The Artful Business of Digital Signage

“Digital signage: this is a term that includes all digital displays”, explains Henning Sittler at the Felt Lab during a lunch and learn on November 1st. “Digital Out Of Home Signage” describes an array of several networked digital displays. “Think of digital displays at 7-11 – They are all one, they are all displaying the same information across the country. All of those displays are controlled from a single point. This is where the InfoCaster technology comes in.”

The Harris InfoCaster at the Felt Lab is a media server used to control the media displayed through digital outlets. From large LCD or plasma screens, to Christie Digital Microtiles to projectors, this technology can wrangle them all on a single platform. It can force exclusivity in an instant and completely takeover of all the hardware to display a single image, or can run a programme to shift all of those images based on programmable algorithms. The amount of control by a user is limited almost entirely to what they can programme.

The InfoCaster is best known for its work in broadcast media. This media server can divide a screen into multiple zones and control what is happening in each zone. It can also be used to create animations. It does, however, rely on the user to have graphics and and video sources. “You will still need your Photoshop” explained Sittler. “But everything else is done right here.”

This media server has real world capabilities for business. From providing large chains with the ability to unify messaging from a centralized location, to being able to control all media in a stadium, the InfoCaster provides a simple and unified control of digital out of home signage.

There is also a great capacity for this technology to be used in art. In this Disney production, the Digital Out Of Home Signage (DOOH) in Time’s Square was combined with augmented reality to created a stunningly artistic and immersive experience.

The possibilities to light up the world are endless. From advertisement to creating stunningly artistic displays, Digital Signage presents a new canvas for artists to create powerful installations that transform even a dark night.

At REAP, we are looking for possibilities with this technology. When combined with other digital display technologies, the capacity to build networked controlled displays brings messaging into an arts context. How can this technology be used to create capacity for installations in events like Nuit Blanche? Stay tuned for REAP events that will explore how to design and build a creative DOOH experience.