that flashed briefly into existence during the pandemic was temperature-taking signage. Basically, this was digital signage that used a thermal camera to scan people entering a building or other location, determine their temperature, and, if they are above an acceptable level, alert security who then implements policies associated with an elevated temperature. There was a fair bit of interest in these kinds of displays during 2020, and one market sizing report I came across from “Fortune Business Insights” (https://bit.ly/3Oqa5mW) estimated that between 2021 and 2028, the global market for temperaturedetecting signage would grow from $2.19 billion to $4.71 billion at a CAGR of 11.5%. A bit on the bullish side, I suspect, and while I have never seen one of these systems in out in the wild—even doctors’ and dentists’ offices don’t manually do temperature checks anymore.
The Three Rs We’ve written extensively about QR codes, virtual reality (VR), and augmented This is an example of reality (AR), which are “holotwins” from an article Heidi Tolliver-Walker wrote non-physical ways of earlier this year on how AR making signage interacwas used to promote the Utah Black Business Expo. tive via a mobile device. You scan a QR code on a sign (or access AR content using an app) to, for example, see a restaurant menu, access a web site, launch a video or trigger some other kind of immersive experience. It’s thanks to Heidi Tolliver-Walker’s interactive print features here in print or on WhatTheyThink that the term “holotwin” has entered my vocabulary. A holotwin—or “holographic twin” is a person or other character that can be inserted into a user’s real-world environment via their mobile phone, and
they can appear to speak directly to the user. They are starting to Scan to Listen or find become, if not popular, article at PrintingNews. then at least increasingly com/21160232 used to reinforce branding, promote events and even generate revenue. It’s not necessarily signage-driven at present, but that is certainly the next major development. We have already seen signage in retail or public spaces that can interact with a mobile device to change the display as a specific individual passes the sign.
Parallel Universe I also came across what may become a fourth R: PR, or parallel reality, although it sounds like a variant of what I mentioned in the last paragraph. Developed by Delta Air Lines and Misapplied Sciences, a beta version went live at the Detroit airport on June 29, 2022. Essentially, parallel reality lets users see personalized content on a digital display. According to Delta, this category-defining technology, first debuted at CES in 2020, allows up to 100 customers to simultaneously see personalized content tailored to their unique journey on a single Continued on page 63
(Image courtesy Delta Air Lines.)
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