Must-Have Digital Signage Options for 2021
Innovative Tech That Addresses Post-Pandemic Property Challenges
If you’re looking for tools to help deliver important information to your building tenants and visitors, you’re not alone. The ability to communicate simple messages quickly and easily has never been more important – especially in the wake of a global pandemic when people are unsure about building do’s and don’ts regarding personal safety.
That’s why TouchSource’s Chief Technology Officer, Eric Sloan, and National Sales Director, Susan Brubaker, led a webinar to share the exciting digital signage innovations TouchSource has developed in response to COVID-19. Here’s a summary to help guide your 2021 budget planning for effective building communications.
Building Trust During a Prolonged Pandemic
Recent studies indicate that the newly approved COVID vaccine could impact 2021 in several ways. Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases (NIAID), predicts 2021 will be a year of transition for the U.S. He noted in a recent report that social distancing and limited touchpoints in common spaces will remain necessary as the general population gets vaccinated. Dr. Fauci also said that the U.S. could reach herd immunity next Fall. This means building owners and managers need to make purchasing decisions today that hold through extended pandemic and post-COVID times.
Half of all employees are reluctant to return to work according to a new survey Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Workplace Trust and the Coronavirus. 78% believe businesses have a responsibility to protect employees from the virus and prevent spread in the local community. 63% said they wanted more information on the coronavirus daily. How does that translate into everyday expectations of employers? Employees expect mask-wearing policies, social distancing enforcement, reduced occupancy and checking employees for fever. Building managers need to be a part of the solution to keep their tenants during what many expect to be turbulent time. We covered this and other 2021 trends in another blog on post-COVID amenities that matter.
Technology Innovations for Safe Building Entry
To support building managers, we’ve innovated in key areas to deliver solutions for tenant, employee and visitor safety. Entryways are the highest trafficked areas in all buildings. TouchSource offers a range of features to support safe building entry including:
- Contactless, interactive directories and wayfinding maps
- Virtual receptionist solutions
- Contactless visitor and employee health screening solutions
- Easy to update digital messaging
Contactless Directories & Wayfinding. Deliver a contactless, interactive experience. Unlike many pandemic QR code experience, scanning the TouchSource on-screen QR code opens up the tenant listing and maps interactively on a user’s phone. When someone approaches the digital display, they simply scan a QR code with their smartphone camera. Users can then search for their destination from their device. Nearby amenities and wayfinding maps that are on the directory also are visible on the user’s mobile device.
Virtual Receptionist. This solution set can be added to a TouchSource digital display in place of an employee who must staff the location. Users can either have visitors directly call a tenant, or virtually greet all visitors as a “concierge” service for all of their tenants. This allows building managers to re-allocate lobby personnel and deliver services when employees are working from home. It also allows visitors, tenants, and vendor to be more self-sufficient and exposes them to fewer people during visits.
Dynamic Safety Messaging. Since coronavirus and safety information changes daily, property managers need to be agile in how they inform building occupants of current protocols. This can be time consuming and costly using traditional methods like printed signs or posters. With a TouchSource digital display, managers can instantly update all building directories via one central portal – anywhere, anytime.
Safe Distancing Innovations
With tight spaces now posing health risks, many are scrambling to let people reserve shared and open spaces like cube areas as they return to the workplace. Another more urgent need is for meeting participants to self-discover that they’re at the right room for a meeting.
We introduced three new products in 2020 to address these needs:
- Display Meetings on Your Directory. GroupSpaces™ combines all scheduled meetings for conference rooms and other reserved spaces on a digital directory, message board or kiosk. It’s easy – just connect to your building’s Outlook or Google Calendar to display scheduled meetings for your conference rooms on your digital directory.
- Show Meetings Booked for a Specific Room or Space. SharedSpaces™ is an all-in-one software and display device that serves individual conference rooms and reservable open spaces. The platform shows vacancy status, so that employees and visitors can see if the room or space is available. It’s a low-cost and effortless way to maintain social distancing while promoting safe space management.
- Space Density Analytics. Finally, TouchSource digital displays can track user interaction, mobile, sensor and camera analytics. This enables property managers to see which building spaces are most heavily used, glean insights about foot traffic and review general visitor demographics. Analytics like these provide a greater understanding of visitor needs and the ability to troubleshoot problems that can stem from over-populated areas.
What Are the Next Hot Technologies?
Haptics. We have a goal of keeping touch in a non-touch world. TouchSource is exploring the world of haptics. Haptics tracks your hand movements via sensors so that you can navigate the directory and interact with content without physically touching the unit.
Space Density Monitoring. In addition, we are piloting an occupancy management solution that tracks room and floor density via an infrared camera with government and enterprise clients. The infrared camera delivers real-time updates and alerts when a space is over its occupancy limit. This will enable employees, tenants and visitors to make safer decisions about safe distancing.
For all the details, listen to the On Demand Webinar.