Digital Signage is a crowded and sometimes confusing marketplace of hardware, software, systems and services. There are a lot of in points. Today at the Visix press conference it was clear what Visix potentially brings to the mix.
President Sean Matthews did a brief overview backed by screen shots of the software which immediately started to suggest it’s applications as a content management and delivery system. Here’s the most important thing I got my head around: Visix turns every screen into a sign. That’s because it’s browser based software that enables distribution of a range of content elements (Flash, photos, power point, etc.) to any device–not just the usual sigange LCDs, but to desktop computers, mobile phones, PDAs, etc. anything with a screen capabile of carrying the content and reading an RSS.
This is important because it establishes the paradigm of digital signage as distribution, not display. Obviously it has to be displayed–we know we can display it. But the focus needs to be on how signage content will be created and distributed, so business models and use cases that are sustainable and scaleable can evolve and so digital signage can move with future technology.
Visix biggest customer is Walt Disney World, they see a lot of internal deployments at schools and corporations (including 20% of the Fortune 100) who want to self-broadcast messaging to their constituents. Content Server 7.0.9 introduced a number of new feastures–it can now support a wide range of XP and Linux media appliances and interactive room signs outside specific conferences and classrooms–you can bi-directionally communicate with a specific room. A new layout editor brings drag and drop functionality to the management system.
Also important–and green–integrated Crestron device control system; that allows users to schedule on/off cycles of display screens, great for saving power, lamp life, and or screen life.