Category Archives: Electronics

Interactive digital signage from malls to foyers.

Interactive digital signage.

Ever seen those interactive digital signage kiosks in shopping malls and airports? These touch screen displays are every place you look. Learn how you can use them in your business for successful marketing and corporate communication.

What separates interactive digital signage?

These interactive kiosks hook the prospect into providing more information to the advertiser than a standard non touch digital signage solution. These are used by companies who require more detailed information for future marketing campaigns and they use the information they gather for contacting the user later.

You can look at interactive digital signage as the information gather, were as the non-touch solution are the advertising medium delivery method. The 2 solutions are rather different, as the interactive solution has a touch screen depending on the use, so infrared touch screen panels are used for indoor use and SAW (Surface Acoustic Wave) is used for outdoor use. SAW is more expensive than IR, however it can be used when the user is wearing a glove, this would be impossible with an infra-red touch screen.

Uses for interactive digital signage kiosks.

interactive digital signage

A good example is in a retail environment, a designer store could have an interactive digital signage kiosk on the sales floor, and customers can check stock availability, colours and sizes before going to the checkout and asking a sales assistant to get the dress or top from the stock room. Now if the item is not in stock, the customer can enter their mobile or cell phone number as well as email address and when the product is in stock, an email and text alert is sent to the customer for the designer’s product in their colour and size for them to try on.

Now this information can be used to promote sales or loyalty bonuses for quiet periods for the retail outlet.

In shopping malls the same technology is used to provide information on the retailer’s in the mall, so if you are looking for a specific brand, you can use the interactive kiosk and see the exact location where they are located in the mall. Some even have QR codes that can be scanned and any promotion or daily discount is applied to any purchase that day.

Corporate communication using touch screen displays.

These can be wall mounted in the foyer of a corporate office and will provide the companies details, their key achievements, their mission statement and it can be used to provide new clients with an in depth understanding of the business. Most clients would be interested in understand the full extent of the services and products a company has to offer. Using interactive digital signage hardware, this is easily achieved; it also separates them from their competition who are not investing in high tech solutions. This is a huge problem some corporate offices have experienced at their cost when clients have visited them prior to placing an order.

What is needed in terms of services for touch screen signage?

This high end solution has normally a built in media player/PC that connects to the internet for remote updates, some even have WIFI built in to the computer. So all that is needed to get a project like this under way is a power socket and a hard wired data connection in the local where the interactive hardware is being installed.

We hope you know a little more about touch screen units and will hopefully put the information on interactive digital signage to use.

Imaginative Digital Signage for Children’s Health Care Facilities

Children’s Hospital Digital Signage Usage.

Hospitals are a place most people would avoid, so having a child in hospital is a daunting thought for any parent, or guardian. However providing a pleasing atmosphere will certainly help lift the spirits of patients and staff, providing a worthwhile initiative in the form of a spectacular interactive video wall for anyone to ‘play’ with.

It inspires, amazes and enthralls people and with little or no computer or art skills can provide hours of entertainment, whilst giving an educational element, reported DigitalSignageToday.

digital signage

Digital signage software.

Of course, this depends on the software package, but it’s the screens attributes which bring the hospital wall to life. From an underwater scene to a trip into space, and beyond….

Imagination knows no bounds. The digital signage video wall brings people together in an otherwise awkward situation where they may never have met. Much of the funding for a project can be raised by private donations, public awareness campaigns and government or big business investment.

It is designed as a stage set, in a very theatrical fashion and as it is interactive, there are no special skills required to partake in it. Every one has equal participation, and naturally it is without boundaries as far as race, creed, colour, ethic back ground and religion – or any other demographic.

One project, in particular, was launched at a Children’s facility in Wilmington, Delaware, USA, where a 50 foot wide screen by 9 foot high video wall was installed. This incorporated ‘gesture interaction technology’, allowing a large number of children (and adults too!) to interact with the software. In this case it was an on-screen landscape of flora and fauna. The tiled screen was brought to life in a riot of colour, text and graphics – something for everyone. The atmosphere, reported by staff, demonstrated how effective and positive the electronic screen had been – a well worthwhile investment.

It is seen as a diversion to the anxiety patients and their parents face, as even fairly common or regular medical routines are required. And then there are long term patients in care, where a break from the medical procedures is a welcome distraction. Feedback from the hospital’s management, staff of; doctors, nurses, therapists and child care specialists and of course children, has been very encouraging. Many of these professionals had a part to play in the development of the project, as they spend a lot of time with children they could suggest inclusions to offer therapies – occupational and physical, rehabilitation after operations, broken limbs and traumas. As the interactive video wall had gesture recognition, specific motions and movements could be incorporated as part of the designed program. It became enthralling play, masking the underlying objective of rehabilitation, wellness and reducing anxiety.

Technology knows no bounds – with high definition screens, sharp contrast and flawless imagery, even children; who are the worst critics, are expecting to see exceptional technology.

Hopefully this article gave you some insight into the use of digital signage in hospitals.

Digital projectors for digital advertising – the new trend

Digital projectors for awesome ads.

A recent digital signage industry report shows that between 23 and 31% uses digital projectors to provide the digital advertising solution, but this is set to rise in the coming 12 to 18 months.

Digital signage using flat panel displays.

If you have recently been to a Target super store you will have seen masses of flat panel displays being suspended from the ceiling and at most airports you will saw an inexhaustible array of commercial grade electronic digital signage displays in many different forms.

Flat panel challenges.

The challenge with using digital signage is the price, as when the size goes over the size of 60” the price becomes very expensive unless you have deep pockets. This is when projectors come into their own, as they are more affordable, easier to install and the ambient light can be overcome with a projector rather than a display.

You can expect to pay in excess of $11K for a screen 70” in size, with the huge 152” displays being priced at $501K and weighing in at 301 lbs, imagine the support this display needs!

Advantages of digital projectors.

digital projectors in dealershipsNow if you had to install a screen that is 152” how are you going to support it? Now with a projector, you can install a screen or use a wall and mount the hardware from a ceiling pole, without serious metal work to support the hardware, less hassle or expense.

Flat panel screens for digital signage range from 400 to 750 candelas, yet the problem is if the image looks washed out or faded, little if any notice will be taken of the ads resulting in a negative effect for the ad campaign. The wide range of projection hardware that has a wide spectrum of brightness and a solution can be acquired to suit the ambient brightness of the location.

This allows for projection advertising to be deployed outdoors quickly and less expensive than a flat panel solution. If you take into consideration the costs of the displays, installation and protection from the theft and rainy weather with an outdoor housing, you can achieve the same result with a digital projector and an outdoor weatherproof housing from a leading manufacturer (proencltd.com) who make secure, yet weatherproof housing, that provides a maintenance free solution.

outdoor projectors in use

Locations that are using projection advertising outdoors.

Businesses that need to promote an event especially in the evening can use projection advertising, by advertising on a building what exactly they offer, such as drink deals or meal deals. Another solution is outdoor cinemas; with all these examples once the hardware is installed and configured correctly you do not want to move the hardware back indoors at the end of the business day and then putting the hardware back outside the following day.

With development of the hardware to include 4K and the future 16K, what the future holds for digital signage is yet to be seen.

Digital advertising can be a cost effective solution for larger images using digital projectors.

Digital signage used for increasing revenue.

Digital signage lift sales.

Digital signage hardware is a rather innovative method of advertising and a simple way to lift sales and create multiple streaks of income, as reported on Wikipedia.

Lifting sales with digital signage.

digital signage exampleUsed by many businesses to lift sales the hardware is so simple to use, multiple ads can be
created and run in a loop on the electronic advertising hardware displaying engaging adverts. Now this is perfect for businesses that have over stock items.

The reason digital signage is a success in this industry is that the ads can be changed quickly to market for a newly announced event. For example it could be mid February and the store has an overstock of quick de ice and there is a weather warning in your state, all you do is include an ad for quick de ice and have the ticker display the weather feed warning of the imminent snow warning and watch the stock fly out the door!

Digital signage for multiple streams of income.

The hardware is so flexible it can be used for a wide variety of uses, as well as displaying
advertisements for your business, you can also display ads for non competing companies,
charging them a monthly fee based on a 12 month contract.

A good example is in a shopping mall, they can use the electronic signage during normally opening hours, then when the stores are closed, the digital signage hardware could be used to market local taxi companies, shows, events. This could be as simple as displaying a QR in the advert and when the user scans this with their smartphone that are taken to a web page with a discount. So then it can also be tracked based on the amount of codes are redeemed.

So let us look at the digital signage hardware used, it is not costly, rather it is very affordable. A typical 42″ wall mounted solution run at $1399 and includes everything you need right out the box, all you need is the content for your own ads.

Mount the display on the wall then add the content, make sure the display is in a high footfall area, to maximize the results. Then you can contact the local businesses owners asking them if they want to advertise on the electronic signs. Selling the ads at $150 per month, per business per business type, you can easily have 30 advertisers who will have their ads shown either out of hours when the main stores are closed but the eateries are open, or the cinema is open.

To look at the income stream you have 30 advertisers at $150 each, this equals $4500 per month now multiple this by 12 months for the contract duration and the total for the year is $54,000. Isn’t this a smart return on the initial investment of $1399?

These digital things can also be networked, so if you decided to add more, showing specific ads relevant to the location in they shopping mall you can easily control the ads, by using a network connection.

As you can see, this type of marketing is rather flexible, yet affordable. Just thing what digital signage could do for you?

Anti ligature TV enclosure for patient safety.

Anti ligature TV enclosure uses.

Behavioral health units are a sector that are adapting anti ligature TV enclosures as part of their standard structure, to prevent patient self-harm and at the same time reducing attacks on fellow patients and medical staff.

Our duty of care.

Patient safety in these units is foremost, we have to attend to their delicate state of mind and keep them in a calm state. This is why when one of these units is being designed, everything in the patients rooms are designed with anti-ligature in mind, from the door hinges, door handles, beds and even televisions, hence the look at the anti ligature TV enclosure.

Imagine the ramifications if someone self-harmed on a part of the mental health unit that did not comply with the anti-ligature rules set out in the patient care guidelines?

TV protection using an anti ligature TV enclosure.

anti ligature TV enclosureThese protective solutions are used so people who are unstable cannot access any point on the TV and use it as an anchor to loop material around the TV and attempt to hang themselves. This is why DOOH USA are the only company to offer an anti ligature TV enclosure that has sloping sides on all 4 sides, eliminating anyone looping material around the housing in an attempt to harm themselves. The material just slides off the sides, this patent pending design are unique only to DOOH USA.

Other units on the market only have the sloped on the top and bottom, yet material can still be looped around the housing and patients can harm themselves on these other units.
Another issue is sound, as this can be a major disruption to fellow patients, one patient may like to the TV loud, others may like it quiet, so the easiest way around this is that the nursing staff can control the volume of the televisions using a remote control, due to the unique technology within the anti ligature TV enclosure.

anti ligature TV enclosure compared against competition

Consequences of not protecting patients and staff.

Now imagine for a moment, that a patient does harm themselves, because they can loop material around the TV, who is responsible? Not only legally, but morally, could you live with yourself for the rest of your life, knowing your actions assisted someone to die?
Another scenario is if a patient smashed the viewing window of the housing, and uses the broken the window to attack fellow patients and medical staff. Again, could you live with yourself?

The above seem extremes, yet this has happened!

Last point to ponder.

Consider the depth of the housing, if the screen is too near the viewing window and a heavy object is thrown at the television, the screen’s flex can damage the surface of the TV set and cause the TV to fail, and you need to have a minimum of 2” gap between the window and the TV set. Not just for patient protection, these protective housings also safeguard the hardware from damage.

Hopefully, this article has been useful for anyone considering using an anti ligature TV enclosure in their facility.

Benefits of Corporate Communication with dynamic signage.

Improve corporate communications.

Have you ever noticed that your corporate communications are failing? Emails not being read? Flyers having no effect? Using dynamic signage will change the balance.

Is this your organization?

Management struggle to get the current corporate communications to the employees, the whiteboards are having no effect, in a successful business there is always something to report, without a structured way to deliver this message, employees and management are fighting a losing battle. (Wikipedia has a fantastic article here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_communication)

What can dynamic signage do for corporate communications?

corporate communications with colleagueAll digital signage hardware has the ability to deliver information, instantly. Whiteboards, company notice boards and emails all get ignored, yet dynamic signage does not, it demands attention and people are keen to give it. Compare this to emails, it has been reported that the average employee received just over 300 emails per week, 1200 per month, just sitting there. These need to be addressed as well as the employee fulfilling their duties for the management. Eliminating having to respond puts digital signage to the forefront of corporate communication.

Ensure all essential staff and management are at the next meeting or corporate event, by broadcasting the message across the digital signage network around the facility. This is important when informing staff of a potential new client who is carrying out a vendor audit, so everyone knows what is going on within the company.

Dynamic signage can be used to portray a forward thinking company, who invests in new technology to deliver news and information to staff and visitors alike.

Manufacturing plants often forget or don’t fully understand.

Talk to any technical director of any manufacturing plant and they will be glad to talk production figures for each machine. But ask them how they deliver important health and safety updates, or how they are inform of critical production issues, such as a machine failure. They will invariably have no idea, if they are not using electronic noticeboards.

Return on investment is often referred to as a purchasing reason, yet there is more to it than the cheapest solution. Consider this, if you had employees who had to travel 2 hours to attend a health and safety course, for a total of 2 hours, their working day is almost over with little if any productivity from them. In fact, you have paid them to sit in a vehicle for 2 hours to the event and 2 hours back! What if you hosted the health and safety training online that was streamed through the digital signage hardware and the employees could attend the same course and get the same updates as if there were at the seminar in person? For a start, you would not be wasting 4 hours pay on traveling time.

Not only on production lines, corporate communications are a challenge in many organizations, with 40% of any shop floor working not having access to emails, the only sure way to communicate efficiently with them is by using dynamic signage, this will also increase workers moral and usually the business see an increase in productivity.

When looking at digital signage, consider the options and look at the bigger picture, this hardware does improve productivity through successful corporate communications.

24 Hour Digital Signage

Digital Signage 24×7!

You can picture the night sky… the setting sun in a darkening sky; highlighted with a myriad of LCD or LED lights – welcome to the world of 24 hour digital signage. It is designed to attract customers throughout the day and night, as major towns and cities rely on 24 hour trade, DOOH (digital out of home) screens reflect this.

outdoor digital signage

Kiosks to touch screens – digital signage is all around…

Digital advertising kiosks and screens look amazing against a dark background as the bulbs give a vibrant display enticing customers to buy food, see a movie or purchase the latest trend in sports ware. The US has the greatest choice of locations for digital screens; by the side of a road, the entrance to a shopping mall or within a sporting complex – the rest of the world needs to catch up! Times Square in NYC is the epitome of night time digital advertising, as is Hong Kong too. The vibrancy of the colors causes such an electric atmosphere that it is hard to ignore, which of course is the intention. Sales, sales, sales – it increases revenue and brand awareness.

But it’s not just huge flat screens which capture the attention of passing trade, way-finding and interactive floor standing monitors as well as ceiling hung or wall mounted visual video displays have their place too. Bus shelters on the street can house interactive screens, enabling passengers to select a route or timetable, whilst being targeted by their demographics picked up by either facial analysis or just by the information requested from the touch screen pad. An advert for the latest sneaker is more beneficial to a younger passenger whereas an advert for medical insurance may influence a middle aged person. It’s all very clever, but it is pre-set and pre-destined content and all readily available for your business to take advantage of.

Projector advertising is becoming of of the most popular forms of displaying video information. It may be broadcasting a film in an outdoor theater, public information, which is part of a city’s emergency plan or a church publicizing the services. Again, as it is computer controlled, the content can be altered or updated in real-time, lessening any down-time or engineer site visits (cutting down costs too). One question often raised is the fact of how safe are these pieces of electronic kit? The screens are housed in a protective housing unit, known as an environmental enclosure or LCD enclosure, which has cooling and/or heating, a secure front door with clear viewing window and can have additional speakers; all depending on your requirements. So you can rest assured your investment is safe and secure against theft, vandalism and environmental damage, whilst it earns you money from the advertising revenue it is generating.

Electronic signage has grown in the past 5 years, new heights are to be seen, including day round digital signage.

Backyard LCD TV enclosure to sunlight readable display enclosures

TV enclosures to sunlight readable display enclosures increase in demand.

From backyard LCD TV enclosures to sunlight readable display enclosures, we have seen this industry grow in the past 5 year’s reports http://lcdenclosuresolutions.com

It is reported that 21% of US homes have an outdoor TV, this can be near their hot tub or pool, so everyone can enjoy the TV in their back garden.

sunlight readable display enclosures

Family time in the backyard.

With more and more people choosing to spend quality time with family and friends, we are deploying outdoor TV’s in the form of a domestic flat panel TV in an outdoor LCD enclosure. These protective housings provide all the essential protection from the weather and potential theft. Most units on the market come with some type of thermal management, without this already thought out in the design of the housing, you would be better off finding someone who had already thought about it, otherwise you are putting your flat screen TV at risk of failure.

Without the correct protection, no matter if it is thermal management system or the locks for the door, you have to consider everything to safeguard your investment in your TV. You would not leave your garage unlocked with the keys in your car would you? Purchasing a flat panel TV enclosure can be as risky as that, selecting one that is low cost can be a false economy. So look for a solution that features high security locks, it is best to avoid cam, compression or barrel locks especially when you discover they can be opened with everyday items from a kid’s kindergarten pencil case

Also look at the hinges, this is another weak spot in designs, any solution with an exposed hinge is vulnerable, as most of these hinges can be drilled out with an electric drill, these are very quiet and you might not notice the screen being stolen. Look for units with concealed hinges, this means that the only the people with the key can open the access door.

Once you know your flat panel TV is safe and secure, you can then afford to kick back and chill out with family and friends.

Sunlight readable display enclosures.

These protective housings are specifically designed for sunlight readable displays, such as Dynascan. These high end displays are used in outdoor digital signage when the location is in bright sunlight at any part of the day.

This type of outdoor advertising medium has become popular with open shopping malls across the USA in the past 2 years. More and more are being deployed with even larger screens, up to and including 85″ displays! This proves that sunlight readable digital signage is here to stay.

The range of sunlight readable display enclosures are fitted with sophisticated cooling and heating systems, to provide the best environment for the expensive displays. The reason for this type of protection is the displays can run at around $15,000 for a 3000 nit display, so it can be seen in direct sunlight. These protective housings have to have high capacity cooling to ensure the heat build-up between the front of the display and the viewing window is removed quickly. There are several options, 1 uses an air curtain, using small fans to blow the hot air way from the viewing window, due to the depth of the enclosure being too shallow and potentially causing the screen to overheat and premature display failure. The other solutions offer high capacity cooling that pulls in cool air into the housing and when the internal temperature reaches a preset figure, the exhaust cooling system then kicks in and removes the air inside the sunlight readable display enclosures.

Many solutions are available for either backyard TV housings or sunlight readable display enclosures, so check them out.

Tips to Hosting Your Own Backyard Movie Event

Create your own backyard movie event.

Have you have ever seen a movie at a drive thru and experienced the movie, the night air and the atmosphere? Well if not, don’t worry, as you can experience this in your own backyard, by hosting a movie event for your friends and neighbors.

You enjoy a movie under stars, with the one you love, without ever leaving your garden. There are some tips for hosting the best ever, backyard movie event.

backyard movie

What type of backyard movie event?

Now is this a celebration for a special birthday, a wedding anniversary, or a graduation? Or are you just going out to build a bond with the neighbors? When you have decided on the type of event, you can then establish what to wear. Date night could be something smart, for example.

Equipment used.

You can either use your garage or house wall, or even hire an inflatable projector screen these can be purchased at Target and Walmart cheaply (http://www.walmart.com). Now for the main kit, the best companies to contact are audio visual integrators, who hire hardware out. These guys will come and set the projector and sound system up, so you are ready to go when you press the play button. This takes the stress out of it and everyone can sit back, relax and enjoy the movie.

What kind of movie?

Well, I am sure this will depend on the type of event, and the movie will suit accordingly. If it is for a special birthday, let the birthday boy or girl pick the movie they want to see.

What food will be available?

Without food, it’s not a movie event! You may have a Jacobs Join, where everyone brings something off of a list, not duplicating any food for everyone to share. On the other hand, you may want it informal, so popcorn, burgers and hotdogs are the food of the event. Don’t forget plenty of soft drinks too, even at night the heat can still dehydrate you, don’t just drink beer or wine!

How are people going to sit?

This can be anything from a rug with a candle lit chandelier for a date night event, or you can use folding chairs with plenty of cushions and a blanket to pull round you and your loved one. You could ask neighbors to bring their own chairs or hire them, depending on how formal the event is.

Scene management.

Now the thing here is to put led rope lights on the ground, that highlights a pathway, or an area that is no go! You don’t want anyone falling in the pool in the dark! If you are troubled with insects, use insect repellent candles that can be put around the backyard and lit, the fumes tend to put insects off and they leave you alone.

Follow these simple tips and you will have excellent memories for years to come, with neighbors mentioning your backyard movie event.

Projector Enclosure; Prevention is Better than Cure

Projector enclosure – fad or cure?

So, you’ve invested a large amount of the budget in a high spec. projector, but don’t forget to add a little extra money for a projector enclosure. By ‘saving’ money and not buying a projector enclosure, is a false economy.

How many projectors do you have to purchase before realizing you should have added an protective housing unit? Not only has the projector been stolen/water damaged or overheated due to a blocked motor, but the inconvenience is immeasurable against lost revenue and recouping the initial outlay.

Construction of a projector enclosure.

The projector enclosure is constructed from steel and welded to form a protective seal against dust or water ingress, which also adds the first of many, element of security. There are models readily available which are MDF (wood) or plastic, but to have a secure defender needs to be made from steel. The only panel which is not metal is the viewing window, which is made from a choice of plastics; acrylic or polycarbonate or even shatter-proof glass, depending on the requirement. There are several components which make up the complete projector enclosure – don’t skimp on the components. The locks should be the best quality – Cam locks or compression locks are not adequate enough. Any thief may attempt entry through an projector enclosure, to get to the expensive and highly desirable hardware, but one look at the solid structure is enough to put off the most hardened criminal. Grommets or cable glands allow for the projectors wiring to reach an external socket, but water is not permitted due to the close fit around the cables.

projector enclosure

Depending on the part of the country or room, the projector will be located in, then the necessity for a thermostatically controlled heater or cooler is absolute. The nature of the use may determine at what temperature the projector will be subject to; the optimum temperature being around 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 32 degrees Celsius), any different will cause the projector to malfunction, which may be irreversible.

Outdoor protection of projectors.

So, now you have decided to protect the projector, how will it be mounted? The plan was to hang the projector from the ceiling and display the image onto a wall opposite. Well this is no problem because the projector enclosure also can be ceiling mounted (check on the construction of the ceiling for the correct fixing bracket). The standard RAL color is black, to limit heat built up, however for a special project, any color can be requested.

Many business insurers, who include computer equipment ,as now asking for security and damage protectors, like the specific projector enclosure, before considering adding the computer hardware to the inventory. It may lessen the insurance premiums, avoid the hassle of making a claim, replacing the hardware and averting downtime. So you can see the objective of purchasing a projector enclosure; and why prevention is better than cure.