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Feb 2022

The Impact of Internet of Things (IoT) on Digital Signage


The benefits of digital signage are obvious as they have long been recognized for their ability to attract and engage viewers. Even though digital signage technology helps the quick and easy distribution of content, most digital signage solutions are traditionally passive, even today.

Dynamic, full-motion videos can attract eyeballs, but in most cases, they can’t sense and react to those eyeballs. The technology doesn’t know if it’s raining outside, it’s warm or cold, or whether the person viewing that content is male or female, a teenager or a senior citizen.

But now the scene is being changed drastically with the rise of the Internet of Things (IoT). Yes, IoT is rapidly shifting the world of digital signage from deployment, content, and management perspectives.

What Is the Internet of Things?

The Internet of Things(IoT) refers to a set of devices or gadgets, such as smart TVs, electronic appliances, sensors, cameras, beacons, smart sensors, cell phones and Global Positioning Systems (GPSes), that are connected to a wireless network service to collect and upload data to the cloud and then exchange it with other connected devices.

In a nutshell, IoT is implementing the latest digital technologies to allow physical objects to "communicate" to each other. You may find these types of devices in public spaces, including restaurants, hotels, corporate buildings and outdoor as well as indoor advertising.

The effects of IoT have started to be seen globally across all sectors, from healthcare to industrial and from entertainment to retail, among others.

How Does IoT Define the Future of Digital Signage?

IoT allows digital displays to react to any number of external triggers, showing the right content at the right time to the right audience. Also, it offers deployers a plethora of data that can be used to improve operations and content effectiveness.

Since IoT is capable of improving the communication between digital devices, you can interact with physical objects and their data sources conveniently. Also, IoT-enabled digital platforms can overcome the problems that can occur with Wi-Fi or fixed-line internet which is not always reliably available where the digital signage is installed. This dramatically simplifies the process of digital signage deployment, installation, and updates.

Data-Driven & Reactive Digital Signage

You won't be able to drive down the road or walk into a public or a commercial space without noticing dynamic digital displays, touch-screen kiosks or interactive video walls that engage passers-by with useful content.

Dynamic digital displays connected to live data offer a unique way to communicate messages more effectively and in real time. Whether it is to inform people about occupancy before entering a space, or to manage traffic with smart road-sign systems, everyone can benefit from this technology to make smarter decisions.

IoT Technologies Across Various Sectors

  1. Intelligent Traffic Signs: Intelligent digital signage on the sides of highways that are connected to IoT devices can alert drivers of traffic congestion and gain efficiency overall in public transportation. Real-time traffic information displayed on LED panels can provide passengers with alternative routes with the estimated time of arrival saving time and making journeys less stressful for car drivers.

  2. Smart Retail Stores: With the growth of the internet of things, customers now enjoy an increasingly connected or ‘smart’ shopping experience through a network of connections linking the physical and digital worlds into an ecosystem of devices.

    Imagine a scenario where a customer picks up a product at a retail store, and as soon as she or he does, a digital display near that customer begins to play a campaign that is related to the product and unique to the demographics of the customer.

    Also, based on the weather conditions like rain or temperature variations, sensors can activate or deactivate a given campaign, perhaps for umbrellas or raincoats.

  3. Sensible Healthcare Solutions: An IoT-enabled display positioned at a hospital’s entrance can act as a receptionist. Upon arrival, patients can check into the digital signage system, which will connect to the doctor’s office to confirm the appointment, and then, display a wayfinding map to help patients navigate to their waiting rooms.

    During examinations, clinicians can connect digital screens to their patient's EHR, and other medical data sources like wearable sensors, to display a comprehensive picture of their health. Furthermore, displays can be used to present examination results to patients and to compare treatment options showing them side by side.

  4. Innovative Education Initiatives: In educational institutions, digital signage can be used to broadcast social media and news, present educational events, publicize students’ achievements, and advertise the school or college for visitors.

    In such institutions, security is emerging as a primary concern and strategically positioned cameras and sensors can detect danger, alert the authorities and initiate available defensive mechanisms. Digital signage connected to those sensors can display alerts together with sensor data and give further instructions and directions to students while transmitting real-time updates to police monitors.

  5. Logical Building Management Systems: Building management systems form the backbone of residential as well as commercial buildings. These systems enable the occupants to monitor and manage the day-to-day operations and functioning of the building.

    A fire alarm that is connected to the digital signage screens instructs people to the best exit route or a display that greets and turns on a projector for anyone walking through the front door.

    Using IoT for building management systems empowers owners and facility managers to monitor every nook and corner of the building, and help optimize space. The IoT devices can create and analyze data in real time to create heat maps of different areas of the workspace. This can help managers make business-driven decisions regarding office layout and amenities.

  6. Interactive Public Signage: From wayfinding and safety alerts to monetizing ad revenue and driving sales for local commerce with contextual ads, IoT-integrated digital signage can help you better engage, inform and serve citizens, tourists and businesses alike, in real time.

    Digital signage can also be used to better engage with the inhabitants of a particular area. Some of the real-life scenarios include informing people about events, encouraging them to use shared services or displaying vital information about public transportation of a particular area.


The world we live in is becoming a global network of computers, data, sensors, cameras, databases, devices and virtual artifacts, all communicating with each other to impact our daily lives. Driven by the Internet of Things, applications in the digital signage sector are expanding quickly.

From outdoor signs to indoor displays, linking digital signage with the Internet of Things can improve display effectiveness and provide more comprehensive as well as interactive content that drives a smarter engagement.

What Blue Rhine Offers?

Our digital signage solutions can easily be integrated with IoT-enabled applications, and are used by a wide range of industries in the GCC region, including the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

If you have a digital signage project, share the details and our digital signage experts will help you make your project efficient and exceptional.

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