The Role of DOOH In India’s Smart Cities Mission

  • Armour 

We live in an era of “all things smart”. Rapid advances in digital technologies have transformed the way we live, communicate, travel, learn and work. The proliferation of smartphones, widespread connectivity and anytime anywhere access to data through cloud-based applications are some of the notable trends that have made our lives easier. Riding on the wave of new technologies, countries across the globe are pouring investment in projects that aim to deliver smart solutions to their cities and citizens. One such initiative by the Government of India is the “Smart Cities Mission” launched in 2015. The goal of the project is to develop 100 cities across the country that are citizen-friendly and sustainable from an economic, social and environmental aspect.

Digital out-of-home advertising (DOOH) will play a significant role in the development of smart city projects in India, in line with the Government’s vision. Solutions listed in the smart city charter around urban mobility include smart parking and intelligent traffic management, areas that will require DOOH advertising to be the primary medium of information and communication. Apart from serving out advertisements, digital displays on roads can provide travellers with real-time traffic information that can enable them to determine the best possible routes of commute. In October 2017, India’s first Intelligent Transport System was implemented along Ahmedabad’s Ashram and West Riverfront Roads using Digital Variable Messaging Sign (VMS) boards that equipped travelers with real-time traffic information, and also recommended alternate routes to less busier stretches of these roads.

The applications of DOOH advertising in smart city projects are far-reaching. Besides enabling solutions for traffic management, digital displays can be deployed in public places to provide better facilities for citizens. Some of these deployments will require media owners and civic authorities to collaborate through Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects. For instance, interactive kiosks can be deployed to promote tourist attractions in a city or to provide directory information at malls and amusements parks; digital displays at bus and train stations can provide schedule information to travelers; digital signage wayfinding solutions can be deployed at hospitals and shopping malls allowing users to navigate to their destinations with ease.

Indrajit Sen, Representative of Indian Outdoor Advertising Association, puts rightly into perspective how OOH media could be a key enabler of smart city projects. “OOH in a Smart City should have elegant unipoles with scrolling displays or digital displays, neat bus shelters with signage indicating schedule for next bus to arrive, a well-lit tower with revolving display, a beautifully laid out park, well-lit parking areas, public toilets – clean and pleasant – conveniently located, digital signages that also guide on traffic density, directions to nearby places of interest and also provide latest news”, said Indrajit.

About Us
Armour Display Systems is uniquely positioned to deliver DOOH advertising solutions that will enable India’s cities to become truly ‘smart’. With a presence across India’s busiest bus and train stations and other high footfall areas such as amusement parks, hospitals and malls, Armour’s DOOH solution equips people with real-time information and relevant advertising. Contact us to explore how our network and solutions can benefit your business.

  1. References:
    1. Smart OOH for Smart Cities, media4growth, June 2016
    2. ‘DOOH in India – Dawn of a new era is near’, media4growth, January 2018