The Smart Signs were a concept that sounded a lot cooler than how they were realised in stores. The information they provided wasn’t very smart, like a static microsite of some product specs. In contrast, the iPads that are attached to Apple Watch display units are truly smart with the second-display information keeping in sync with the current views on the Watch. These plaque displays are not going away.
The Smart Signs were also flawed by their physical dimensions, iPads are not that small. They are pretty big. It made the Apple Store look cluttered and tied up space that could be instead used for more real demo devices. Having a Smart Sign iPad accompanying an actual iPad was comical. Per Gurman’s report, Apple’s new solution is boring but in the end achieves the same result without the downsides, all things considered.