Sign & Digital Graphics

The 2015 LED & EMC Report

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L E D & E M C • June 2015 • 21 else installers have to be assured one exists that is compatible with the system. Users are physically tied to that one location in order to update content. Upgrades to the system come infrequently. Implementing those updates may require that another disc be installed on the host computer. Finally, the health of the host computer itself may affect the user's ability to run the sign (it's difficult to edit your display if the sole method you have of commu- nicating with it just had coffee spilled on the motherboard). Cloud-Based Systems The second category is newer to the display industry but is something that has become ubiquitous in the world of computing. That's a cloud-based system. The sole drawback of this type of sys- tem is that a stable Internet connection is required on site, or else a mobile data subscription would need to be purchased. Most signs are installed next to businesses though and it's extremely uncommon for businesses to be operating without some form of Internet access, so today this has becomes less of a hindrance. The advantages of cloud-based sys- tems are plentiful. A cloud system can be accessed and controlled in real time from virtually anywhere. Imagine a business owner driving home for the weekend and forgetting to update his display with details of next week's sales promotion. With PC-based software, that user would need to drive back out to the office to make the appropriate changes. With a cloud-based system, they could take out their phone and make edits literally from the palm of their hand. On the content side, a cloud-based control system also means networked content. For example, something as simple as displaying the weather required expensive and sensitive hardware when used as part of a PC-based system. Many sign shops bemoan the inevitable phone calls of complaint from customers when they realize their screen is displaying a temperature that is a few degrees off from what is being reported by their weather service. Most of the time it's not EMC control systems today are either PC-based using an on-site computer, or cloud-based, which can be accessed via the Internet. Cloud-based software controllers allow you to access to schedule and update your EMC sign on a variety of devices from anywhere there is an Internet connection. Today's control software includes options and tools that allow users simple and efficient means to create impactful displays.

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