Pervasive Displays: Understanding the Future of Digital Signage

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Fueled by falling display hardware costs and rising demand, digital signage and pervasive displays are becoming ever more ubiquitous. Such systems have traditionally been used for advertising and information dissemination, with digital signage commonplace in shopping malls, airports and public spaces. While advertising and broadcasting announcements remain important applications, developments in sensing and interaction technologies are enabling entirely new classes of display applications that tailor content to the situation and audience of the display. As a result, signage systems are beginning to transition from simple broadcast systems to rich platforms for communication and interaction. In this lecture, we provide an introduction to this emerging field for researchers and practitioners interested in creating state-of-the-art pervasive display systems. We begin by describing the history of pervasive display research, providing illustrations of key systems, from pioneering work on supporting collaboration to contemporary systems designed for personalized information delivery. We then consider what the near future might hold for display networks - describing a series of compelling applications that are being postulated for future display networks. Creating such systems raises a wide range of challenges and requires designers to make a series of important trade-offs. We dedicate four chapters to key aspects of pervasive display design: audience engagement, display interaction, system software, and system evaluation. These chapters provide an overview of current thinking in each area. Finally, we present a series of case studies of display systems and our concluding remarks.