An Interview With Lyle Bunn, Digital Signage Expert
Lyle Bunn is the longest serving independent provider of digital signage industry analysis, advice and education in North America."I am an independent advisor to end-users in the the planning, design, investment, sourcing and optimization of digital place-based media in customer, patron, traveler, staff and student communications and engagement," he says.
Bunn has been named as one of the 11 Most Influential People in Digital signage and was the only individual named in the digital signage Top 10 list among firms such as Intel, 3M, Clear Channel and others.
In November Lyle sat down with Userful to discuss the incredible growth curve of video walls.
What problems do video walls help solve?
Video walls represent a huge opportunity for end users across a wide range of retail, transportation, health care, hospitality and corporate applications to benefit from improved branding and viewer engagement, while adding vitality and improved ambiance to locations.
Why is there such a huge growth curve for video walls at the moment?
Video walls allow organizations to express their brand like no other medium. In high-traffic areas such as the corporate lobby, retail store, transportation concourse or dining area, images and messages provide vitality while reinforcing brand attributes and reflecting viewer aspirations.
"Investment in content strategy, tactic and composition will increase the return on investment."
How have perceptions about video walls changed in the digital signage industry? What has helped change perceptions about video walls?
End-users have felt the impact of video walls through their experience and want to bring these benefits to their locations.
As bezel-width has decreased and color calibration has improved dramatically over the past years, video walls are seen as a simple way to also improve the ambiance, attractiveness and modern-ness of a location at low cost.
Visual is the preferred language of human beings—images are easy to ingest as messages. Video walls address the human love of high-resolution images.
"Visual is the preferred language of human beings... Video walls address the human love of high-resolution images."
What is one industry that has embraced video walls, and that other industries can learn from?
Public spaces such as museums, stadiums and travel hubs have been early adopters as these large spaces seek to serve larger audiences. Use in corporate lobbies have also been fast to adopt video walls because they can express the brand and messaging can change to reflect circumstances and successes.
Brands in retail are increasingly using the medium to reflect their place in the world—Hollister the apparel provider that aligns with the surfing culture has long had a webcam view of California’s Huntington Beach (a surfer mecca) presented on a video wall in their stores.
"End users should always look to future-proofing their investment in a video wall, accommodating for uses such as higher resolution imagery, data feeds and segmenting media playout in different areas of the overall display. These can challenge basic processors and therefore limit video wall functions or the ease of media management."
When should a business invest in an external video wall processor instead of using the more limited capabilities built into displays?
End users should always look to future-proofing their investment in a video wall, accommodating for uses such as higher resolution imagery, data feeds and segmenting media playout in different areas of the overall display.
These can challenge basic processors and therefore limit video wall functions or the ease of media management.
As video walls proliferate and people become more used to seeing them, what happens next?
Once the technology is in place, it is the content that delivers return on investment. As the video wall is a canvas, content will increasingly provide the attraction. Photography, and artwork will increasingly tell the story and sell the story.
"Higher value will be placed on better targeting the images to time of year, month, day and major calendar events, as well as viewer segmentation."
However, video walls will also increasingly make the viewer part of the story through interactivity through gestural or mobile interface. Higher value will be placed on better targeting the images to time of year, month, day and major calendar events, as well as viewer segmentation.
Does this mean businesses should be putting more thought into what they display on video walls?
Investment in content strategy, tactics and composition will increase the return on investment. Well-defined communications goals will provide clarity to content, which will draw on the enabling capabilities of video walls. The future is bright and big as immersive experience matters more and more.
Lyle Bunn (Ph.D. Hon.) is an independent analyst, advisor and educator.