The coronavirus pandemic has continuously put many cities under lockdown and introduced restrictions such as wearing masks and social distancing. It has made us conscious about who and what we interact with. This has led to concerns about the public-use touch screens that can be seen in major supermarkets, shopping centres, and fast food chains. 

Many industries have been forced to adapt and change their strategies in ways unforeseen to survive through the pandemic. Digital signage vendors are no exception to this. But, really, how are public use touchscreens going to survive in a world where people are cautious of what they touch?

There are two reasons why despite the COVID-19 pandemic, touch screens are staying: 

  1. They have proven to be an effective means of communication.

Interactive digital displays have effectively relayed information to the public. They are a preferred means of communication for a growing number of businesses due to their ability to improve operational efficiency, lower maintenance costs, and provide customers with an engaging communication channel. Digital signage has also extended its reach towards those in lockdown by allowing content to be shared on mobile devices, embedded in websites, and pushed to online messaging platforms. It has also made use of QR codes, transforming printed material into digital signage content to boost sales. 

      2. They are more manageable compared to human-to-human interaction. 

While surface transmission of the virus is a risk to the public, research shows that the virus does not live long on many surfaces. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure digital displays are kept clean. Although touching public surfaces may be an icky subject at the moment, touchscreens are still a preferred alternative compared to human-to-human interaction as they help reduce the significant risk of airborne transmission. For example, a self-checkout kiosk will limit unwanted human interaction, promoting social distancing. 

Touch screens have many advantages and benefits which is why many businesses still opt to use them. 

  • Anyone can use them and they are easy to use. They give straightforward and clear instructions and messages. Moreover, users do not require another computer, phone or tablet. 
  • They can be easily updated remotely, and are engaging and visually appealing to users. 
  • They provide a more modern look for most businesses or organisations in an increasingly digital world. 
  • They help lessen the load of staff duties (i.e. welcoming customers, processing sales, shortens wait times).
  • The interface is always on, which allows business owners to create and schedule content with real-time updates.
  • They are fast and instantaneous, enabling users to complete a transaction quickly. 
  • They can run on affordable software. 

In comparison to voice and gesture-activated digital screens

Touch alternatives have been growing and are improving in quality. They are also a good solution in addressing accessibility needs for the physically challenged. However, they are still lacking in comparison to touchscreens. Voice-activated engines struggle to recognise speech of those with strong accents and are sensitive to ambient noise. Gesture technologies, on the other hand, require the user to form precise hand shapes and movements. Although these technologies are rapidly developing, at this stage they can not fully replace the touch screen and its advantages. 

Would you like to know more?

Touch screens can provide a lot of benefits and we can help you pick the best touch screen solution for your business. Contact us today and find out more!