Today’s digital world presents us with always-on, always-connected capabilities. For the digital signage industry, that means many different ways to trigger content on demand. Triggering content helps assist in presentation support, targeted messaging, personalization, and interactive responsiveness. It has also become one of the most popular — and common — requests among Signet clients. In recent years, we’ve integrated content triggering in many different and creative ways; here are our five favorite ways of making it happen:
#1 Mobile Devices: Clients often ask us about the ability to select content via a personal mobile device. Normally, this solution comes as a web page user interface accessible only on the local secure network. Thus, anybody on the network with the specific url can access the triggering webpage. Once on the page, the user interface can manage a variety of options: content playlists, specific media items, even customized messaged through a text input field pushed to the display. With the right integrator or solutions provider, this method is usually convenient, affordable, and considered a standard feature — something all display networks should look to have.
#2 Motion or Gesture Detection: Microsoft’s Kinect paved the way for gesture and motion detection integration. Now, other camera-based products and software feature that type of capability. Even simple motion detection (if a person walks by or faces the media display) can allow for basic content or message triggering. Broader gesture detection allows for more in-depth triggering in a more interactive use case (e.g. the viewer turns into a user and starts interacting with the content based on their hand gestures or placement). As the technology moves beyond video gaming, this method will likely gain traction to deliver accurate experiential gesture-based interactions in public places.
#3 Scheduling Data Integration: Many people may not think of a simple scheduling system as a customized content trigger. However, when you know a display area’s visitor schedule in advance, it can easily be used to control content. This may be a week’s worth of corporate visitors, internal meetings, or even basic daytime activities such as standard lunch hours. Scheduling systems can also usually be integrated with further customized triggers, such as the aforementioned mobile devices, for on-demand capabilities. Because of its structured nature, this method is mostly found in corporate environments, though its usage in public spaces is growing thanks to the combination of scheduled and integrated on-demand content.
#4 Product Engagement or Proximity: With various sensor products and software available, proximity detection or object movement can be a powerful and innovative way to trigger your targeted message or content. This method is a little more targeted than motion, and only triggers based on a person’s location relative to a specific point, such as a product or experiential point in the space. The sensors can also be tied to any product or object, which can then sense any movement to detect engagement by a user. From retail locations to museum spaces, this method is powerful but requires specific technology, and is currently only found with more innovative solution providers.
#5 Facial Recognition: Almost all facial recognition software offers additional detection features outside of actually scanning a face for a database match. Some of these are very basic, and thus easy to integrate into content triggering. For example, gender identification is incredibly valuable for most product and consumer-based content experiences. Age is another valuable detection point, allowing content to trigger based on child, teen, young adult, and older adult age ranges. Depending on the facial recognition technology, other possibilities include facial angle and expression. These tend to require greater configuration to ensure accuracy. This method is found more in conceptual and exploratory stages, though its results are promising and should see high levels of implementation down the road.
These five methods are leading the charge in today’s content triggering, but evolving technology means that more ideas are always just over the horizon. Based on your specific experience and content strategy, some combination of these methods will probably be the right integration solution for you. Ask your solution provider how content triggering can best work for you, and whether these solutions or a further customized solutions are the best way to enable personalized and targeted experiences.