Hello World: Getting started with Digital Signage (DS)

  Deacon Wardlow   Jul 11, 2014   Blog   0 Comment

-Deacon Wardlow


stressComputers are just about everywhere you look. Smartwatches, smartphones, smart tablets, all these smart devices and people are left feeling a little left behind… We’ve got all these technological tools and toys and no seemingly simple way to integrate them for our use. Welcome to the world of DS (Digital Signage).

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of technobabble and “geek speak” in the DS domain. Search for Digital Signage and you’ll be inundated. Unfortunately a lot of what you’ll find will be integrators, manufacturers, designers, software companies, and more trying to tell you why THEIR solution is better than the other company’s option. To be fair, that’s their job. We’re in this to make money, but there’s also the ROO (return on objective). Spectacular Media (that’s me and a bunch of other people in Texas, California, Colorado, and elsewhere) are working to change things around in this industry. We aim to innovate, educate, incubate, and grow strong DS leaders, partners, friends, allies, and solution specialists.

Some of you are very familiar with DS and have possibly been in it from the days of sneakernet (literally dropping off video cassettes with multi-run VCR players at locations all over the place) through to the internet where you can change content with a few clicks of the mouse/tablet/smartphone or set conditions for content to change automatically without you doing anything. Others are relatively new to the DS “game.” Regardless of where you are (with a few exceptions), it all jumbles and gets hard to follow. There are DS solutions for:

Touch Kiosks – Hospital waiting rooms – Surgical Operating Theatres – Airports – Taxi Cabs – Gas Station “toppers” – Restaurant Menu Boards – checkout stands – retail – churches – schools – you name it and there’s probably a digital signage product for it (or one in development).

Screens range in size and scope from a few square inches to a few hundred or thousand square feet. Interactive elements can be triggers with proximity, by analytical data (age, gender, race) captured on a video camera, phones (bluetooth or Near Field Communication), RFID tags, conditional events like rain/snow/sunny days, a ton of different and varying factors. An acquaintance of mine once said, “To be in this business, you have to be a bit of a technical genius and artist or know people who are either, both, or something completely different.”

So looking at the insanity that is DS from outside the box, it looks really intimidating. Why would anyone get into this mess of a business? You have to know networking, computers, software, cloudware, SaaS (Software as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), digital content creation/design, and a million other skills. The good and bad of it all, that’s not really true. You don’t need to know any of it. You do need to know someone (or rather, several someones) who understand the systems and be able to sift through the BS to get to the DS. Our goal with these blogs is to show you where to start, how to filter the good from the bad and the in-between, and how to get what you (and your client(s) if you’re an integrator) need to create a solution for a particular project.

Hello World – welcome to DS. Watch these wonderful pages, drop us an email, give us a call and we’ll help you get started on the path to figuring out what’s what. Hopefully along the way you’ll get past the basics and develop confidence in being able to solve whatever gets thrown your way (at least as far as DS goes).

Please comment here or send questions or requests for information to deacon@spectacularmedia.com. We’re working on releasing more eBrick-house...ducational resources and material on the website www.spectacularmedia.com, please check it out when you have a moment. Note all posts/thoughts/writings are strictly the viewpoint of me and me alone and do not reflect nor speak for Spectacular Media’s beliefs, attitudes, thoughts, etc. unless specifically noted.

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