Times Square, New York City

ITU will host a two-day workshop in Tokyo soon on the future and potential for digital signage.

ITU says the arresting digital displays of Times Square, Piccadilly Circus and Shibuya are just a foretaste of a brave new world of cityscapes illuminated by interactive, dynamic and highly targeted signage.

According to a new ITU-T Technology Watch Report, Digital signage: the right information in all the right places, advances in display technologies, declining manufacturing costs and a retail boom in emerging economies are all contributing to the rapid spread of large-scale high-definition display networks.

But it says the proprietary nature of current digital signage solutions is restricting the integration of applications across different networks and vendors. Interoperable global standards will be crucial to the future development of this emerging market, unlocking enormous value not just for display system developers, retailers and newscasters, but for governments and the community at large.

ITU says tomorrow’s dynamic signage can play a crucial civic role in areas like traffic management, public transport systems, safe crowd management at large events, control of people flows in public areas and private venues, and emergency response systems. But to do that effectively, standardised platforms will be crucial.

A two-day ITU Workshop on Digital Signage (13-14 December) in Tokyo, Japan, will explore this topic and examine concrete means to promote standardization work in the field. Remote participation is freely available and encouraged; simply enter the virtual meeting room at http://itu.adobeconnect.com/itudigitalsignage/. The meeting language will be English only.

Dr Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary-General: “The forecast three-fold growth in the market for these advanced signage technologies will undoubtedly be driven by better global standardization. Study Group 16 of our Telecommunication Standardization Bureau has taken an important first step by starting work on a Framework for Digital Signage Services. The resulting standard should be complete in the first half of 2012, and will give a significant boost to the digital signage industry.”

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