wayfinding

Digital Signage Fuels SMART Organizations

Whether you are a large enterprise with employees scattered all over the globe or a smaller organization with multiple departments, the struggle to get specific information to the right people at the right time is still the same. The use of visual communications and technologies like digital signage, interactive kiosks, and video walls provides an opportunity to communicate important messages, emergency notifications, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to their employees that can help reinforce branding, improve building navigation, as well as enable informed decision making. By integrating digital signage, you have the ability to transform into a ‘SMART’ organization - one that is "Specific-Measurable-Assignable-Realistic and Time-Related." A New Era of Communication With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of LinkedIn, it plans to bring together the “world’s leading professional cloud and network.”  With a common mission to empower people and organizations, Microsoft and LinkedIn intend to break down the silos of information that currently exist for professionals and “create more connected, intelligent and productive experiences.”  When you connect people with information where and when they need it you improve productivity, unlock ROI and break down silos. Employee Communications Digital signs maintained for employees can be immensely useful and help disseminate information quickly, accurately, and in a format that is attention-grabbing. Employees can be kept updated with real-time external information like the news, weather or traffic alerts, and internal information like KPIs or corporate goals. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) provide actionable metrics that most organizations use to keep their business on track. Historically, KPIs have often been tracked in spreadsheets and scorecards that were distributed on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis. With the growing popularity of digital screens and digital signage it is now possible to publish real-time updates to KPIs as they happen and keep everyone in the organization informed about how things are tracking.  Integrating with back-end applications like CRM (Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc.) and ERP (SAP, Oracle, etc.), can show performance metric changes as they happen, enabling improved decision making and allowing staff to be more proactive which increases efficiency. Engaging with your employees and getting them more involved at work can help boost confidence by building an understanding of how the company is performing, increase their trust with company transparency, and create a culture of team spirit. Motivated employees who are committed to their job and their employer are more likely to be high performing, loyal and happy in their work, and it is these employees who will be the company's best ambassadors. Integrated Digital Workplace Creating an integrated digital workplace 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. By utilizing a digital signage platform, organizations can tie together all of these applications and devices to create a unified communications solution. Examples of common applications include: 1. Emergency notifications 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, visual communications provides a new and unique way to get real-time alerts and information out to people where and when they need it while improving disaster preparedness and safety plans. 2. Interactive Wayfinding Kiosks People today are more self-directed than ever.  Employees or visitors can have a personalized experience based on real-time information to ensure that they get the most up to date information, helping them get where they need to go. 3. Video walls Organizations have the ability to stand out and captivate their audience with multi-display signage. With a software platform, you can do more than just a looped video. Create that “wow” moment with scalable content that will impress any executive, employee, or guest.

Don't Leave Your Data in the Dark

One of the fundamental reasons for taking your business digital is to better leverage existing resources like data. Using digital signage software you have the ability to utilize the volumes of data collected over the years and still being collected to improve areas like your visual communications and customer experience. One common question is - how do I turn my data into engaging visual communications and interactive experiences? Below are some applications to consider as a starting point: 1. Advertising Increase brand awareness by integrating with existing POS and CRM databases, as well as newer technologies like sensors and beacons, to get the right message to the right person at the right time.   2. Employee Communications Deliver content based on a variety of criteria including role, department, location to ensure the information presented is relevant to your employees. 3. Emergency Notifications Interact with physical devices and sensors; reacting immediately and triggering an alarm or emergency notification in an instant across part of or your entire network. 4. Schedules/Timetables Provide real-time updates to changes in schedules or timetables to ensure mission critical information is always available and accurate. 5. Interactive Kiosks Create an engaging and interactive kiosk experience that not only allows people to serve themselves but provides them with relevant real-time information. 6. Menu boArds Draw customers in with eye-catching graphics, program real-time intelligence to have instant playback decisions based on time of day and weather. 7. Wayfinding Create maps and floor plans that are easy to understand and ensure accuracy with your changing environment, all while integrating with 3rd party applications such as mobile. Learn More

6 Ways Digital Signage is Helping in Healthcare

Digital signage software can be adapted to any business environment, and healthcare is no exception. Medical facilities can be dynamic and unpredictable in some ways, and digital signage allows these facilities to communicate in real time with up-to-the-minute information directed at employees, patients, and visitors.  Healthcare is one of the fastest-growing verticals in the digital signage industry. Today you'll find digital signs in spaces ranging from waiting areas to patient rooms to cafeterias to corridors in medical facilities. There are many ways digital signage can improve healthcare, below are six of the most popular ways. 1. BY PROVIDING INFORMATION TO FACILITY EMPLOYEES Medical facilities are among the most dynamic of workplaces, even for people who do not work directly in patient care. For example, the employees in a hospital call center can benefit from digital signs that display current call data to help agents work as efficiently as possible. Digital signage software can also be put to work informing employees of room schedules (for treatment, operating or patient rooms), internal information (meetings and events), or facility updates (construction and maintenance). 2. By Helping Patients and Caregivers Find Their Way Around One of the most important use cases for digital signs in hospitals is in helping people find their way around the facility. Outpatients may need help finding radiology or other services, while visitors may not know how to find their loved one's room. Interactive wayfinding kiosks and directional signage screens can help patients and caregivers find where they need to go quickly and easily, reducing stress and making for a better hospital experiences. 3. By Providing Dynamic Information about Philanthropic Donors Many hospitals rely on philanthropy and fundraisers to kick-start major building projects, and digital signs can help with this process too. With an electronic "donor wall," information can be displayed about the facility's financial contributors, including photos of donors, or web links to the foundations they represent. Healthcare organizations find digital signage about donors to be much more engaging than a simple engraved plaque on a wall. 4. By Helping helping the hosiptal Run More Smoothly Busy emergency departments can issue numeric codes to patients when they arrive. The codes can then be shown on a display alongside estimated wait times for being seen. In treatment areas, signs may be installed next to patient doors to display status information to clinical staff as they do rounds. Internally in areas such as operating rooms screens can provide real-time updates of which rooms are in use so nurses and adminstrative staff aren't constantly providing that information. These seemingly minor applications can make a measurable difference in how efficiently hospitals are run. The "real-time" nature of digital signage makes it perfect for healthcare. 5. By Using Digital Signage for Marketing Healthcare marketing is more important as healthcare profit margins shrink and facilities look for ways to increase revenues. Digital signage software can be put to use in building awareness for healthcare services that people in the community might not know about. For example, if a hospital offers telemedicine services for follow-up, a digital sign might explain how this works. Signs can also explain how to do things like schedule an annual mammogram or other preventitive services. 6. By Making Waiting Less Boring Waiting rooms are not enjoyable places, particularly those that don't allow use of mobile phones. Digital signage software can be set up to provide unlimited dynamic content of interest to people waiting, such as weather, news feeds, information on disease awareness months, or general healthcare tips. While it doesn't shorten the wait the visual distraction will make the wait time feel shorter. Conclusion The healthcare environment is a natural fit for digital signage due to the constantly changing nature of healthcare facilities. Far more efficient than static bulletins and signs, digital signs make it easy to provide employees, patients, and visitors with the most current and accurate information at any time. Because these systems are so easy to implement and update, facilities can save significant time in getting information to those who need it, and responding to changes is fast and effective since digital signage software allows for easy modification to content.  Powerful digital signage systems are available in a variety of sizes, configurations, and price points, so that any facility, from the smallest physician practice to the largest regional hospital can provide the most current information in real time to employees and patients. The return on investment for digital signage in healthcare can be fast and better still, long-lasting.   Learn More

Interactive Wayfinding - The new way to get from point A to B

In many venues and organizations helping people safely navigate the facility is very important to the business. Airports, train stations and bus terminals, with their complicated layouts, arrival and departure boards  are often filled with large numbers of people who may be unfamiliar with the facility and need help getting to their destination. In the past facility navigation was often handled by static signs, paper posters, and people hired to give directions. This approach was costly in enviroments where information is constantly changing and updating. The Omnivex solution provides organizations with a platform for deploying interactive wayfinding across their business and facilities. Venues such as airports, sports arenas, hotels, medical facilities and universities are utilizing interactive wayfinding as a way to direct visitors. Interactive wayfinding kiosks provide users with the ability to help themselves creative savings in a number of areas. These kiosks also provides organizations with an opportunity to include information on popular destinations, restaurants, shops and hotels, as well as timely information on local events and possibly the opportunity to buy attraction tickets. For example, a hungry traveler could not only use a digital wayfinding system to locate his gate, but also see what food offerings were in that area. And because a digital signage network can be updated quickly, signs could change to direct travelers to their flights by the name of their destination, not just point to their intended gate. Automatic RSS feeds can keep the boards updated with features such as weather reports or breaking news. In a hotel, digital signage can act as a virtual concierge, offering data such as a hotel map, meeting schedules and banquet information. Strategically placed touchscreens can allow users to search for information, such as room availability, dining menus, banquet information updates, daily weather forecasts and details about tourist attractions. Since the staff is freed from answering commonly asked questions, they are able to focus on providing better customer service. In a shopping mall, digital signage can be updated as one store leaves and another takes its place. Touchscreen kiosks can help answer shoppers' questions. The video capability of digital signage allows operators to place advertising on the screens, offering additional revenue opportunities for retailers and facilities managers. And for universities, digital wayfinding signage can serve double duty as an emergency messaging system. Universities often have a large population over a vast area; in the event of an emergency such as a severe thunderstorms or tornado alerts, getting current information out as quickly as possible is imperative and could save lives. When using a solution like Omnivex Moxie for interactive wayfinding you have the ability to handle key requirements such as:   Multifloor/Multiregion - Some locations may reside across multiple floors or multiple regions, such as another building across the street or across a campus. Transfer points, such as stairs, elevators and escalators (or trams, bridges and tunnels), need to be identified but may not be applicable to all viewers. Conditional formatting - Some elevators may not operate at certain times of the day or escalators may change direction depending on the traffic direction (a common issue in stadiums). Certain routes that are applicable during the day with natural lighting may not be advisable at night when there are fewer people around and dark paths. The system should be able to decide the appropriate route based on current conditions. Customizing for the viewer - For the physically impaired, wayfinding can be a challenge since certain routes may not be accessible or the height of touchpoints on a screen must dynamically adjust to suit the reach of the viewer. On a large campus map, it may be necessary to have both macro and micro views depending on the distance to the destination. Auxiliary information - There often is information related to a wayfinding inquiry that will assist the viewer. It could be a store description, details such as hours of operation or advertising about current promotions taking place there. Turn-by-turn directions may be provided by printing a map, or texting directions to a mobile device in the form of an SMS message. Updates - Things change over time and one of the big advantages of digital displays is the speed at which updates can occur and the ease of distributing updates. The challenge arises for short-term changes such as an escalator being closed for maintenance. Many wayfinding solutions require coding to make changes which are expensive and often laborious, and are not reflected on the screens in real time. Emergency procedures - Emergency evacuation procedures should be built into a wayfinding Interactive wayfinding (cont.) solution indicating the closest exit and automated triggers. In addition, the system should be able to direct traffic away from trouble, not towards it, so if a fire alarm is triggered near an exit, traffic should be directed to an alternate exit automatically. For more information read our whitepaper on Interactive Wayfinding.

Smart Transportation

Gone are the days of paper signs and delays in getting updated information out to travellers. We live in a real-time world and travellers expect real-time, relevant information at their fingertips. Digital communications, using devices like digital signs and interactive kiosks, can enhance passenger travel experience by helping people get to where they need to go safely, efficiently, and effectively. Equipping your passengers with the right information, at the right time can ensure a positive experience in an environment that demands real-time sensitive information. Digital communications in transportation can: Alleviate perceived wait times Enhance travel experiences Engage passengers with news, weather, emergency broadcasts Deliver real-time location-based information, such as arrival/departure times, cancellations and delays, or service stoppage Improve operations by reducing the workload of employees Keep passengers safe; emergency notifications can interrupt regularly scheduled content Be a “travel guide” through interactive wayfinding kiosks Wayfinding has evolved over the last couple of decades from static paper signage to electronic wayfinding to interactive wayfinding. This transition in large part has been the result of new technologies becoming available for airports, stations and terminals to leverage. One technology that had a significant impact was digital signage. With digital signs transportation organizations were able to quickly and easily update signage providing travellers with more accurate and timely arrival/departure times, cancellations, and delays. The advent of digital signage has also led to significant improvements in wayfinding in facilities like airports where there are often multiple terminals and large volumes of people need to be move through the space quickly. In airports wayfinding encompasses a number of areas including moving travellers across terminals, to and from gates, through security, and to popular destinations in the airport like restaurants and shops. These same screens are often also used to provide not only wayfinding information but also for advertising and to provide news and weather updates. Interactive wayfinding takes traditional wayfinding to an entirely new level integrating technologies like touchscreens, RFID, and barcode scanners. Touchscreens have enabled a whole new level of self-service allowing travellers to independently select a destination from a map or list and the system creates a map to the end point factoring things such as multiple floors, multiple regions, and multiple buildings. Additionally, some software solutions that power interactive wayfinding kiosks use conditional formatting and are able to react to things such as elevator operation times, making the system choose an appropriate route based on current conditions. Read the full case study!

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