What is Smart Signage?
Smart signage is an umbrella term that covers different types of sign technology that can deliver an augmented experience to customers. This type of signage uses QR (Quick Response) codes and NFC (Near Field Communication) shortwave radio transmissions chips. Smart signs work smarter, not harder, to engage your potential audience and provide them with answers to questions about your product. AR (Augmented Reality) immersion experiences have been in development and have been around since the 90’s. However, the vast number of people who carry smartphones with them on a daily basis is a relatively new phenomenon. This puts AR experiences into the hands of a large percentage of customers who may be interacting with your product or service each day.
What are QR Codes?
Quick Response (QR) codes are 2D images that look like a cubist bar-code, where users can scan with a smartphone app to bring up information or be directed to a website link. QR codes bridge printed marketing materials to a brand’s online presence and opens up a wide range of digital marketing possibilities. Connect with your audience in the real world through signs they see and they will be directed to virtual resources to take your message to the next level.
What is NFC?
NFC is a form of RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) that combines digital technology and print to educate, influence and inform your audience. Two objects that contain NFC tags can communicate with each other. Most modern smartphones are NFC equipped so any kind of sign, decal, wall mural, or display can have a small NFC chip installed to communicate digitally with your audience.
What’s the difference between RFID and NFC?
NFC is a subset of RFID as are both Bluetooth and WIFI technology. Currently, RFID is primarily used by retailers and manufacturers to track inventory. In contrast, NFC is used largely to add digital experiences for consumers. For example, the security stations exit at mall retail stores use RFID tags to know when active RFID chips leave the premises. Or, when you pay to have your pet tagged that is an RFID transmitter implanted into them. RFID can read 50-feet for handheld or 100-feet for fixed infrastructure readers. Even without an active internet connection or WIFI, NFC information exchanges can still take place when the device comes within 5 cm. of an NFC enabled sign. This is why NFC technology is used in the keycards you receive at your hotel. RFID tags are small, flexible and can take many forms which is a great solution for inventory tracking and tracing purposes.
Apple pay, Google pay, Android Pay, and Samsung pay also use NFC payment technology. NFC authentication helps protect brands from sales loss to confirm that examples of the product in the wild were acquired legitimately. With NFC, brands can link relevant information directly into the product itself. NFC becomes part of the product after the sale in the post-purchase experience. Basically, a smart sticker with NFC technology communicates with the customer’s phone to deliver information, delivering short-range information. NFC chips are already in most credit cards and in the batteries of smartphones.
InfoLnkX: SpeedPro’s Unique Smart Signage Solution
InfoLnkX by SpeedPro applies NFC technology to large-format printing applications including signs, banners, acrylic decals, and more to integrate real life interactions with an online customer experience. InfoLnkX is a touchless technology that delivers information directly to a user’s smartphone when they hold the phone near an NFC chip. As opposed to QR codes that require an open app or camera function, NFC chips generally do not require an app install on a current-generation device. SpeedPro installed InfoLnkX NFC tags in large-format print applications direct users to website links and digital content including app downloads, video, audio, and AR content. We have seen great success rolling out this technology to restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic, as restraunts use this as a way to providing touchless and paperless menus. Retail locations, museums and other public attractions also use the technology to relay information to customers and visitors in a touchless, personalized experience.
The future of touchless smart signage is here today. SpeedPro can accommodate any scale of QR code printing or NFC implementation to any size printing application. Our nation-wide network of print shops is eager to work with you to provide touchless technology that takes your message to the next level. Augment your personal reality today by speaking with our professional staff for answers to any questions you may have.