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By Michelle Johnson - Marketing Manager at SAi
Even if your knowledge of them is only very minimal, it’s possible that terms like augmented reality (AR), artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing are not completely new to you. These are just some of the technologies that are increasingly stealing news coverage among mainstream and technology media. If they deliver on their promise, then such technologies are set to unleash opportunities across a host of applications in a wide array of industry sectors. 

The good news is that this includes those operating at the sharp-end of the large format/sign & display sector. Indeed, in the case of 3D printing, recent hardware introductions designed specifically for visual communication applications already make this exciting technology accessible to businesses in this space. 

For AR and AI, each market is predicted to grow by $30 billion and nearly $60 billion respectively by 2025. Clearly, these are not to be ignored. Granted, AR and AI may still have some way to go before sign and display users can quantify the opportunity in the same way as 3D printing, but we’re not light years away. Indeed, from SAi’s perspective, we like to think we’re ahead of the curve in exploring ways in which such ‘emerging’ technologies can benefit customers.

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The writing is no longer on the wall, but the sign is…
In the case of AR, the technology could transform the way in which sign & display providers convey their offering to customers, by enabling them to superimpose computer-generated images onto a user's view of the real world. Imagine the increased visualization and appreciation achievable from projecting a customer’s banner onto the side of a building for which it is intended. This could improve customer interaction and perhaps secure go-ahead for projects faster. This could get jobs out of the door quicker, and lead to increased production throughput and expanded profit margins.

The rise of the machines

Similar business-enhancing opportunities could be exploited from AI, which is effectively ‘intelligence demonstrated by machines’. AI could enable sign and display companies to rapidly process enormous amount of data to determine, for example, the best color, dimension and font style to achieve a more precise and efficient design process for their projects.

Those who once may have previously predicted the gradual decline of the sign & display industry, may have been a little hasty. The sector is flourishing, and for those willing to positively embrace these aforementioned technologies, the signs are promising.

Michelle Johnson - Marketing Manager at SAi can be reached at