Airports are a flurry of people, planes, and information. Even with the best-organized airports, it is difficult to comprehend how so much activity within a single location can be managed effectively. One essential tool in orchestrating this massive amount of activity is digital signage. Airport digital signs display relevant information to individuals so that those individuals know where to go and how to get there. Read more below to learn about the components you need for an airport digital sign and to find some ideas for airport digital signage content.
What do I need for an airport digital sign?
To launch an airport digital sign, you will need a digital signage software solution. This software allows an individual to change the displayed content on one or multiple digital signs from anywhere via a web interface. When it comes to airport digital signage, this software is vital. Depending on the airport’s size, the facility will have dozens or hundreds of digital signs that require management.
Without digital signage software, an employee would have to update each digital sign’s content manually with a USB drive. By the time the employee completes a manual content update to each of the airport’s digital signs, it would likely be time to start the entire process again for another round of updating. With digital signage software, an employee can easily manage content on multiple digital signs in just a few clicks from the comfort of an office desk. Additionally, teams can set up airport digital signs to update content automatically via integration with a digital signage API. This integration allows digital signs to communicate securely with the airport’s timetables and databases and display continuously changing information in real time.
Next, you will need to purchase a digital signage player, which is a media player that renders digital signage content to your screen. Make sure that your chosen digital signage player does not have more computing power than you need. This extra computing power will translate to unnecessary initial purchasing costs and unnecessary ongoing electricity costs. While this additional electricity cost may only be a few dollars extra per month, the additional cost really adds up when one multiplies the cost by the large number of digital signs required for most airports.
Also, when selecting digital signage software and a digital signage player, be sure to pay attention to digital signage security features. Often, security is only afterthought with digital signs and other IoT devices. This practice can leave digital signs, vulnerable to hackers. Once hackers have access to your digital signs, they can direct the digital signs to display embarrassing and inappropriate content. In the worst case scenario, hackers can use digital signage software and hardware as a backdoor to access an airport’s data centers and operating systems. Given the importance of airports for the public and the jam-packed schedule of runways, a hacker could exploit a digital sign’s vulnerabilities to impact transportation networks adversely.
What can I display on my airport digital signs?
Of course, the most common use case for airport digital signs is displaying flight times and gate information. After all, getting people where they need to go is the primary function of an airport in the first place. For this use case, it is essential to note that airport time tables change all the time. Planes are delayed, gates are changed, and baggage pickup belts change too. An airport digital sign needs to operate within this dynamic environment and be able to display ever-changing information accurately. To operate effectively, airport digital signs must be able to display live data. When selecting your hardware and software for your airport’s digital signs, make sure that your solution can display data from live web pages or that it can connect to your backend systems via a digital sign API.
Another use for airport digital signs is for boarding gate information. Boarding desk digital signs display dynamic information that includes flight numbers, destination cities, boarding times, and more. Boarding desk digital signs must also display relevant boarding information such as prohibited items and directions for family or special-needs boarding.
Airport digital signage can include promotional signs used by duty-free vendors and digital signage advertisers. While these signs are often controlled and maintained by the vendors rather than the airport operators, they are digital signs nonetheless. These digital signs can display image, video, and motion graphic content featuring the latest product releases and promotions. Additionally, these digital signs can display relevant shopping information such as how customers can pick up their purchases at the gate or the purchase limits on alcohol and tobacco products.
What’s next for getting started with digital signs?
If you are looking to overhaul your airport’s digital signs, reach out to us at Screenly Support. Deployments with hundreds of screens will likely need some customization, and our team is happy to help. If you are just looking to set up a few digital signs, you can get started on your own by signing up for a Screenly cloud account. You will also need to purchase a digital signage player for each of your digital signs. You can buy Screenly’s digital signage player via our Screenly Box 0 product, which includes a Screenly Player and all necessary cables that you need to get started.
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