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Digital Signage and Security

Nov 14, 2011 10:33 AM, by Vern Freedlander, Vice President, Production, X2O Media

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We live in an atmosphere of heightened security and communicating vital, potentially life-saving information quickly and effectively has never been more important. Digital signage can play a very important role in helping to broadcast alerts, increase emergency preparedness and evacuate people in a safe and orderly manner.

A good example of this is a signage network that regularly runs corporate content, which can instantly be taken over by security personnel who send out attention- grabbing content—perhaps a flashing red screen announcing an emergency situation and instructing staff to take appropriate action. In the event of an evacuation, screens can also display the most straightforward path to exit a building using maps or animations.

But perhaps less obvious, digital signage is also an effective tool for reinforcing security-related policies and information. Screens can regularly display reminders of pre-determined evacuation meeting places, exit routes, and reminders of staff trained in first aid. Regularly updating viewers as to which building areas are closed for renovations can help guide them in the event of an emergency.

And these alerts and messages aren’t limited to digital signage screens. The same content can also be sent to desktops and mobile devices, ensuring that important information is received in a timely manner. At the same time, geographical targeting ensures that this information goes to the right people. Alerts can be sent campus-wide, to select buildings or personnel, or to a specific floor of a building. Most importantly, the content that is created for this purpose must be easy to understand and tested and rehearsed to ensure viewers and security staff are satisfied with its effectiveness.

Vern Freedlander is vice president of production services for Montréal-based X2O Media, a full-service provider of technology, network management and content services for professional digital signage applications. With more than 20 years of broadcast television experience as a producer, director and executive, Freedlander oversees all of X2O Media’s content initiatives. He can be reached at

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