“How have you customized off-the-shelf products to make them work in your environment?”
Expectations are high today for digital signage, and customization has become a norm for almost every digital signage project. Much like our youth today, they expect that everything should be interactive and available to them with just a few clicks. In manufacturing, we use cost- effective digital signage players with Content Management Software (CMS) to be able to perform magic. Well, it’s not so much magic as it is just advanced integration with other systems to customize information available to the viewer of the screens. It is very common to integrate a standard digital signage player with a HDMI auxiliary input on a player with an ANTON system to provide workers in a manufacturing environment with real-time critical information on what is going on in the manufacturing line and to view other company information like HR, emergency messaging and external weather all on the same screen, using off-the-shelf equipment that has been customized through the CMS to deliver a very customized solution with standard equipment.
Another example is found in the retail industry where weather feeds integrated into the CMS prompt changes in the content delivered to screens. If it is raining, there are ads for umbrellas, and when the sun is shining, the screen shows ads for sun tan lotion and sunglasses. This customization is possible using standard equipment with a mature CMS. It is now very common for retailers to interface iPads and Android tablets to their digital signage systems and to be able to deliver very customized messages using standard players, CMS and tablets, all available off the shelf.
No longer does this industry require a new gadget to be invented to produce very customized outcomes. Off-the-shelf equipment and a mature CMS can literally create an immersive and interactive experience very cost effectively. The key to making this happen is an experienced integrator who asks the right questions, researches and finds the right CMS and hardware. So whether it is digital signage screens on a bus changing content by interfacing a GPS location device, or a potential customer lifting a product off a store shelf prompting a nearby screen to deliver a message about that product on a nearby display, all are available without creating a new customized piece of hardware.
Digital signage is a mature industry, and very seldom does it require something to be invented to make magic happen. There does, however, need to be an experienced integrator to help bring all of these standard off-the-shelf products together to make all of this happen.