Simplified Digital Signage Using Web Technologies

Lightning Talk

Tom Douglass, Seattle Art Museum, United States

Finding the best digital signage solution for a museum setting can be challenging. Many enterprise solutions offer advanced features such as multi-screen synced video, slick transitions, and other effects, but often rely on difficult to use proprietary management software and/or hardware. If your needs are simple these extra features amount to unused bells and whistles and the benefits of the system are outweighed by its cost and complexity.

After years of struggling to maintain a high-end signage solution the Seattle Art Museum staff took a step back and examined our needs more closely. It turns out our needs were simple: 1. We wanted to display accurate information in a timely manner in a format that was easy to digest while a patron waits in line. 2. The system should not require specialized equipment and should be compatible with any display. 3. The system should scale to display content for additional monitors in varying locations. 3. The system should allow for scheduling of content distribution. 4. The system should be easy to maintain and require little training for the staff who will use it.

Having reviewed our needs we determined that by leveraging current web technologies we could develop a “slideshow” based solution that would meet our needs perfectly. The solution we developed consists of an ASP.NET web site using HTML5/CSS styling, JavaScript/JQuery, and HTML5 Server Sent Events that allows us to manage, schedule, and display slide content across multiple screens and integrates real-time pricing from our ticketing system.

In this presentation we will provide a high-level overview of the components and technologies used to implement this signage solution.