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Thursday, 01 December 2011 15:47

Lack of standards threatens digital signage market, says ITU


The International Telecommunication Union's Telecomms Standardisation Sector (ITU-T) says the proprietary nature of current digital signage systems is restricting the integration of applications across different networks and vendors.

ITU Secretary-General, Dr Hamadoun Touré, said: "The forecast three-fold growth in the market for these advanced signage technologies will undoubtedly be driven by better global standardisation.

"Study Group 16 of our Telecommunication Standardisation Bureau has taken an important first step by starting work on a framework for digital signage services. The resulting standard should be complete in the first half of 2012, and will give a significant boost to the digital signage industry."

According to the ITU, "Interoperable global standards will be crucial to the future development of this emerging market, unlocking enormous value not just for display system developers, retailers and newscasters, but for governments and the community at large.

"Tomorrow's dynamic signage can play a crucial civic role in areas like traffic management, public transport systems, safe crowd management at large events, control of people flows in public areas and private venues, and emergency response systems. But to do that effectively, standardised platforms will be crucial."

ITU-T has issued a Technology Watch Report, 'Digital signage: the right information in all the right places'. It defines digital signage as, "a network of digital displays that are centrally managed and addressable for targeted information, entertainment, merchandising and advertisement," and "provides an analysis of today's digital signage market, identifying trends and pointing to significant growth prospects in the near future."

According to the ITU, "The primary driver of new digital signage networks and applications is the ease with which content can be adapted to different circumstances and audiences. The report explores the extent to which this content adaption will develop alongside remote frequency identification (RFID), near-field communication (NFC) and biometric recognition software, suggesting digital signage could soon automatically adapt its content to the preferences and interests of its viewers."

The ITU will hold a two-day workshop on digital signage on 13 and 14 December in Tokyo that will "explore this topic and examine concrete means to promote standardisation work in the field." It says: "Remote participation is freely available and encouraged; simply enter the virtual meeting room."

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