The Best Displays for Digital Signage Wayfinding

An easy question for a smart digital display to answer is “where am I?” Thus, wayfinding is becoming an increasingly popular platform across multiple industries. From hospitals to airports, retail and hospitality, wayfinding digital signage can be found everywhere. It’s the 21st century way in which people plot out their course in a location. Rather than consulting static maps, the public is now turning to digital signage to help them find their way.

Why Wayfinding?

The concept of marrying maps with digital signage came naturally from the idea that venues could create dynamic content that people would find both engaging and highly valuable. The four must-haves of wayfinding technology are:

  • Direction
  • Search
  • Information
  • Interaction

Wayfinding displays can also present opportunities for vendor marketing, SMS messaging, live streaming and so much more. The idea is that the map draws people in but then gives you an opportunity to speak to the customer about other things.

How it Works

Once a consumer inputs location data, the technology scans local stores, rooms, destinations, facilities, amenities or any other searchable options. It then produces the results for the user in a 2D or 3D map depending on the display. In some cases, wayfinding digital signage can even send the information to a smartphone or mobile device. While providing location data, wayfinding displays can also show users specific information like product, pricing and schedules.

Types of Wayfinding

In addition to performing a variety of functions, wayfinding comes in multiple formats. The following are the various solutions and the displays that work best for them.

Interactive Wayfinding 

The most popular form of wayfinding digital signage also happens to be the most engaging. Interactive wayfinding is ideal for multi-floor and multi-building properties and generally provides directions using a multi-dimensional perspective (2D or 3D). This type of signage is best placed at exit and entry points, on every floor.

Interactive Wayfinding Displays

The best displays for interactive wayfinding are LCD touchscreens. LCD stands for "liquid crystal display" and is comprised of the same material as the screen on a smartphone. The following are some brands that provide the best screens for interactive wayfinding:

  • LG
  • NEC
  • Samsung
  • Mimo Monitors
  • TSItouch 

There are a variety of models suitable for engaging wayfinding within each brand. Size, location and content will all play a role in the exact style you choose.

Dynamic Wayfinding 

Dynamic wayfinding works best in large facilities where people are unlikely to return to the lobby for directions. Dynamic wayfinding makes it easy to see what is happening with large displays, message boards and directories. As schedules change, the dynamic content is updated and exhibited on the maps throughout the establishment.

Dynamic Wayfinding Displays

A variety of displays can be used for dynamic wayfinding. The best types of digital displays for dynamic wayfinding include those that can double as message boards and have the ability to be viewed both indoors and outdoors. The following are some popular brands for dynamic wayfinding digital displays:

  • Caltron
  • NEC
  • Phillips
  • Samsung
  • LG

Viewing distance, location and lighting are all factors to consider when purchasing a dynamic wayfinding display.

Static Wayfinding

Not everyone cares to interact with digital signage, but people will always pay attention to it. Just like interactive displays, static ones can be placed at entry and exit ways to inform the largest audiences about where they are going. You may also see this type of technology utilized at elevator banks and other gathering places on each floor.

Static Wayfinding Displays

Static wayfinding can be displayed on virtually any screen that is appropriate for digital signage. It is the simplest form of content there is and thus doesn’t require much in terms of hardware. The following are all brands that provide incredible digital displays for static wayfinding:

  • Dynascan
  • Caltron
  • Planar
  • LG
  • Philips
  • Samsung
  • NEC
  • Mimo Monitors

Mobile Wayfinding

This is where equipment can get a tad more complex. Mobile wayfinding is stepping it up a notch from all of the other types of wayfinding signage by interacting with a person’s mobile device (or other external element). Users can access applications like the Four Winds Interactive Mobile Wayfinding solution to view a map on their mobile devices.

Mobile Wayfinding Displays

Mobile wayfinding means a person can receive directions from a sign, including access to customized route paths, 3D maps, vendor data, personalized directions and the list goes on. This is typically done through software that includes QR codes or SMS text capabilities. The following are some brands with innovative digital displays that respond well to mobile wayfinding:

  • LG
  • Philips
  • Samsung
  • NEC
  • Mimo Monitors
  • TSItouch 

Mobile wayfinding displays may not be suitable for everywhere. If there is light traffic or minimal interaction, a static option may be best for that area.

Effective displays and technology for wayfinding digital signage depend upon what you want to do and who you want to talk to.

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