Sign of the times? Digital signage gets creative

Easier use

Samsung promoted its “smart signage” products at InfoComm, which embed the chipset for programming digital signage into the displays themselves—meaning you don’t need a separate video player or server to run the signage.

Samsung says these smart displays can reduce the cost of deploying digital signage by as much as 30 percent. They come with a snap-on bezel kit, so you can change the look of the displays to match your school’s brand as well.

Tightrope Media Systems, which makes software that programs digital signage, has partnered with BrightSign, a company that makes digital signage media players. The partnership will make large-scale deployments of digital signage using the two companies’ systems more affordable, said Eric Henry, signage solutions lead for Tightrope.

Tightrope has integrated social media into its software more broadly as well, in ways that make it easier to display messages without having to log into the program separately.

For instance, you can set up digital signage to show messages containing certain social media hashtags on various screens—and every time someone with administrator privileges uses that hashtag with his or her Twitter or Instagram account, the message would display on these screens automatically.

Visix also introduced new software aimed at making it easier to create messages for digital signage. AxisTV Design includes a new user interface for the company’s AxisTV signage platform, modeled after familiar Microsoft Office designs to make it user-friendly.

AxisTV Design also includes easy-to-use widgets that users can drag and drop into the design space to create captivating content and layouts for their signage. These widgets include playlists, images, video, and more, Visix said—and intuitive tools such as guides and rulers help with the formatting of designs.

Black Box—which provides everything from digital signage players to cabling, mounts, switches, consulting, and installation—shared a “Roadmap to Digital Signage Success,” which includes an extensive checklist of questions to consider as you deploy digital signage. These questions are organized according to the “7 Key Elements of Digital Signage,” which are Design, Content, Connectivity, Operations, Software, Hardware, and Business.

For instance, under Design, the questions to consider include: What is the objective of your signage—to inform, entertain, or call people to action? Who are the intended viewers, and how many displays will be required?

Under Content, you should consider: Who will be responsible for the overall “look and feel” of content to make sure it reflects your school or district’s branding? Are there existing content resources you can draw from?

And under Operations, who will have administrator privileges to create and broadcast messages? What department ultimately will have ownership of the information—IT, communications, or someone else?

“Being able to understand and answer each of these questions will certainly help you on your journey to digital signage success,” Black Box says.

Follow Editorial Director Dennis Pierce on Twitter: @eSN_Dennis.

Dennis Pierce

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