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Going Mobile

Oct 24, 2011 12:03 PM, by Vern Freedlander, Vice President, Production, X2O Media

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Smartphones, tablets, and other mobile electronics have become an integral part of our everyday lifestyle. With the extensive capabilities of these devices, it is a natural extension to incorporate them into digital signage, a prospect that has created a lot of buzz and provides a number of opportunities. Consider corporate communications, where mobile devices can provide a continuity of messaging across a more diverse geography. By having digital signage content mirrored on smart phones, messaging is more consistent and reaches employees on the go, such as salespeople or delivery drivers. This is an efficient and effective way to keep them in the loop. The same is true for emergency situations. Whether it’s a corporation or college campus, the audience doesn’t need to be standing in front of a screen to receive vital emergency information.

In addition, mobile devices enable the creation of interactive digital signage channels that weren’t previously possible. In retail environments, consumers can use their smartphones to receive coupons or other special offers promoted by the screens. For example, a screen might display a message instructing patrons to text the name of the store to a certain number in order to receive an instant coupon. The same approach can be used to sign up for customer loyalty campaigns or store event notifications. Polling features can also be implemented, where viewers text their votes for on-screen tabulation to determine the winner of a competition.

Finally, mobile devices open the door to communicating with screens via social media using apps such as Twitter or Facebook. On a college campus, for example, this would allow students to post tweets to the screen commenting on a campus event or social issue. In addition to providing a more interactive experience for viewers, text messages and social media posts also provide an excellent method for measuring the audience, giving a much better sense of who’s watching.

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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