The fire alarm went off at our office building and it was the first time that it had happened. Something interesting happened though; my coworkers “saw” flashes of light in the hallway. They also “smelled smoke” coming through the air vents.
We have procedure for this and it ended up being a false alarm. One of the smoke detectors was faulty. The point is, their imagination got the best of them. They started experiencing things that weren’t real just because they didn’t know what was going on.
Communication is vital to keep people from panicking.
Let’s look at a couple of points in which digital signage can be the solution to this problem.
The fire alarm pull isn’t always used for a fire. Whenever there is an emergency, someone may pull the alarm even though there is a sniper shooting, or some other kind of emergency that requires different ways to react. There may be more suitable instructions for different types of emergencies. So, how can digital signage play a part in this? If you have the ability to announce a particular emergency, not just a generic announcement or a fire alarm, then it will be much easier to keep people calm and safe.
You can also identify which part of the building the emergency is taking place in so that it’s understood where the danger is.
To make sure that everyone is prepared, regular drills are recommended. With digital signage, it can be announced on the screen that the alert is a drill.
It is also recommended that each digital signage location have a unique map with exit instructions to increase the effectiveness for that location.
With all of these benefits in place, digital signage makes communication much more effective and at the same time, can be as automated with your pre-existing fire alarm pull.
“SPILL IN ISLE 10!” Those famous words we hear at our local grocery store just aren’t enough for our sue-happy society these days. Did you know that you might be able to lower the liability on your insurance by having a digital signage screen announce the spill in isle 10? It has worked for some stores and it may work for your store. Check with your insurance company to confirm. Safety is important to the patrons as well, lawsuit or no lawsuit. People need to keep their jobs and one injury can put them out of commission, even if you have a talking white duck!
The last time that you were at a big grocery store that has digital signage, did you just see advertising, or did you see information? A great digital signage deployment (not good, but great) will have mostly valuable information being used on the network, which is the reason why you would want to look at it in the first place.
Emergency information just adds to the useful information being displayed, WHEN it needs to be displayed. Valuable content that includes properly implemented emergency messages is what sets apart a good digital signage deployment from a great one.
To conclude, emergency messages are like health insurance. We hate the thought of using them, but are glad to have them when something goes wrong. Why not increase your chances of a happy ending by using digital signage equipped with emergency messages at your location?
Noventri announces the release of digital signage software that was designed specifically to be free! Simply download Noventri Designer and turn any computer and monitor into a simple digital signage player!
Smithsburg, Maryland, February 1, 2010 – Digital signage software should not cost anything. At least that is what Noventri thinks and they have decided to make their software available for download absolutely cost-free. Noventri has announced an early build of Noventri Designer, an easy-to-use and feature-rich digital signage software available for immediate download. The only thing that Noventri asks is that users provide feedback, suggestions and ideas for improvement of the software on the Noventri forum (http://www.noventri.com/forum/). User-feedback will be used to evolve and improve the digital signage software so that it directly meets the demands of users in the industry.
“With Noventri Designer users can start creating digital signage content immediately. The software does not need to be used with Noventri Eco-Series SF-100e digital signage hardware,” remarks Andrew Hoffman, VP at Noventri. “Once downloaded to a PC, users can begin designing content on existing computers and displaying that content to their monitors. The free software requires no licensing or subscription fees.“
Noventri Designer is capable of content creation in resolutions up to 1920×1200 with multiple region types. Content can be played on a main monitor or a secondary monitor and the software will function as a simple digital signage player.
Features of Noventri Designer include:
Create unlimited, independent regions that can be layered and overlapped with transparency support to create unique, eye-catching layouts.
Support for industry standard image formats including, BMP, JPEG, GIF, TIFF and PNG with additional formats such as PDF and PowerPoint to be made available at a later date.
Noventri Designer will include tools to manage all aspects of the process from content design to scheduling and management of the SF-100e digital signage players, all in one software package.
Newly designed scheduling tools, when coupled with the Eco-Series SF-100e, will allow you to not only schedule what content appears on the display, but also allow you to schedule your screen to go into standby mode during non-peak hours to save energy.
Emergency Setup panel allows you to prepare and be ready for the worst. Pre-load multiple messages into the Eco-Series SF-100e and trigger those messages to be displayed with virtually no delay in the event of an emergency.
To download go to: http://www.noventri.com/eco/digital-signage-software.php. For information contact Judy L. Hoffman at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-790-0103.
It has been touted that digital signage is such a success because it grabs viewer’s attention with movement and motion. Have we been duped?
I spoke with a client of ours some time ago who uses digital signage in a museum. He gave me some interesting insight confirming what we’ve been working on for a while now. He said that he truly believes that his digital signage network is working for the museum.
“Digital Signage is working great for us!”
The first thing I asked him for were numbers. “Ah!” he said, “ I never performed the science experiment but I know it works.” I proceeded to explain to him (as we’re used to in this industry) all of the exciting and interesting tools for measuring results in the digital signage industry. “They look great!” he said, “But I already know that it works and it works great. One of the best decisions that I’ve ever made.” Of course I needed the answer to my next question – How do you know? “I just know. For instance, we will announce a tour for a particular area and at a particular time. This announcement only makes its way to the digital signs, not to our program or the poster boards. Sure enough! When it’s time for the tour, there is a long line of visitors waiting to go.”
This was interesting to me so I pried a bit more and asked him how it’s been working in their food court space.
“Again, no science experiment, but I do know that when we feature cheeseburgers, we sell a lot more cheeseburgers.”
Generally, if there are no numbers attached to a reaction or result, it’s not credible. So how can we add some credibility to this? It was obvious to me. He was excited about results that didn’t really make the museum any money. The profits made on the sales boost of cheeseburgers is made by their food provider, not the museum, and the tours are the “value-added” portion of the museum.
After hearing this I started to catch my clients excitement. I have seen this particular museum’s network on multiple occasions and noticed that the screens are basically showing stills. They are sharp, clean, and good-looking, but there is no real movement on the screens. This is contrary to everything that I have been told in the past from this industry; movement on the digital signage display has been the norm. I remember it like it was yesterday, “Movement is the best thing for better results”. This relates to crawls, video, animation, etc… So I alluded to the fact that adding movement is what should be done to make things even better.
“We tried that,” he said. “We added video and moving text to ‘enhance the visitor’s experience’ and it all went to hell.” What is he saying? I mean, video, animations, and moving text are the HOLY GRAIL of digital signage; not only did he rip it out of his content, he started disrespecting it!
Sure enough, once our client added moving text, animations and videos, the lines of visitors waiting for the tours dwindled to nothing. No more cheeseburger sales boost – no more value to their digital signage network.
What conclusion should we come to? Is video, animation and moving text the poison of digital signage? Apparently in some cases it is. Which direction we choose to take is up to each of us. The digital signage industry may end up being that old dog that can’t learn new tricks, unless we turn it into the new dog that learns old tricks.