Pushing the Sustainability Envelope with Digital Signage

Pushing the Sustainability Envelope with Digital Signage

Image Credit: Luca Bravo

In today's world, digital signage has supplanted display standards and technologies at an unprecedented rate. For thousands of years, print materials were relied upon to showcase various facets of culture and society, including art, information, advertisements, and a myriad of other applications. Print materials were easy to produce overall, but the environmental impact in both the creation and distribution of print has taken its toll. Worse yet, as more customization options came to print, materials became even less degradable than they were previously, increasing their negative impact.

The invention of analog displays (i.e. television) had an initially slow adoption rate, as is common with novel technologies, but the versatility, reach, and intuitive nature of the new technology was immediately apparent. Analog progressed into digital, and with it, the growth of digital signage increased significantly. It was easy to design for, incredibly interchangeable, affordable for its value, and most of all, it lasted. Each new innovation has taken digital signage forward, both in fidelity and the sustainability driven by new technology.

Kristin Bidwell, Piet van der Zanden, and Lode de Radt discuss sustainability at ISE 2024

Hardware is a key aspect of digital signage's sustainability. Early forays into digital display technology relied on backlighting; while this greatly cut down on the form factor in contrast to analog display, it still had a noticeable power draw. Recent hardware research and development has resulted in non-backlit display, the most common example being OLED. These displays not only reduce power draw but also reduce design complexity, resulting in more versatility for display products. The most cutting-edge developments, such as MicroLED displays, provide these benefits while also increasing product lifespan and fidelity.

The unique advantage digital signage has over all other display formats is simple: Configuration. The integration of computer processors with digital displays has resulted in "smart displays", or digital signage that can be programmed. Through programming, configuration adjusts digital signage to suit particular use cases, factoring in considerations like location, purpose, size, activity, and more. When utilized properly, configuration can strike an effective balance of maximizing fidelity while being conscious of energy requirements.

Digital signage is a cornerstone of audiovisual experiences. As the scope of those experiences expands, building with sustainability in mind is essential. An optimized application of digital signage can increase the service life of your displays, reduce energy costs, and often culminates in a higher quality experience. On top of material benefits, creating an environmentally sustainable experience is distinguishing in and of itself, conveying thoughtfulness in the design process!

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Go to the profile of Marcella Walsh
18 days ago

And on April 10th, check out the D=SIGN Power Hour: Green Signage - Going Green, Easier Than You Think! Register here