The Rundown from the Digital Signage Expo 2018

Cradlepoint DSE 2018 Booth

More Interactive Digital Signage at DSE 2018 & How it's all Tied Together with Connectivity

Cradlepoint recently returned from the Digital Signage Expo (DSE), held conveniently in a city that loves massive, bright, flashing signage — Las Vegas, Nevada. 10,000 people swarmed the show with a buzz of positive energy. The floor was staged with large screens, holographic images, VR responsive content, and even augmented reality with opportunities for event goers to interact with the projected images.

Ramping Up the Effects

This year it was evident that the digital signage industry is taking technology to the next level to create the best interactive experience to engage with their audience. It was hard not to be in awe when walking the floor; from the 3D holographs to the analytics, it’s all about improving the customer experience, which is what drives revenue.

Clearly, it’s not so much about flat panels anymore. Now it’s about creating memorable experiences and reaching out to customers with environments, products, brands, and solutions. DSE is particularly helpful for end users who know they need some kind of digital signage to create an experience but are unsure exactly what they want, who can do it for them, or how to access it. For this reason, the digital signage displays at the event showed a variety of offerings from simple display screens to bigger, bolder, engaging displays.

Importance of Connectivity

For Cradlepoint, there was a different conversation going on than the booths with eye-catching signage. Cradlepoint is a company that builds the network equipment using 4G LTE from a variety of carriers to provide Internet connections to branch, mobile, or IoT endpoints. We are under the hood making sure all the innovation that happens with digital signage will work. We had a meeting room and it was just jam-packed with really creative people who run digital signage — people who know where to get their hardware but needed information on how to connect it in the most efficient way possible. It was a great opportunity to discuss how pervasive, secure connectivity is a key ingredient for many digital signage scenarios.

Parallel Networking & BYON

Today, many organizations want digital signage, but adding the applications to their main network is not an option. For instance, if a bank wants to put digital signage in all their branch lobbies, they wouldn’t put the digital signage on the secure financial network. The best option is to use Parallel Networking. This means to move the digital signage network to an independent router, choose a carrier, and have a completely separate network. If a hacker should attempt to get onto the network, they wouldn’t have access to the main bank’s network.

Parallel Networking can also be described as BYON (Bring-Your-Own-Network). Another good example is with the recent credit card breaches at retail stores. Most retailers do not allow third-party vendors, like digital signage, to access their main networks anymore. Fortunately, digital signage vendors can bring in their own separate network, instead of using the retailer’s main network.

Mobile Signage & Kiosks

Vehicles are another avenue where Cradlepoint is boosting the digital signage market. Cradlepoint routers are on every bus in New York City as well as many of the taxi cabs in Las Vegas. If you picture the bus of the future, you may see digital signage providing advertising on the outside of the bus. As spassenger walk onto the bus, they may see some live route maps or passenger-oriented advertising, all of which needs to be connected while the bus is on the go.

Kiosks are another example of where we are seeing digital signage. They may even be processing credit cards or doing customer analytics that will need to be connected to the network. Cradlepoint offers digital signage providers an IT-friendly solution that has a secure connection without having to worry about anyone hacking onto a business’s main network.

Always-on Connectivity & Remote Management

For businesses looking to ramp up their digital signage systems, 4G LTE network solutions will offer the best options for reliability and pervasiveness as well as quick and simple deployment. Using a traditional WAN can mean spending too much time and cost managing the system.

To provide a visual of how fast and simple it can be to deploy a wireless network, we installed a ChargeItSpot station, a free phone charging station, inside our booth. The ChargeItSpot uses Cradlepoint’s 4G LTE solutions for WAN Diversity and always-on connectivity. The ChargeItSpot stations can be installed quickly for a wireless connection and will remain off the business’s main network to not jeopardize security.

We also had a number of people stop by our booth to get a demonstration of our NetCloud Manager software, which allows rapid set-up and remote management of applications from any location. Digital signage vendors can manage multiple signs from one location, saving time and money.

Additionally, Cradelpoint routers are easy to use and maintain. People don’t want to deal with on-site IT and security risks. Many of our customers mention that Cradlepoint "just works" and is easy to use, secure, and affordable.

To get more feedback about DSE 2018, listen to The AV Life podcast: The AV Life Episode 73: The Digital Signage Expo Post Show – A Unanimous Game Changer.