You’ve seen them. They’re those static backlit green exit signs found in nearly above the keystone of nearly every door leading to an exit. Safety requirements require them. They’re some of the only lights to be seen in a movie theater when the movies are actually playing. They are above every doorway in sporting facilities and in places where there are large crowds like auditoriums and playhouses. They are everywhere. Exit signage represents the ultimate form of wayfinding. But what if we could change them from static?
I like to think of new ideas to write about here at the digital signage blog. This is one area of static signage that could benefit from a little sprucing with a small LCD connected to a sign server and a content management system (CMS). Even more interesting are all the other type of content that could be helpful with such a display.
One area that comes readily to mind is the necessity of emergency alerts. In addition, a sign equipped with sound could offer a double-time protection against potential problems, especially with the visually impaired. Think for a moment of the prevention of problems such a sign could entail. Static signs may be all that is necessary, but dynamic signs could prove beneficial during emergencies, guiding with sight and sound. In places where the exit requires several turns and twists like in the rides at an amusement park, a digital exit sign could be very beneficial. Have you ever been to Disneyland? If so, you know what I am talking about. You’re in line for an hour for a ride and the line snakes through darkened corridors. Exit signage is necessary, dynamic signage could entertain as well as point the way out.
The sign could also offer other needed information that the particular venue may want to share with persons visiting while not distracting from the main message that, “this is an exit.” If the venue owner does not want to distract from what is going on in the room itself. He can simply schedule the sign to be static when it’s needed. If the crowd starts moving, the sign can start directing and giving needed info. It’s that simple.
Some might say cost for implementation is an issue. I would argue that the cost is minimal compared to the potential benefit. Smaller LCD displays are cheap. And if the venue distributed the signal efficiently using the options that are available in the market, then there would not be a need for a digital signage media player at each display. This post represents Nate’s wacky idea for the week. If you didn’t find this interesting, you can check back next week for something a bit better.