Customer needs are always changing, so it is important for businesses to be able to adapt to these changes. Therefore, digital signage networks are especially important for transportation hubs, such as airports, bus depots, and train stations, as they allow providers to quickly adapt messaging and guidance according to on-site changes and the latest travel updates.

Transportation hubs are continually looking to improve their efficiency, customer experiences, and onsite communications, so keeping up with the latest technological developments is always important. Now, direct-viewing light-emitting diode (DVLED) displays are becoming cheaper and more accessible, making them a more feasible alternative to traditional LCD multi-panel video walls. In transportation hubs, digital signage has an advantage over static signage as it allows users to quickly change and update signs to provide accurate information for travellers.

Advantages of digital airport signage

Easy to follow and convenient wayfinding is an essential part of all transportation hubs, especially in large and busy environments such as airports, and poorly designed wayfinding and signage can negatively impact customers’ experiences by making the travelling process unnecessarily complicated and stressful. Digital signage can therefore play an important role in making the experience as easy and straightforward as possible.

Digital messaging allows operators to instantly update information across an entire network of displays, without the need for extra staff to physically change each static sign. This means that new information can be delivered in real-time to continuously provide customers with accurate information. Digital signage is also a multi-purpose and responsive tool that fits seamlessly into an increasingly digital world. Signs can be placed in a variety of carefully selected locations to provide the necessary information at crucial points. For example, inside airports, digital displays can be used to display information such as departure and arrival times, gate changes, security information, and wait times, as well as wayfinding information. Externally, digital road signs can be used to direct passengers to parking areas and displays at entrances can provide customers with up-to-date rules and regulations.

The versatility of digital signs makes them extremely useful in airports as messages can be displayed in any language, making airports more accessible and easier for international passengers to navigate. Making wayfinding information, travel updates, communications, and welcome messages available to all passengers can make an airport feel more welcoming and improve brand reputation, which can encourage repeat business. DVLED technology also means that signs are available in nearly any shape or size, allowing them to be installed in almost all locations.

Streamlining airport operations with digital signage

As well as helping customers, always-on digital signage can also benefit internal airport employees by providing them with the latest information. For example, highly legible outdoor DVLED displays can be used to direct baggage handlers to the correct baggage claim areas. Previously, this would have required the use of static signs or large LCD displays that had a relatively short lifespan. DVLED screens have an estimated lifespan of up to 15 years, whereas the industry average for LCD displays is only five to seven years. Thanks to new technology, DVLED displays are now available in a variety of pixel pitches and at many different price points, allowing clients to use adaptable and longer-lasting screens in all airport areas.

While HD LCD displays are still useful for closeup screens that are smaller than 100 inches, DVLED screens are more suitable for situations that require legibility at a distance, as every display does not need to be high definition. Larger pixel pitches can be used for bigger screens more efficiently and at a reduced cost, which makes maintenance and installation easier and helps to save energy.

Advances in display and software technology mean that IT staff can control entire digital display networks from a single interface. Users can update content, check the display status, cycle displays, or carry out maintenance from one location. This makes large digital networks easier to maintain and update. Large DVLED displays are also easier to install and maintain, compared to traditional LCD displays, as they do not require the same periodic updates and calibration needed to maintain consistent levels of colour and brightness across multiple displays.

Intelligent sign design in airports

Upgrades to digital signage infrastructure and any additions or replacements require careful planning and organisation to create a system that is efficient, long-lasting, and easy to maintain. Specialised external consultants have been trained in the latest practices and methods to optimise digital display investments and maximise their effectiveness. They also have close relationships with manufacturers and can provide useful design support.

To eliminate cross-platform challenges and compatibility issues, some locations choose to use one supplier for their entire digital signage network, which helps to simplify maintenance procedures. It also streamlines daily use and makes it easier for IT staff to control entire display systems that all use the same software. Managing a large network of displays is made easier for small, mid-size, and large airports if the entire digital display network can be updated together.

As it is becoming more common for airports to use digital displays to generate revenue from advertisers, it is beneficial for them to have a range of different sized displays across multiple locations within an airport. New products, such as all-in-one DVLED displays, are also useful for busy airports as they can be set up in less than a day and are available in a mobile cart format to provide greater flexibility across large areas.

Future improvements for airports

As the travel industry continues to grow and travel infrastructure spending increases, travel experiences are expected to improve significantly in the coming years. Using the latest technology, such as curved DVLED displays, DVLED floor panels, and custom sized DVLED displays, airports are reshaping airports to make them easier to navigate and more welcoming for travellers. Digital displays can be used to provide a better overall customer experience and help airports to operate more efficiently.