Friday, April 24, 2009

I Spy Something Wrong With This Digital Sign

What is worse then a digital sign suffering from BSOD disease (Blue Screen Of Death)? How about a digital sign suffering from working, but not very well (as pictured above)? I came across this the other day in a local supermarket. Its frustrating to see. A company invests in digital signage, but due to poor execution will most likely not be investing more any time soon. On the other hand, it is digital signage and you should be able to correct these problems without having to physically change the sign itself, no? A couple of observations...

#1. Let's print out a message from the PC and tape it on the digital sign. Why? Hopefully people are looking at the digital sign while they wait for their 1/4lb of smoked turkey breast. I would venture to guess that unfortunately, this digital signage solution is simply inaccessible to the end-user and too complicated for store level managers to operate and printing a sign with their PC was easier. It doesn't have to be this way. If you would like to manage content, be able to change certain parts or pieces of the digital sign, or modify a playlist with an unscheduled special offer, then an appropriate easy-to-use solution should have been specified.

#2. You can drive a truck through the black area around the image and the physical bezel around the flat panel display. This is either a problem with the output/player hardware communicating to the display or the display not synching properly to the output/player hardware. Either way, it appears nobody has trained the staff on how to troubleshoot this problem or nobody is monitoring the status of this location on the network.

#3. Now serving, #75. Again with the appropriate digital signage solution a clerk at the counter can advance a counter and the order number being served can advance on the digital sign, or at least install them next to each other so people will watch what is on the digital sign too. An on-site assessment is essential for all digital sign installations and should have been done and at least revealed this opportunity to improve upon the current situation.

#4. And then there are all of those other pieces of paper taped above the "Now Serving" sign. Well those are just for store employees, but perhaps they could be placed in a little less conspicuous location next time.