Sign & Digital Graphics

July '16

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24 • July 2016 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S ELECTRIC SIGNAGE A Remote Possibility Enter the remotely-operated digital signage conguration—a means of relay- ing content from source to screen in an easy and less cumbersome manner—and those companies that provide web-based content management platforms for their customers. These players, working in tandem with display manufacturers such as NEC, Samsung and LG, have helped advance and simplify the electronic dis- play market. In short, content management plat- forms "have developed an application to run directly on the screen and eliminated the external media player in the process," says Kevin Goldsmith, CTO at Ping HD. All Connected One hot buzzword-like term that has been circling around many industries is the "Internet of Things" (IoT). The phrase has become more prevalent and useful as consumers move toward mobile, interconnected devices. And the model is certainly applicable to EDS displays. "The Internet of Things is like any other network—computers talking to other computers—but the scale of this is much more extreme. On one hand the computers are typically smaller," explains David Hempy, software devel- oper at Cirrusmio. "On the other hand, the networks are typically much larger. Instead of a central server and a num- ber of desktop computers, we're talking about thousands or millions of devices all talking at the same time." This helps to paint a picture of the power a digital signage system can achieve through the IoT model. Think about a central location of operations (data provider) that pushes content out to one or more EDS displays, which can then be distributed as messages to a con- sumer's smart phone. In turn, the con- sumer can then interact with that mes- sage by requesting more information or possibly making a purchase. What Does it Mean for Sign Makers? "What this means to sign mak- ers is that digital signage can be used to provide real-time digital marketing content," says Goldsmith, "be it digital menu boards (integrated with third party PoS systems), ad screen networks (trig- gered by gender, age, time of day, etc.), public information (showing ight, bus and train information), event manage- ment and even emergency notications. Making use of beacon technology and geo-fencing allows personalized instant messaging based on the individual versus the mass audience." With Wi-Fi becoming commonly available in public locations and the cost of smart phones and other mobile devices decreasing, IoT-type technology is rising greatly. "Simply put, this connecting any elec- tronic device (such as displays) to the internet and each other—what it means is the days of considering a 'sneaker net- work' with CDs or thumbdrives is behind us. The expectation is that I can touch a button and distribute my content glob- ally," says Ryan Cahoy, managing direc- tor at Rise Display. For EDS systems owners, this also provides some very benecial features. Without a dedicated hardware congura- tion, the sign's content can be controlled through a wireless connection and does not need to be managed through hard- ware or even at the display's site. Remote content can change on the fly for applications like menu boards. (Image courtesy of Ping HD)

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