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Cutting the cable for digital signage

Thu, 05/22/2014 - 12:39pm
Stephanie Lubrano, Marketing Communications Specialist, Laird

In response to the worldwide growth in technology, the signage industry is no longer limited to just static implementations. In order for a company to remain relevant, competitive signage needs to be easily updated for the latest news, advertisements, and promotions. Traditional methods of running cable to signs and billboards are not always ideal; they can be cost-prohibitive and difficult to implement and maintain in certain environments. As a result, today’s signs and scoreboards offer much more than traditional static messages.Digital signage is more effective, timelier, and more capable of producing better revenue than traditional signs and billboards.

Benefits of cutting the cable
By cutting the cable and going wireless with digital signs, end-users can easily streamline implementation.  There are also several long-term benefits of cutting the cable with digital signs, including:

· Easier to install and move
· Lower cost
· Drive more sales with relevant and targeted messaging
· Improved customer service

The need to easily and efficiently update content is crucial to meet demands. Most standard local area technologies such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Zigbee do not provide the range necessary to effectively communicate, and cellular solutions, though ideal for providing connectivity to remote locations, require monthly service plans that eat into the bottom line. The solution is long-range serial communication that provides a wireless serial bridge with data rate throughputs from 9600bps to greater than 230,000bps and ranges from one mile to more than 10 miles.

What is RAMP?
RAMP, or Range Amplified MultiPoint, technology is an ideal solution for machine-to-machine (M2M) applications required to transmit serial data, wirelessly over long distances with high reliability. With Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum (FHSS) technology, it provides interference and multipath immunity for industrial applications.

RAMP modules provide superior range even in environments where line of sight is not possible. This technology is ideal for instances where signs and billboards are obstructed by buildings, trees, and more.

Choosing the right solution
Choosing the right solution for your industrial signage application can be a demanding task. However, having an understanding of the requirements for your specific application and a good feel for the various solutions can simplify your selection. Consider these factors when deciding on the right solution for your digital signage application:

· Bandwidth or throughput
· Range
· Power requirements
· Network topology (point to point or point to multipoint)
· Environment
· Budget

Digital signage and the Internet of Things
Digital signage is not just about cutting the cable; it’s a small part of a much bigger picture called the Internet of Things (IoT). This shift in technology going wireless is fueling IoT, a market that is projected to experience a CAGR of 7.9% through 2020. According to Gartner, the number of units installed for the IoT is expected to grow from 0.9 billion units in 2009 to over 26 billion units in 2020 and will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets. The IoT provides a context for intelligent data, digitizing everything in our world from thermostats to cars and strollers. Soon all of these 26 billion devices will be transformed into smart devices that are connected and communicating with each other.  Signs, scoreboards, and billboards are a part of this trend towards smart devices, allowing people to send and receive intelligent data for accurate and efficient business decisions.

To learn more about the benefits of wireless technology for Digital Signage and Scoreboard applications, visit www.lairdtech.com/digitalsignage.

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