in the air, with cameras attached to the installation recording the types and speed of the gestures and generating matching on-screen reactions. This isn't a popular kind of interaction in digital signs, but developments in gesture control and more awareness of hygiene problems post-pandemic are making it more frequent.

Typical applications include virtual browsing or shopping in-store, as well as interactive advertising.

Social networking sites

For years, social media has been a hallmark of interactive digital signage campaigns, owing to social being such a powerful tool for both driving participation and providing onscreen content. Depending on the campaign, the particular implementation of social engagement varies. A common example is when people publish to their social accounts with a certain hashtag and their post appears onscreen, sometimes after a moderation procedure is done.

Typical applications include: advertising

For example, during the battle against COVID-19, the World Out of Home Organisation coordinated the #SendingLove campaign, which encouraged user-submitted messages of love in cities throughout the world.


Campaigns are increasingly making advantage of mobile phones' ability to provide some truly engaging interactive material. Custom applications or mobile websites are developed to allow audiences to modify onscreen components or objects, and audiences are urged to visit or download by visiting a site displayed on the billboard. This may be a fun approach to display activities and inspire broad engagement in a campaign sent on a nearby digital billboard.

Ad-supported gaming, interactive advertising, and augmented reality are examples of common applications.


RFID (radio frequency identification) and NFC (near field communication) are frequently used interchangeably since they accomplish similar tasks with minimal variances. They make use of passive chips that interact with a frequency broadcast by a powered device, such as a smartphone, to send data or trigger a reaction. Although contactless payment applications sponsored by major cellphone carriers are making the technology more ubiquitous, it may be a dangerous option for an interactive advertising campaign. Several phones still do not support these technologies today.

Visual recognition and augmented reality

Some of the most effective interactive DOOH advertisements are also the simplest. Placing cameras near a digital display and connecting them to a compatible Computer can enable some truly spectacular augmented reality campaigns. This may be a wonderful method to immerse observers and the environment around them in a fresh and exciting experience. Additional applications include employing cameras to do basic visual recognition and having campaigns broadcast messages personalized to whoever is standing nearby. Depending on whether the spectator is an adult or a youngster, for example, different content may be provided.

AR and dynamic campaigns are examples of common use.

JCDecaux and Telia Estonia, for example, used Estonia's first outdoor AR campaign to advertise the debut of a new TV channel named "Inspira." With 10% of the Estonian population tuned in to the new channel within the first month, we believe this campaign was successful.

QR Codes

QR codes are a somewhat passive kind of interaction, allowing passers-by to scan a code with a compatible app to obtain information or browse a website. It is commonly used to achieve similar goals as NFC campaigns, but it is more accessible. Although phones require particular gear to access NFC content, they only require a QR reader app on their smartphone to access codes.

Directions, information, and website sharing are all common applications.

As an example, consider this Google Play, and oOh! To access media advertised by the campaign, consumers may utilise both NFC and QR codes.

As interactive technology becomes more affordable and widely available, interactivity is expected to become a requirement for many digital networks. Investing in the proper technology now can set network owners and their businesses up for success in the future.

Vision Enhancement can help you and your company stay ahead of the curve when it comes to current advertising and marketing methods. These interactive displays may be used for several reasons, such as product demonstrations, consumer involvement, and interactive entertainment. Businesses may leave a lasting impression on their target audience by adopting cutting-edge technology, which can lead to improved brand awareness and client loyalty. Since it allows businesses to personalise messaging to specific events or campaigns, interactive digital signage is a useful tool for staying ahead of the competition.

Vision Enhancement is a strong partner that can help businesses reach their goals, whether it's for trade exhibitions, retail stores, or corporate events.

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