Digital signs have evolved over the last few years. They have become more sophisticated and enable a wide range of intuitive features. Adding a touch screen element to a digital sign creates a completely new experience. Although we live in a world where pretty much every device we use is touch screen, this feature isn’t always necessary in digital signs. The main difference between digital signs and touch screens is the element of touch. Digital signs are only made to be seen whereas touch screens are interactive.

With touch screens you need to invite people to interact with your screen in some way. To get them to stop what they are doing and engage you need an extremely appealing message. Keeping people engaged with a touch screen for a few minutes or even seconds is a difficult challenge. They should only be used in the right circumstances. They may be used to gather information or produce information for customers based on their requirements.

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One of the main benefits of adding an interactive element to your touch screen is that people are more likely to remember their experience. Asking them to participate in something engages them and develops their interest in a particular product or service. The design for touch screens is far more complicated than producing a non-interactive digital sign. A great deal of planning and design needs to go into how the touch screen works. It is for this reason that they are usually more expensive than digital signs.

Touch screens are not an option for areas that customers cannot reach. If you want to use a touchscreen you need to put your sign or touch screen kiosk somewhere where it can be accessed easily. There isn’t always a need for people to interact with your sign, especially if you simply want them to absorb a message so this is something you need to consider carefully.

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Thomas Fraser-Bacon from Allsee Technologies said “People are comfortable with touch screens and do a lot of online shopping via devices such as iPads, iPhones and various different tablets.” Some retail stores are struggling to compete with this style of browsing and are now considering getting touch screens for their stores. They can help combine the online shopping experience with shopping in store. They believe that touch screens will not only increase sales but also improve their customer service. The shopping experience can be tailored to a customer’s needs, producing options based on the information they provide.

Another benefit of touch screens is that more in depth information can be provided. When you search for a product online it brings up all sorts of information so that you can make an informed decision. In retail stores and restaurants it can be difficult to do this. With a touch screen you can provide people with more information about a product based on their priorities so that they feel confident with their decision.

It’s not just in the retail environment that touch screens are useful. They can be used in a wide range of establishments to provide a level of interactivity. From museums and libraries to city centres and businesses. The key thing is to understand what the main purpose of your sign is. If it is to simply convey information then a digital sign will do the trick. If you want to educate, entertain, extract information or provide useful advice then perhaps a touch screen would be a better choice.

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