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Triangle %u201CGraduates%u201D at Sweet Sixteen
The Idea (1994)
In June 1994, while on a layover in the San Francisco airport, Dr. Steve Simmons cam...

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10/01/2009 - NDM Offers New Digital Signage

Signage has been around for millennia. Museum displays exhibit examples from antique wooden public house signs, to the best of neon, to Burma Shave. Discussions of the aesthetics, usefulness, placement, size and shape of signs are the stuff of city council meetings everywhere. The digital sign is not a new invention. The so called "smart sign" was around in the 1980's. The large, flashing multicolor LED signs recently came under fire. Now it seems that some of the technology has matured into an aesthetically pleasing, educational, recreational, and entertaining point-of-sale media. In Spokane, Network Design and Management (NDM) is the leasing agent, seller, and integrator of this newest generation of digital signage.

NDM's digital signage uses a high quality commercial LCD screen to display advertising and other messages as desired by the advertiser. The signage can be tailored to the look and feel of the company's branding by incorporating logos, colors, and even Web site home pages. These signs are operated from a computer terminal, and the display may combine live feeds, TV, streaming video, and a combination of graphics and animation. Because the signs are compatible with the latest in graphics programs, the display can include the latest in designs, colors and graphics. Whatever content choices are made, the advertiser has complete control over the message at all times, and content can be updated and changed frequently and easily, according to Jay Parker, NDM Digital Signage Executive.

Each digital signage package includes a commercial grade LCD display, Web-based content management software, a media player, mounting brackets and hardware, and installation service. The flat screen display unit may hang on the wall, or it can be free standing and mobile. After installation, NDM will train the user, or if needed, will develop content, and will contract for content management of the system.

"For the sign to be truly effective, the content must be relevant to its viewers," says Parker. "When we install a digital sign, we will lead the client through the content so the sign will be well tailored, smartly used, and relevant. The sign must be optimized, relevant, and content refreshed frequently." NDM leads the client through the business objectives, helps identify the best locations for the signs, and maximizes the client's budget. The return on investment using digital signage is measurable, and is often dramatic 'especially when used at point-of-sale.

At least 150 universities nationwide are using digital signage. Their signs reflect the look and feel of the university -- along with such changing information as the daily events, activities, and other information relevant to the student body. The signs may also contain the weather, live television feeds, scrolling news lines, scrolling stock market lines, video or slide shows. Alerts are an important component for schools. The system can quickly send an emergency message in full screen, flashing red and white letters. The alert will display on every screen in the system with just a click of the mouse. Users of digital signage include health care, corporate America, and, of course, retail.

If an organization's network needs to be modified for best use of digital signage, as network designers, NDM will take care of it. NDM suggests Cat5 wire, but if the client wants to be wireless, and the end use of the sign will support it, NDM will install a wireless system.

NDM is located on the skywalk in the Bennett Block at 530 W Main. To learn more about NDM and digital signage, visit www.ndm.net.

Billie Moreland
 
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