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Digital Signage

Background


Digital Media Systems can display advertisements to customers in high traffic areas such as bus stations, airports and central business districts. Advertisement operators generate revenue by displaying ads from many companies and from understanding thier customer segment. There is a small technical challenge in this system: how does the operator update the advertisements in their digital signage?

Installing traditional land-line internet connections adds to the construction time, and manually updating the advertisements is a tedious process that is hard to manage for larger comapnies. The 3G/4G LTE cellular network is the ideal solution for the challenges of digital signage:

● Remote updates in unattended areas.

● Refresh the content and generate more ad revenue.

● Flexible networking without limitation from cable installation.


Unlike USB modems or home cellular devices, unattended commercial equipment must be reliable. Any downtime incurs lost profits. To meet these challenges robust cellular devices must face stringent requirements.

● Withstand outdoor conditions: wide temperature range, humidity, vibration, harsh electromagnetic conditions

● Compact design which can be easily installed in media devices

● Auto Network Recovery - Reliable in unattended remote sites. USB modems often require reboots and unplug/plug in procedures that can be costly to maintain.

● Secure for remote applications (VPN, Firewall, AAA, Role-based permissions)

● Centralized Management -Reduce maintenance and operation costs with data plan management


In this project, a soda manufacturer wished to introduce a new line of beverages to a city. In addition to traditional advertising methods, the beverage company contracted a digital signage operator to advertise its new product throughout the metropolitan area. They would run short advertisements in bus stations, super markets and outlets. Additionally, the beverage company would update advertisement content whenever a new beverage was released. The company needed to find a solution that would allow the mupdate the digital signage in a reliable, convenient manner.


Solution


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1. At the site of the digital signage, the InRouter600 router connects to the digital panel with Ethernet. The InRouter600 is a compact unit mounted on a single PCB. It is designed for an external antenna which can be mounted on the exterior of the panel. 
2. The InRouter600 manages the data usage by automatically entering standby mode when the signage does not require an internet connection. The panels were designed to update once every 24 hours at midnight or when the signage operated requested a change. When the panel needs to download a new ad, the InRouter600 will automatically connect to the 3G/4G LTE network. The entire process was seamless and transparent to the end users, the passers-by. 
3. In addition, the digital signage installation can report its operation status and any error reports to a diagnostic center run by a technician. In this fashion, a technician can receive instant updates in case of a breakdown. 
4. InHand also provides a free cloud service to help the customer manage the InRouter600, including traffic management, batch configuration, remote firmware upgrades, cellular data plan management and a simple graphical user interface. These improvements will simplify management and reduce maintenance costs.



Advantages


InHand Networks InRouter600 industrial router fully meets the requirements of advertisement media networks:

● Compact design for ease of installation in any digital signage panel.

● Secure VPN Encryption (IPsec/PPTP/GRE/L2TP/OpenVPN/CA) provides an encrypted tunnel for data flows.

● Reliable link between a remote sign and the data-center with link detection and auto-recovery

● Centralized management services with InHand Device Manager Cloud Service help customers understand their data usage patterns and reduce data costs.



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