Augmented Reality to be a Key Player in Digital Signage

Drawing attention to the highlights of the 16th Sign and Graphic Imaging Exhibition, International Expo Consults (IEC, part of Falak Holding), observed that innovative ‘augmented reality’ feature in digital signage will be the next big step that will boost the retail industry in the UAE and the Middle East region. This year, IEC expects more than 400 exhibitors and 10000 visitors from around 30 countries to participate at the event. SGI 2013 will be held from January 20th to 22nd at Dubai International Exhibition Centre.

Augmented reality is the technique of overlaying graphics on a real-world image, so that the graphics enhance and re-contextualize the scene. The feature is unique because of the way it interacts with the user on a more fun and informative level.

“The objective of augmented reality is to add information and meaning to a real object or place. Unlike virtual reality, augmented reality does not create a simulation of reality. Instead, it takes a real object or space as the foundation and incorporates technologies that add contextual data to deepen a person’s understanding of the subject. Customers can try out a watch on their wrist, check out a costume or find out about promotions, submit feedback on products, read customer reviews, view past purchasing histories and share what they have discovered with their friends via social media and mobile phone integration. Augmented reality is a win-win situation for both the merchandiser and also the customer. This is an ideal solution when you look at the number of global brands in the region,” said Abdul Rahman Falaknaz, Chairman of IEC.

“Today there is Bluetooth-enabled digital signage that can send messages to a person’s phone as he moves past a digital signage. Furthermore, merchandisers in the UAE and the Middle East can also make the window shoppers interact through the augmented reality feature in digital signage panels. Increasing adoption among a wider base of industrial sectors as an effective medium for interactive advertising and decreasing costs of purchasing, installation and maintenance also augurs well for the future of the market. The market sees digital signage as a more beneficial tool compared to static signage because content can frequently be updated digitally, saving the cost of printing,” observed Sharif Rahman, CEO, IEC.

According to a new report by Global Industry Analysts Inc. the global digital signage systems market is expected to reach $13.8 billion by 2017.  Digital signage is a form of electronic display that shows television programming, menus, information, advertising and several other messages. Digital signs such as LCD, LED or projected images can be found in public and private environments, such as retail stores, hotels, restaurants and corporate buildings.

International Speakers to Converge at SGI 2013

SGI Middle East provides opportunity for exhibitors and visitors to interact with sign makers, print and production manufacturers, architects, media agencies, real-estate developers, brand and image consultants among others. The forum will also include seminars and workshops that will be held by various experts in the field.

Abdul Rahman Falaknaz stated, “We are eager and delighted to welcome several distinguished speakers at the show next year and this will add a lot of value to the show and the visitors. This is an integral part of our event and we are proud to have some really big names with illustrious careers in this industry sharing their wealth of knowledge and experience gathered over the years at the show”.

Last year, industry experts like Nicholas Hellmuth, founder and president of FLAAR reports, Rana Ray Choudhury, Worldwide Principal Technical Consultant for HP Large-Format Production, Ryan Crist among other speakers from ITP addressed the audience at SGI 2012.

IEC is expecting people from the region and also globally from across the US, Europe and Asia among other geographies to attend the show. SGI is one of the most anticipated events of the year in the region for exhibitors and visitors in the signage, outdoor media, screen and digital printing industries.

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