TD: What does an education decision maker who is in the digital signage planning process need to know now?
PL: It is important is to understand what your current needs are and what your future needs maybe. You don’t want to buy a solution that meets your needs today, only to have to replace it completely because future needs have dictated that they need some additional capabilities. I know it is difficult, but you need to try to anticipate not just the number of screens, but also the ways the digital signage will be used. At minimum you need to evaluate your choices based on the flexibility of the things you may want to do.
TD: What are AMX’s key digital signage products in the education sector?
PL: AMX has two main product offerings. One is called Inspired Xpress, which is for [organizations] who want to manage their own digital signage. It’s typically for smaller installations. If you are a single-location building and you want to have digital signage in one to three displays in your lobby this is a great solution for you. It also works for a large number of displays but once you get to that level of complexity then most of companies chose to go to with our Inspired Xpert. The difference is the Xpert product has a lot more capabilities on the software side that allows endusers to manage different contributors of content.
TD: How are the Inspired Xpert and Inspired Xpress platforms used in educational environments?
PL: Emergency messaging is the key application for digital signage in those environments. So when you have any kind of emergency situation, whether its weather or other related situations, with digital signage you can provide information. There is an override that can change the messaging almost instantly to provide information about the situation as well as directional information in the classroom. For example, that the school is on lock down and students need to proceed to the nearest shelter.
TD: What do you have in the pipeline?
PL: We are looking at how our digital signage will operate with other products in our portfolio. So we also offer a digital TV solution. We are looking at what is happening in digital TV and we have to consider what the impact will be on digital signage. Because if you are playing signage that has one window with digital TV video, you have that today and something changes in the digital TV world, we need to think how that impacts digital signage and be able to accommodate those things. We are looking at how our other products can interoperate with one another to deliver better communication.