Digital Signage has come a long way since its inception over 20 years ago using box TVs and VCRs. Now it’s not just using servers and flat-screen TVs and PC displays, digital signage can comprise just about any type of display canvas ranging from TVs and computer displays to projectors, video walls, media floors or literally the physical walls, ceilings and floors that can be transformed into a unique media experience that can also be interactive or immersive, which is where a lot of experiential projects evolve into to produce that ‘wow’ expression. Digital signage needs the ‘right’ CMS platform per project, which varies depending on the experience, audience, and goals. Selecting the proper Content Management System (CMS) software then dictates the server hardware to use since that is usually a part of the CMS platform. For interactive digital signage projects, other components are needed and a lot of times it may make sense to custom build the interactive application needed to deliver the functionality required.
Most interactive signage CMS platforms still require a lot of customization, which is in addition to their licensing fees and other costs that make it cost prohibitive at times, which is why we custom build applications for certain place based interactive experiences involving environmental design. Then after all these technical aspects are sorted out from software and servers to displays and 3rd party devices, the content for these screens still needs to be acquired and created, which is what we specialize in – delivering content for digital signage specifically since 2000. Some digital signage projects can acquire stock content, feed services, and other media to comprise the entertainment programming for these screens. In certain cases, such as Digital Menu Boards and Digital Informational Boards, some of the data to show and design into a branded layout has to be extracted from business databases, which could require some custom coding and APIs to enable. Most of the content though is typically pre-designed, especially the layout, menu items and resource items with certain content dynamic, such as pricing, special packaging or emergency messaging.
In regards to the digital signage process, the more input provided accelerates and energizes the project and leads to a more satisfying experience overall. Therefore, for us to proceed with any signage project, we need each client to be invested not just financially, but time invested as well, carving out resources and time to keep the project moving forward. Failing to do so, drags out creative projects needlessly. With that in mind, having a project timeline, defined resources from both parties and checkpoints will help maintain momentum.