Digital Signage and Interactive Wayfinding in Military Environments

Both interactive and static digital wayfinding solutions have found homes in almost every area of industry. Although commonly part of the conversation in retail and business environments, the public sector is also making a strong case for these types of use cases as well. This week, we’ll take a look at some of the interesting ways touch and non-touch wayfinding technologies are being deployed in military domains.

U.S. Military Base Presidio

The Size and Scale of American Military Bases Necessitate Clear Wayfinding Solutions

Anyone who has ever visited or lived on an American military base understands that to say that they are large would be an incredible understatement. To illustrate the incredible size take a look at this short list of some of the largest bases in the US:

  • Fort Bragg (NC): Population: 238,646; Area: 255 sq mi
  • Fort Campbell (KY): Population: 234,914; Area: 164 sq mi
  • Fort Hood (TX): Population: 217,003; Area: 336 sq mi
  • Joint Base Lewis-McChord (WA): Population: 209,486; Area: 646 sq mi (!)

It’s easy to see how digital wayfinding and signage would play an important part in keeping military bases running smoothly. This is especially true when you consider that some, like those above, have populations that are more than 10x the size of the average American town (pop. 20,000).

How the U.S. Military Uses Digital Signage and Wayfinding on Bases


50s military base mess hall sign

Larrabee family, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

So how does the military utilize digital technologies to simplify life on base? One is to streamline communications. Much like in an actual city, there are events, meetings and initiatives that need to be shared with both individuals and departments on a macro level. That type of information is more general and can be pushed out from a central location and easily changed, even multiple times per day.

Then there is information that needs to be customized for different areas of the base and for different audiences. Military bases are home to not just active-duty soldiers, but also their families and often retirees. They also employ thousands of civilians to carry out all of the many duties that must be taken care of on a daily basis, from PX staff to IT professionals. Each segment of the population -- even for those that do not live on base -- can be easily and appropriately messaged based on their status, role and location. The military also utilizes digital signage for emergency messaging to help keep their population safe. Because this type of signage can be so quickly changed out, it is easy to keep an audience of almost any size actively informed about any issues that may arise.

Interactive wayfinding can play a critical part in making life on base easier, especially for the thousands of visitors that regularly come through for reasons such as supplies delivery or specialized training. With hundreds of square miles to navigate and what likely feels like countless (seemingly identical!) buildings spread out over that area, it is imperative that negotiating that space is made as efficient as possible -- especially in case of an emergency.

Ready to make the leap into high-tech digital signage or interactive wayfinding kiosks? Our experts are available to assist government and military agencies of all sizes in developing a program that fits their specific needs; just give us a call at (800) 628-3603 ext 525 or submit a request for proposal online and our team will be with you every step of the way.

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