Thursday, May 23, 2013

Introducing Seenspire!

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Samuel Mekonen of Seenspire about the current state of digital signage content services.  Like many entrepreneurs, Samuel is very motivated and enthusiastic about his company’s products.

For those who haven’t heard about them, Seenspire offers high-quality rights-protected content to an ever expanding list of global customers.  Seenspire started out as a content creation firm but they quickly discovered there was growing demand for high-quality, rights-protected content for digital signage applications.

To fill this gap, Samuel and his partner Richard Buhn launched an on-demand content service which can be accessed from their e-commerce portal at

The site offers content for a wide range of applications.  From news items to sport scores and financial information.  Content is available in multiple languages making this a true global offering.  The company still offers custom content services but they put a lot of effort developing a true self-serve option for digital signage users who need good content right now.

Samual says, “Clients sometimes ask why they should pay for content that is readily available through RSS feeds.  The answer is simple.  Most RSS feeds are licensed for personal use only.  Meaning the content will be viewed on your own PC and not redistributed through a digital signage network.  Commercial content redistribution falls under a commercial license which must be negotiated with the content owner.  In many cases, re-distribution rights may not be available for your intended purpose so that’s where we come in.”

In order to bring you the rights protected content that you need, companies like Seenspire enter into distribution agreements with content owners, ensuring all available content has been cleared for digital signage use.  Seenspire goes even further than traditional RSS feeds by “wrapping” the content in a professionally designed full screen Flash presentation. You can choose between different graphical treatments like rotating 3D cubes or flowing ribbons and the content updates itself automatically.

Here are ten reasons why you should rely on Seenspire for your live content needs:

  1. The rights to the content has already been negotiated for you.  You pay a monthly fee per player (max. 4 screens per player) and nothing more.
  2. The content is easy to use.  Seenspire provides you with a URL or Flash SWF that you download and schedule in your content management system.
  3. There are no long term commitments.  Just buy what you need for as long as you need it.
  4. The content is visually stunning.  It grabs your audience’s attention and retains it.
  5. You have lots of topics to choose from, like daily news, weather and infotainment.
  6. The content refreshes automatically and works with most digital signage solutions.
  7. Global news content is available in many languages such as English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese.  More languages will be added in the future.
  8. Localised weather content is available so customers in any geographic area will receive relevant news and information.  If your location isn’t currently supported, Seenspire will try to source and license content.
  9. RSS feeds can sometimes go offline without any warning.  Seenspire content will be there for as long as the subscription is valid.
  10. Purchasing content from the Seenspire web site couldn’t be easier.  Select the type of content and style then add your selection to your basket.  Check out when you are finished then download your content.

It doesn’t matter if you are running a single screen or a hundred screen network.  Seenspire content will help enhance your image and entertain your viewers.  Best of all, the content updates itself automatically for as long as you maintain your subscription.

In my opinion, this is the easiest way to add professional, attention-grabbing content to any digital signage project.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

It pays to work with a professional

When thinking of a new digital signage installation, it's always tempting to consider doing the work yourself.  After all... How hard can it be?

Perhaps you should consider some of the many implications.

Liability and safety

A professional installer should have the required insurance and certification so you're covered in case there is a problem.  Beware of fly-by-night operators or craigslist ads promoting cheap installation services.

By now you've probably heard about the tragic accident that occurred in March when an airport digital signage installation fell on a family, killing a 10 year old boy.  I don't know if there was an investigation following this incident but this should be a real eye opener for anyone considering "going it alone" or relying on unqualified help for any screen installation.

Professional installations look and perform better

Digital signage installations require network cabling and close access to a 110v power source.  In many cases you will also need a sturdy bracket mounted to wall studs. Should you use WiFi or cables?  So many decisions...

It's one thing to install a flat screen TV in basement, but try hanging a digital signage screen from a restaurant's ceiling and see the complexity level rise.

A good installer can help.  They will know the proper way to mount your screen in a safe and secure way.  They will know which networking technology is best according the site's physical characteristics.

Unless you have the experience, the right equipment and the right tools, you're better off leaving it to the pros.

You get access to the best technologies

Good installers keep up with the latest technologies.  They can help you select the best video distribution system or the newest bracket for your video wall installation.  They know the difference between consumer grade equipment and more robust commercial products.  Here again, safety is job one so it doesn't pay to go cheap.

While it's true the new Android Players and Smart Screens simplify digital signage installations, it's important not to skimp on mounting hardware and installation.

What should you look for?

Qualified installers and integrators can be found through professional organisations like the Digital Signage Federation or the Digital Screenmedia Association.

It does pay to work with a professional.

photo credit: pni via photopin cc

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Digital Signage News

Navori launches Android Player

Following a successful launch in Amsterdam and Las Vegas earlier this spring, Navori SA announces their new Android Player and upcoming Navori QL software update.

I have had the opportunity to try Navori's new Android player so here are my observations.

I really liked the fact there is no difference when managing content between Android and Windows players.  Anyone familiar with the Navori QL Manager web based interface will feel right at home pushing content to both platforms.  It makes the product really attractive to shops that aren't familiar with Android and they benefit from lower hardware costs.

The company's goal was to offer the same visual experience on Android as they were already offering on Windows and from what I have seen, the goal was met.  I think this new product will be quite successful.

With so many software developers launching new Android players, Navori had it's work cut out but I am quite pleased with the result and I'm looking forward to spending more time with the product.

Flypaper releases new version with support for QR codes, charting and more...

Flypaper Studio Inc. has also released a new version of their flagship content development tool.  Flypaper 3.9 adds a bunch of new features...

  • New QR Code component.
  • New Charting component.
  • Improvements to many existing components like the Image Cube, Image Gallery, Clock, Weather and CSV connector.
  • The application's built-in library (called "Flybrary") now lets you scan the contents in a list view.
  • New digital signage templates have been added to the Flybrary.
  • A "safe image search" feature has been implemented. With this feature enabled, only appropriate content will be shown when you perform a search.
Flypaper never ceases to amaze me with every new update.  You still get professional results with no coding required.  If you haven't already done so, check out Flypaper.  You will be surprised by the quality of the content you will create with this tool.

photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc