‘AI enabled hardware will spur more DOOH innovations’
By Pray Jani - August 17, 2021
Atul Jasra, Business Head (India), Philips Branded Professional Display Solutions, tells Media4Growth how innovative technologies can help revive the DOOH space, despite the economic setbacks post COVID-19 .
How has the pandemic impacted DOOH space? Any specific challenges that you have observed in your business?
We understand that the economy will not recover the way it did after the first wave of the pandemic. This is because a lot of funds have been allocated to the healthcare sector, especially in the rural areas. For business activities to revive, it will take more time compared to the first wave. Looking at the market scenario during the second wave, we at Philips are hoping to re-enter the DOOH space only by the second half of 2022.
DOOH media requires skilled labour when it comes to installation of digital hardware and the monitoring of software functioning as per requirements. Due to COVID, a lot of deployments get delayed. Additionally, with people staying indoors, there is a tendency for budget constraints towards outdoors.
Yet another challenge is that the hardware cost has significantly risen since the first wave of COVID. The display panels’ cost is 17% of the total hardware costs, and they are a big part of not only DOOH, but all digital display solutions. But since the first wave of COVID, the demand for these panels has increased and due to that, its cost has also increased exponentially. Other hardware components have also seen a rise in prices.
Do you also see that the time is ripe for innovative technologies in the digital space?
Yes. Due to change in lifestyle, we see non-personal communication in places where we are used to seeing personal communication. Malls install screens to show the crowds on their premises, restaurants put up menu on digital screens and so on. While these changes are made to ensure less human interaction, they also become an opportunity for DOOH.
How is Phillips leveraging the demand for digital technologies?
As far as Philips is concerned, we are working on the product roadmap that involves AI technology among other innovative variants. We are imbibing that in our displays as well and sometime next year we will launch displays with AI technologies. Similar to the digital signage space, which has evolved by itself and found its utility across the industry, the AI enabled hardware will also see a trajectory where it will gradually find its merit based on the innovative uses that it has been put to, across outdoors.
We are building our product portfolio including interactive displays to facilitate higher engagement with the target audience. Our exclusive content management system (CMS) allows clients to monitor and control the displays through a remote device.
Any message to the industry?
Everybody has to remain patient during these times. The market will gradually upscale; it may be a little deferred, but it’s definite. The various technologies that are coming into the DOOH fold will ensure wider application of this media in our lifestyle.