What Is Digital Signage?
Digital Signage is used to send a message to the viewer. The message can be in a static format like an image, or, a short video. In most cases, the display is driven by a local player. The contents of the player are changed periodically depending upon the requests received from advertisers.
Where multiple digital signage are to be managed, a sophisticated hardware and software combination is deployed. One common example is commercial aircraft. A server stores a large number of images, video, and music. Depending upon what a particular passenger chooses, one of the stored media is routed to the seat of the passenger.
Digital signage can be static and/or dynamic. Static digital signage that are more common are one way where the audience is forced to see what the advertisers wants him/her to see. In a dynamic environment, the viewer can choose what he wants to see.
The Forgotten Audience
With the mad rush for everything digital and the smartphone way, advertisers overlook the huge opportunities that exist in brick and mortar. People throng to fairs, cinema halls, and malls in large numbers even today. In reality, brick and mortar sites get more eyeballs and more focused attention from the viewers than any digital device.
Digital Storytelling At Its best
What if you can merge the two? What if you can use digital medium and grab the attention of folks when they are more relaxed? What if you can maximize the use of brick and mortar sites to enhance your ROI? Digital Signage storytelling envisages the use of 1000s of Single Board Computers (SBC) connected to projectors, cameras and sensors to display coordinated video messages across the country.
A central cloud-based server will schedule the media to be played at one of these SBCs. How do you know a media or an advertisement is working? – Just by watching the reaction of the crowd.
If a particular media gets a number of people to stop walking and watch, you have succeeded. This is one of the most advanced digital signage systems ever developed. Using a smartphone as an input device, these systems can also be evolved into an interactive or dynamic system where you display digital menu boards, and the user chooses what he wants to see. The digital signage software can drive projectors, digital signs, digital boards, TVs, LED signboards – literally any kind of display that can take a digital signal.
Measure Real-Time Response
The SBCs will have sophisticated sensors and cameras that will evaluate crowd response and act upon it. The SBC will also measure the human presence and use advanced logic to decide the best time to play a video.
Technology At Its Best
The digital signage software eco-system is being developed using the most sophisticated technology on earth.
For starters, we tested over 60 SBCs. Once we had our choice, we designed a specific version of Linux for it. The SBC has self-diagnostics and corrective processes built-in. Logging enables the device to understand actions to execute when there is a mishap.
The SBC activities are broadly grouped into Services and Scheduler.
Digital Signage Services
The Services form the backbone of the SBC that drive the digital signage. It starts with a health check of the SBC and attached devices. It talks to the server and understands instructions that are to be implemented locally at the digital display premises.
It watches the functioning of other applications and takes corrective action when needed. It updates the server dashboard with the online status of the SBC and its functioning.
The Scheduler drives external devices including projectors, cameras and, sensors that form a comprehensive system that drive the digital boards and digital signs. It understands the schedules downloaded from the server, and, executes them at the times specified. It collects data from the cameras and sensors, acts upon them, and pushes the data to the server. When needed, the Scheduler forms a local closed loop for playing coordinated videos across multiple digital displays.
The eco-system uses advanced security measures including machine recognition, rejecting unknown communication, and watchdogs that will monitor for IP spoofing and hacking. With dynamic and auto-generated passwords, suspicious connections will be rejected for safety.