Modern flat screen TVs are now becoming just as common a technology outside the home as they are in. From retail stores to shopping malls, digital LCD screens are a common sight, used for promotion, advertising and brand awareness.
And outdoor locations are becoming increasingly common too with outdoor digital signage now a common sight along high streets and roadsides.
But outdoor advertising and digital signage are not the only uses of digital screens, which have become an important tool for many authorities.
One use, adopted in the United States and now spreading across the globe is the use of outdoor digital signage screens to help locate missing persons. Each year in the USA alone over 700,000 people are reported missing. Many of these missing persons fortunately turn up, however, there are still large numbers of people that are never found.
One worrying aspect of this is the number of children in the USA that are abducted each year. Missing person agencies like the FBI and NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) suggest that in such cases time is the most important factor in the success or failure of locating a missing child – which is where outdoor screens come in.
As soon as a child is missing, outdoor digital signage screens can be utilised to request information, and more importantly display a picture of he missing child, which means in he case of abduction there is more likelihood of finding the child before they are taken out of the area.
Another use for outdoor screens in locating people is their use in tracking down fugitives. The FBI was the first instigators of using outdoor digital signage to track down wanted criminals and they found the technology so useful that it was soon rolled out across America.
Now other police agencies have also adopted digital signage screens for the location of wanted fugitives providing a cost effective method of tracking people down. The great advantage of digital signage, compared to other media such as radio or newspaper adverts is that a person doesn’t have to purchase, read or tune in to see the fugitive on the outdoor screens, meaning more people will view the wanted image – and therefore more possibility of the police being informed as to their location.