IOT

Popular Data Integrations For Digital Signage

Dynamic digital signage that integrates data from a variety of sources creates both a personalized and engaging experience for your audience. Digital screens with real-time data like news, weather, traffic, wait times, and KPIs, puts information at your audience's fingertips. It alleviates stress and enables them to make smart decisions. Some of the most popular data sources to integrate into your digital signage include: News and weather feeds News and weather are two of the most common data sources to integrate with your digital signage. Customize your news and weather content to reflect the geographic location and type of information you want to share on your digital screens. There are a variety of paid and free sources. Often there is a delay with the information, so consider that along with your other requirements before selecting the feeds you will use. Popular news feeds include Reuters, CNN, New York Times, and ESPN for sports news. For weather, there are many options, including Screenfeed, AccuWeather, and National Weather Service. Consider your requirements before selecting the source you integrate into your digital signage. YouTube Leverage videos on your organization's YouTube channel as a content source for digital signage. Videos are significantly more engaging than static content for your audience and attract attention and interest. Embed videos as part of a screen layout or share full screen. Social media Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook are popular social media networks and excellent content sources for digital signage. However, filtering for inappropriate content/posts is essential even when integrating social media feeds. Sharing social media content on your digital signage provides trust and transparency, increases interaction, improves employee engagement, and increases followers. Financial/Stock market feeds Integrate stock updates from NASDAQ, NYSE, TSX, and other exchanges worldwide into your digital signage layouts. Highlight individual stocks, top 100, top movers, and more. Customize stock updates by your digital signage's country/region location. Colorful graphs, moving tickers, and up/down arrows are guaranteed to grab attention. Traffic Traffic is a primary concern for employees and visitors to your office and facilities. Keep them apprised of traffic, delays, and commute times by integrating feeds from sources like Google Maps, local transportation authorities, and news stations. Sharing real-time traffic information helps alleviate stress and enables employees and visitors to optimize their commute. Internal systems Leverage information from your internal software systems such as CRM, ERP, POS, Inventory, and more to incorporate into your digital signage. Consolidate data from various internal systems into a KPI dashboard screen, and customize data shown by department and location. Additionally, data from your internal systems can trigger what appears on the screens. For example, by integrating your inventory system with your digital menu boards, you can ensure you are only showing items available to order.  Calendars and schedules Integrate Google and Office365 calendars into your digital signage. Show availability of both individuals and resources such as meeting rooms. Screens outside of meeting rooms can show current and upcoming bookings and visually identify when in use or when available.  IoT devices Information is a critical element in creating a personalized experience, and the more information you have, the better the experience you can create. Using IoT devices, including cameras, sensors, RFID tags, and more, you can now collect more information and deliver it intelligently on digital signage screens. It enables you to provide contextual messaging that improves visitors' experience in public venues such as airports, sports arenas, and conference spaces. For example, sensors in spaces such as airports can automate changes to wayfinding screens and reroute travelers around closed or busy areas. In addition, data from local devices can be used to determine the content shown on an individual digital screen.  Emergency notification systems Virtually all organizations need to have a way to notify their employees, customers, or visitors of potential fire, health or safety hazards. While audio alarms have long been the standard, digital communications provide a new and unique way to get real-time alerts and information out to people where and when they need it. Combining existing audio alarms and critical event management solutions such as Everbridge with digital signage is an excellent way for organizations to improve disaster preparedness and safety plans. From social media to traffic to emergency notifications to IoT devices, integrating data into your digital signage helps create a personalized and engaging experience.  

The Omnivex Digital Signage Holiday Wishlist

That's right; it's that time of year again - the most wonderful time of the year - the holidays! And since it's the holidays, we thought it would be a perfect time to go over our Digital Signage Holiday Wish List. It's a list of must-have features to make managing digital signage and communications easier every day (we like gifts that keep on giving). So, what would make managing a digital signage system easier? Grab a cup of eggnog, and read on!   10 - User Management - Digital signage usually involves a lot of people; writers, designers, motion graphic artists, network administrators, programmers, to name a few. The ability to control what a user can do in the system is essential.   9 -  Content Scheduling - Successful digital signage solutions involve getting the right content in front of the right people at the right time.  You need a system that allows you to schedule content by date, time, and location.   8 - Remote Player Management - Your digital signage network likely spans many locations and has multiple players. Managing players remotely is a critical component of a solid digital signage solution.   7 - System on Chip Screens - SoC Screens are becoming increasingly popular. So having a software platform that allows you to manage SoC screens makes sense.   6 - Intelligent Playlists - Optimize your digital signage delivery with data. Use intelligent playlists with conditions and rules to make managing your network easy.  5 - Real-time information - The benefits of a system that allows you to use real-time data are immeasurable. Nothing helps you get the right content where it needs to be - in front of your audience - than real-time data. 4 - Data Integration - We have multiple tools and information sources in our day-to-day work. A digital signage system that integrates data from multiple sources into one easily accessible platform is essential. 3 - Connect to IoT Devices - The Internet of Things has definitely made its way into our lives (Smart Refrigerators!). When you connect the Internet of Things (IoT) with digital signage, the possibilities are endless. Integrate room sensors, smartphones - the list goes on - into your digital signage for a better experience.   2 - Push Information to any Screen - What is a digital sign? Or better yet, what can be a digital sign? We all have smartphones and tablets. Incorporating these devices into your digital signage network broadens your reach. 1 - Quickly and Easily Share Content - A digital signage network that includes digital signs, kiosks, smartphones, real-time data, and is IoT enabled allows you to quickly and easily share the latest content with your audience.   

Digital communications experience at colleges

What will the digital communications experience look like as colleges reopen? Colleges and universities will reopen their campuses this fall after substantial disruptions to “normal” campus life. As new students begin their university journey and others return, how these institutions communicate will need to evolve to meet new expectations. One medium that colleges have used in the past—digital signage—will again be a tool for messaging. But how will they leverage these solutions, and what will the experience look like in this new era? The desire to seek information digitally hasn’t changed Most students are from generations that are considered digital natives. Technology has been a major player in their lives from day one. Their smartphones are always on, and they expect communications in digital formats. The pandemic didn’t change these feelings, as they adapted to full-scale eLearning, and they may even need to acclimate to being back in the classroom and on campus.  They’ll look to digital communications even more now and have new expectations about how they interact with it. One probable trend is that this will no longer be a one-way communication vehicle. Let’s look at some expected trends that will reshape the use of digital communications in higher ed. Digital signage and mobile app integrations Apps are foundational to how the modern world operates, and it makes sense to empower integrations between apps and digital signage. There are many opportunities in higher ed, specifically in improving communication between their library of apps and digital signage. For example, if a university has a scheduling app for students to keep up with their class schedule, it could sync with a wayfinding sign to figure out the best path to that location, taking into consideration other pieces of data like weather and crowd size.  Another option would be a dining app that sends information both to the foodservice provider and digital signage. Students know when their order is ready, because they see it on the screen. It could also communicate expected wait time to them before they order.  Real-time messaging remains a key part of higher ed digital communications One of the most powerful applications of digital signage on a campus is its ability to share real-time information, including transit schedule, news, weather and emergency alterts. Many times, these emergency alerts act as a secondary communication channel complementing texts or emails. Digital signage can tie into backend systems and alarms that automate this messaging.  It’s been key in alerting to severe weather, active shooters or building outages. Colleges and universities could find it’s a suitable means to communicate health information regarding COVID-19 clusters or other contagious diseases. Campus health organizations have this data, and an alert regarding outbreaks doesn’t break patient confidentiality, as, in this case, it’s a public health concern.  IoT’s impact on digital signage Connecting digital screens with other technology isn’t new, but colleges and universities have adopted it less than other industries. However, it can bring real value to their communications, because the information from IoT (Internet of Things) devices provides context. IoT and digital signage could work together to provide real-time information on availability.  The known use case for this is something like parking or traffic. However, schools could take this a step further and deliver data on wait times to reduce queuing issues or other limited space areas, as social distancing continues to be critical to reducing the spread of illness. No one wants to wait, and the traditional sense of a “line” is in the past. New technology allows for better processes, and using digital communications in this way has proven to be effective.  IoT can also minimize touching for kiosks. Users can use their smartphones to control the screen. Voice activation is also an option. The world went from touching everything to wanting to touch nothing at all, and that’s likely going to linger. Amplification of student voices Decades ago, the way to get the word out on campus about an association or meeting was to tape a sign on a post or pin it to a bulletin board. Digital signage makes sharing information signficantly easier. Digital information screens spread across campuses provide a great way to clubs, faculties, sports teams, and even the administration, to share events and other important information. Integrating these screens with social media enables individual students to share their own messages and get them more involved with school. Digital signage software provides tools for submitting content and approvals workflows. Crowd control and convenience at events The social aspect of being in college is why so many students are eager to return. Cheering for their school on game day, attending productions and other events will look slightly different. Most should be at full capacity, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t the need for crowd control and convenience.  On the crowd control front, digital signage can elevate wayfinding by advising where the least congested exits are or where seating is available. For convenience, mobile apps could play a role in ordering food and drinks from seats, reducing congestion in popular areas. How will colleges use digital communications to engage students and manage information? As a decision-maker for any higher ed institution, you face challenges for the 2021-22 school year. Some are new, while others persist. Keeping students informed and engaged is critical, and digital communications are a great tool to have. Explore how Omnivex can help your college or university today. 

Cybersecurity is a challenge that must be addressed

Technology continues to change, but now more rapidly than ever. As companies adopt new digital technologies––Internet of Things (IoT), big data, blockchain, cloud computing, and mobile computing––security must be a primary consideration. In the past, securing network perimeters from threats was enough. Now, data spreads across systems, devices, and the cloud, all of which require a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. The Digital World Needs Security Just Like the Non-Digital World From decision making to customer service, digital technology continues to reinvent the way companies operate. The automation of business processes and increasing digital connectedness of technology have significantly raised cybersecurity risks and threat levels. Any vulnerabilities can be exploited to quickly proliferate a cyberattack throughout the entire supply chain. This costs an organization not only money but also the trust of its customers. To properly address these concerns, it is essential to take a proactive approach and build security directly into storage, applications, and interconnected devices. This ensures organizations can maintain confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data wherever it resides, whether on premises, in the cloud, or in hybrid environments. IoT is Reinventing How Companies Conduct Business The Internet of Things makes cybersecurity essential, but also more challenging. Through IoT, billions of devices are connected and interacting to a degree that the world has not seen before. As IoT becomes more prevalent, malicious cyberattacks are growing in frequency and sophistication. With these devices deployed in potentially vulnerable environments, such as vehicles, banks, hospitals, factories, and power grids, the risks to human welfare grows more serious. The message is clear. Failing to secure these devices could have devastating real-world consequences. In Connected Environments, Security Must Exist Across All Applications IT personnel regularly secure outside access to their networks and applications. However, the transformation of digital communication has created a vast network of interconnected environments, so perimeter protection is no longer adequate. Once a cyber-attacker compromises a weak link, they have access to the company’s networks, systems, and data. Security must be proactively embedded into all applications as a first line of defense. In addition, security controls should default to the highest levels of protection. Encryption of data in transit and two-factor authentication are additional measures that can dramatically increase the security of communications. It is essential that the cybersecurity and IT professionals find a common understanding, a shared terminology, and a unified approach to securing applications and data.  

Improving customer experience with IOT devices and edge computing

Information is a critical element in creating a personalized experience and the more information you have, the better the experience you can create. Using IoT devices we can now collect more information than ever before and can deliver it intelligently on digital signage screens, providing contextual messaging that improves the visitor experience in public venues such as airports, sports arenas, and conference spaces. From cameras, to sensors, RFID tags, and many others, we are awash in devices that collect data. Sensors are used in spaces such as airports to automate changes to wayfinding and enable gesture based control in a touchless environment making people comfortable interacting with kiosks. Edge computing collects data from local devices and uses it to determine the content shown on an individual digital screen. In the webinar recording below Chris Devlin, President of Omnivex and Cheol Kim, General Manager of Global Retail/Gaming/Entertainment Business Unit at Intel, discuss: How IoT devices can help people better navigate spaces Opportunities for incorporating IoT devices to create a seamless experiences for visitors in facilities such as airports Progress organizations have made at implementing IoT devices The ROI on implementing an IoT connected communications solution    

Digital Signage with Intelligence

Digital signage has long been recognized for its power to communicate messages and influence behavior, and the reasons are clear. According to research published on NeuroscienceNews.com, as much as 80 percent of all the sensory data we receive from the environment is visual. Other information indicates that digital signage has an 83 percent recall rate, and people retain 65 percent of visually presented information after three days. While the incorporation of Internet-of-Things devices such as timers and temperature sensors has for years allowed deployers to refine the messages displayed on digital displays based on changes to their environment, new technologies have added another dimension to digital signage content: intelligence. Combining digital displays with IoT devices and artificial intelligence tools allows content to be elevated from simple, prescheduled video clips to real-time messaging based on the conditions of their surroundings. And in these turbulent times, these devices provide value because the customer experience in airports, sports stadiums, restaurants or other space where people gather is going to be paramount as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides and the world reopens. People want to feel safe, they want a seamless experience, and they want a more personalized experience. Providing a great customer experience is going to be a requirement to attract people back into public spaces, otherwise they’ll go elsewhere or stay home. Read our joint whitepaper with Digital Signage Today and Intel to learn more about: Making smart decisions Reacting to the environment How signage strengthens intelligence The path to recovery

Are You Disruptive or a Dinosaur?

Disruption in an industry leads to innovation. Uber and Airbnb are two examples of companies that are disruptive and have turned an industry on its head. They created a peer-to-peer model that combines technology and business. Previously, these industries had cobwebs in their innovation labs. They had established markets dominated by a few main players. By companies such as Uber creating a sharing economy, consumers have greater access to goods and services that may have once been unavailable. The result is an expectation for other companies in that industry to adapt and evolve. While consumers are not necessarily demanding digital transformation, they will gravitate to those organizations that offer the best customer experience. Creating disruption By leveraging a digital communications platform, you can create a unique and engaging customer experience that sets your business apart from your competitors. Perhaps it is getting rid of a point of friction, such as the lines and checkouts, like Amazon Go did with their new retail concept store. No matter what it is, digital communications enable you to create meaningful connections between technology and your stakeholders. Technology has changed how people see various industries and they expect choices. Innovators have developed platforms that enable businesses to easily collect, process and deliver targeted information across the organization on any screen; enhancing your business’s two most valuable assets, people and data. Think outside the box Uber and Airbnb are disruptive because they don’t actually own any cars or hotel rooms. What they have done is transform the entire experience, not just create an app. Consider Airbnb for a second, they disrupted the entire travel industry in 2008. Before its existence, boutique hotels were providing guests with a more intimate stay than the large, mainstream hotels. Travelers began to expect even more choice, they craved a new type of hospitality that provided a personalized experience; the ability to live like a local and immerse one’s self in the culture. Airbnb used technology to be disruptive and create a “marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique accommodations around the world” and at the same time created a new normal in the travel industry with their peer-to-peer business model. Previously, consumers weren’t aware what they wanted because the choice wasn’t there. Now, they expect options that grant them more control of their experience. They value increased technological capabilities that are user friendly. If you don't have a digital transformation strategy in place, you will be left behind in the ever-changing business economy. You risk competitors providing better and more robust innovation. And, worst of all, you risk losing your customers. According to Forbes, “for a successful digital transformation in any business organization, digital maturity and a modern organization culture are of paramount importance.”

A Day in the Digital Life

From the moment you wake up until you lie down at night, your day is remarkably more digital today than a decade ago – or even a few years ago. With the new digital age comes unprecedented access to information. Let’s take a peek at an average day in the life of a working professional and examine how digital information impacts just about every decision we make: You start your day at home where you wake up to your cell phone alarm. You immediately open your weather app, which tells you that it will be sunny where you live, but raining in Lisbon, Portugal, where you are headed later that morning for meetings. With this in mind, you pack an umbrella into your carry-on bag. On your way to the airport, you pop into the office. As you pull up to the parking garage, the digital sign at the entrance tells you Levels 1 and 2 are full. Luckily there are spots available on Level 3. You drive straight there and scan the coloured lights over the parking spaces for a green one so you can park your car. At the office, you take the elevator up to the 10th floor while watching an ad for flowers on a mounted display screen. That reminds you Mother’s Day is coming up, so you make a note in your phone’s calendar to send mom a gift. As you enter your office, you see some great news: the KPI screen indicates that sales numbers are up, but there seems to be a spike in support calls; you make a mental note to chat with the support manager about potential causes. You have a quick round of meetings in the conference room, some via Skype as many of your co-workers are located in different cities around the world. While you are printing out hard copies of the report for your prospective client in Lisbon, a notification on your phone tells you it’s time to head to the airport. You hop in your car to head to the airport and your GPS routes you around construction to save you time on the road. As you park at the airport, you realize you forgot to check in online. It’s no problem, though, because you can print out your boarding pass at one of the many kiosks inside. After the ritual security check, you find your gate number on a bank of video screens. It says you have 45 minutes before your flight boards, so you pop into the executive lounge to return a few emails. Once you’ve boarded and settled in, a safety video appears on the monitor in front of you relaying vital instructions to follow in the unlikely event of an emergency. Then, it’s wheels up. You reach cruising altitude when you realize you haven’t eaten all day. You pull up the in-flight menu on the touchscreen monitor and order a hearty meal that the attendant brings right to your seat. After eating, reviewing documents on your tablet, and taking in a movie or two, you decide to get some shut eye. When you wake up, you’ve arrived at Lisbon Portela Airport. Digital wayfinding tools help you find your way to the taxi stand, where you show the driver the name of your hotel on your phone. Within 30 minutes, you’ve checked into a room with an incredible view. Energized and ready to go, you visit your client and make an excellent presentation using your laptop and the projector in the conference room. Excitingly, you close the deal! After emailing your team back home with the good news, you check your social media accounts and message an old college roommate who also happens to be in town. You meet for dinner at a restaurant that has complimentary reviews about online. With the help of a mobile translation app, you order and enjoy an amazing dinner. After that, it is back to the hotel for some sleep before you head home in the morning. Digital technologies touch our lives at multiple points throughout the day. It may be in ways we expect, like on our mobile phones, but is often present in less obvious ways, like in the sensors at airport security or on the electronic signs we read during our commutes. Ultimately, however, digital technology enables us to make more informed, and thus far better decisions at just about every turn.

Podcast - The ABCs of Emerging Digital Communication Technologies

Doug Bannister, Founder and Chief Technology Officer of Omnivex Corporation, started his company in 1991. There’s been a considerable transformation of technology in those near 30 years, and Bannister’s got a great handle on looking down the road, assessing the future of technology and determining which technologies work and which ones don’t. Host Tyler Kern sat down with Bannister to explore some emerging digital communication technologies that have people excited.   A few hot emerging technology topics Bannister dove into were blockchain, machine learning, Artificial intelligence, IoT and edge computing. With blockchain, companies are partnering together to put health records online using this secure method. Kern noted there is a lot of misunderstanding about the differences between blockchain and bitcoin. “The same way email is an application, and the internet is the underlying technology, so too is the relationship between bitcoin and blockchain,” Bannister said. “Bitcoin is the application, and blockchain is the underlying technology that makes it possible.”   What about artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning? Are these two interchangeable terms? Bannister believes they’re two distinct things. Artificial intelligence is the technology that makes machines look like they’re doing something and appearing smart, while machine learning, algorithms and systems improve machine performance over time with experience. Bannister said machine learning capabilities get pretty advanced.   With the internet of things, or IoT, Bannister said people might think of IoT as controlling a light switch or thermostat, but it is much more. “IoT can control your environment, but it can also collect information from your environment.” A great example is today’s sensor-filled automobiles that provide essential data to both the owner of the car and the manufacturer who can use this data to improve future vehicles and quickly run diagnostics when something isn’t working in the car.          

Creating an Integrated Digital Experience

Creating an integrated digital experience is easier than you think. First let's breakdown what we mean by "integrated". Integration can take many different shapes and forms. One of the most common approaches is integrating information from various sources such as news and weather feeds, scheduling systems, and technologies such as sensors and alarms or other Internet of Things (IoT) devices. Here we have an example of what an integrated digital experience might look like for someone in an airport terminal or train station. The Omnivex solution provides a powerful software platform to drive a variety of screens and applications ranging from advertising to interactive wayfinding to real-time scheduling. While the applications of digital signage vary in this transportation example what is constant is the Omnivex platform driving each screen. Another aspect of integration when thinking about digital experience is how it translates across different devices. It is important to create a cohesive digital experience across all of the digital devices and platforms your organization works with ranging from your website to mobile devices to digital screens. For the individual the digital experience should be seamless and personalized. While for the organization it provides an opportunity to leverage creative content and information across multiple digital platforms which has a number of business benefits.

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