How do you approach content when using digital signage for something along the lines of an emergency alert?
We at Insteo try to avoid emergency messaging and alerts for our projects. During an emergency, it is easier to utilize normal life-safety solutions, which are designed to be fail-safe such as alarms and battery backup exit signage. Most digital signage solutions are not designed for fail-safe operations. When using digital signage for anything from simple real-time alerts to life safety, there are a lot of variables involved. There are technical challenges in maintaining networked power supplied to screens so they can stay online and continue informing people if power and networking are failing. When requested, we recommend using digital signage only as a backup solution with very simplified messaging and alerts, not for critical life safety. If and when the signage network fails, or if the screens fail to update with emergency messaging, the primary alerting mechanisms of alarms and static signage handle the job. For highly critical solutions, we have worked on integration with reverse 911 messaging systems to have the screens display simple text messages when an alert comes across. Most of these challenges don’t fall to Insteo as a content production company, but instead to System Integrators dealing with network redundancy, power backups and real-time alert systems.