Digital signage has quickly overtaken plastic directional signs, cork message boards, and paper notices taped to the hallways in a number of campuses. If you are considering entering into the world of DS there are some things to consider as you and your team layout your plans.
The why of most projects is very important but digital signage is even more so. So, why are you considering this sort of system? Digital signage can convert those cork message boards into visually brilliant content that relays notices and event information to the area it serves. They can be used for way finding as an interactive “You Are Here” kiosk that lets the user find their way around your campus. They offer a way to engage those in your halls by utilizing beacons or social media hashtags. Smaller signage can replace the placards outside classrooms to let students know the room number and classes being held in that facility. In addition the content can be dynamically changed if an instructor needs to cancel classes. No longer the taped to the classroom door saying “Professor X is sick today”. All of these are great reasons for going after digital signage.
Where is your head end?
The head end of a system is where the main components live. These are the devices that serve the content to your various displays. In some systems you will need a dedicated location on campus that should be secured so no unauthorized users get access to it. In other systems “the cloud” is a possible option. This means the displays get their information from a network enabled player that accesses various websites and RSS feeds. You then control what is displayed from a web interface.
It’s an unfortunate topic but one that is essential in the day and age we live in. Mass notification systems are a several pronged approach to keeping students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe in the event of an emergency on your campus. Digital signage is a great addition to this system. As you are planning out your DS deployment talk with those in charge of campus security or life safety about ways they can take control in the event of an emergency and broadcast necessary messages to those on campus.
Digital signage is a great tool. Just make sure you do your homework, get the advice of a trusted integrator or consultant, and plan out these things as you move ahead.