Internet of Things Meets Digital Signage
Deriving more business value from your displays
IoT evolved into a mature concept
IoT has been around as a technology trend for more than a decade but recent technological developments have resulted maturity and robustness in several enabling technologies. Wireless connectivity is continuously improving in range, data rates and coverage. Cellular data service prices have become ever more affordable. Wi-Fi chips are being embedded massively in electronic devices while battery technology along with solar recharging are improving their expected uptime. IPv6 and other networking technologies enable addressability of a myriad devices in a secure and efficient manner.
All related projections agree that there will be billions of objects connecting to the global Internet within the next few years. IoT is bringing together devices, data, processes and eventually humans, thus raising substantially the value of network connections. IoT transforms information into actions that create new possibilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented economic opportunity for organizations.
Digital displays are growing smarter
Amid this explosive growth display technology has also taken gigantic steps towards every direction imaginable. The screens themselves have become flat, bigger, brighter with sharper image, 3D capabilities and resolutions reaching 4k or even higher. Panels have gone from Plasma to LCD to OLED, and touch input has become a relatively cheap option. Formats have also diversified to curved or flexible displays, stretching to all sorts of aspect ratios beyond the "traditional" 16:9, while video walls and LED panels have given us the opportunity to build whatever size and shape our imagination could capture.
An equally profound revolution has taken place at the level of electronic components and firmware functions of displays. Long gone are the days when the sole interaction medium was the remote control and the display’s purpose was to project an image source connected to its input ports. Displays are now controlled through LAN or even Wi-Fi connections and the functionality that can be configured is amazingly rich. The data becoming available through these connections are extensive and the embedded hardware goes beyond the decoding of video to execute practically unlimited computational tasks. Smart TV software platforms are such an example paving the way of convergence between commercial displays and smartphone apps.
Developing a Strategy
Within this landscape, any existing or new digital signage installation needs to be examined from several standpoints beyond the typical questions around the content that is ideal for the target audience.
- What is the real-time system information that can be captured and communicated to the digital signage platform?
- Which real-time information elements can contribute essentially to the achievement of a managed and measurable ROI?
- How can this information be analyzed and influence decisions around what content to display and how playlists can be adjusted?
- How does the need for real-time system information affect the selection of digital signage infrastructure and in particular displays, media players and software?
At the same time, the desire to process and explore the information made available through the digital signage infrastructure poses stringent requirements on the intelligence, modularity and openness of the central management platform. Event capturing and logging, distributed data management, analytics capabilities and responsiveness to dynamic conditions are all key characteristics of a modern CMS.
Information you cannot afford to miss
So what are the elements of digital signage system activity that should be the focus of your attention? The list below is not exhaustive but is certainly indicative of what can be monitored and how this contributes to a smarter system.
- Content projections
- Touch events
- Audience demographics
- Content popularity
- Application data and usage logs
- Hardware events and alerts
- Conditional occurrences of content triggers
DSplay provides an ideal enabling platform
DSplay ensures a robust hosting environment for applying an IoT-minded design to a digital signage system. This is due to its modular structure and the presence of mechanisms that provide all the necessary support to capture and leverage live data feeds that trigger actions.
DSplay supports a great range of hooks to monitor and control devices in a digital signage installation, responding to actual alerts or threshold values and supporting decision making for optimal system configuration management.
DSplay provides the mechanisms to monitor conditions and changing parameters, populate playlists dynamically, invoke applications and trigger responses. When it comes to setting up reactions to external triggers, DSplay is as intelligent as it gets!
Generating and relaying messages in a friendly manner empowers DSplay administrators with instant knowledge and alerting with respect to all actions and events occurring in the system.
IoT data feeds provide a wealth of information and guidance to decision making. With DSplay these data can be stored, processed, presented and exported in ways that benefit marketing managers and IT staff in achieving optimal system utilization.
A key differentiator of digital signage networks with respect to traditional broadcasting or other types of advertising channels is the ability to respond to specific audience groups with matching content projection, as well as to monitor the impact of specific campaigns. DSplay delivers the open environment to integrate with leading audience measurements platforms and helps you deliver the right message at the right time.
Personalized messages tailored to the individual profile of viewers is the latest and ultimate trend in digital signage. Whether through beacons and smartphones, NFC or RFID tags, loyalty cards or other identification mechanism DSplay can integrate with CRMs or any customer profiling application to match the content on your displays to the viewer preferences.
This structure facilitates systems that are responsive and optimized according to the owner’s criteria.
How you benefit
- Campaign quality and operational effectiveness are improved by connecting digital signage displays with operational IT systems.
- Open architecture and analytics enable control, monitoring, analysis and optimization of performance.
- New revenue streams can be created by using pervasive analytics to deliver responsive content and an immersive viewer experience.
- Operating expenses can be lowered by increasing uptime, reacting quickly to changing conditions, and reducing time-to-repair.