The sensebright platform

Putting digital signage and proximity detection under the same roof
Digital signage solutions and Beacons follow a similar goal i.e. bring information to specific target locations. BeaconZone and Screenery forming the
the sensebright platform, provide the infrastructure and facility to combine both approaches.

The sensebright platform

Putting digital signage and proximity detection under the same roof

Author: Fabio Trentini, BTC Business Technology Consulting/Sensebright GmbH, March 2015

The BeaconZone platform enables a dynamic on the fly allocation and activation of visual and audio content or services to Beacons (that, as we know, can be easily placed at strategic locations for indoor/outdoor proximity detection) .
BeaconZone was actually finalized by adapting an already exiting sensebright solution (Screenery) offering cloud based digital signage services.

In a nutshell:

Screenery is an easy to use cloud based digital signage platform allowing to upload, combine and deploy media contents such as videos or images to dedicated and own registered target screens (i.e. TV’s or Monitors). With Screenery, users can therefore manage and distribute videos or images worldwide via Browser (or mobile App) on own target screens in just few mouse clicks.

BeaconZone , seen from a strict technical perspective, does exactly the same i.e. information in form of responsive mobile micro sites or services is allocated in a central cloud based management system to dedicated beacons allowing users via the related mobile App (The BeaconZone App) to experience contents or services once in proximity of the target location.

There is therefore a synergy and similarities between both solutions consisting in managing content and distribute it to dedicated channels (i.e. Beacons and/or Screens).

Since we keep under the same roof the management of target screens and proximity detection, we aim to extend the platform towards models combining both technologies i.e. drive the activation of media files on a TV based on a user approaching a given target location or area.

The idea:
  • Digital signage and proximity detection (beacons) are part of the same platform/solution.
  • No need to install any software (both BeaconZone and Screenery are cloud based solutions i.e. do not require local installation)
  • remote management of the contents i.e. only an internet connection and a browser are required to modify or allocate information to screens and/or beacons.
  • Be open. Besides information management aspects, the contents can also be uploaded via Api’s and/or be integrated on own solutions and mobile Apps.

Retail and marketing are of course a main trend as far as proximity detection and digital signage are concerned. On the other hand, beacons and screens can also be used on other areas than shopping and thus applied to transmit information in general.

The sensebright approach focuses therefore on a solution to channel information to target screens or locations seen form a generic perspective .

Proximity detection and digital signage Channels

Within the pilot phase in Zurich, both BeaconZone and Screenery have been used, tested and finalized at different locations and use cases. The question on how to keep the information up to date (example: daily menu in a restaurant or time based promotions) is of course an important and crucial one for such kind of projects.
During the pilot phase, the content has been mostly kept up to date by using the platform management system. Where available via service, content was/is dynamically produced on the fly within the app.

For situations requiring frequent and automated updates of content, we recently extended the set of functionalities and added REST Api’s capabilities to Screenery and BeaconZone.

The following diagram summarizes the approach.

Stacks Image 3235
Existing systems producing output in form of media and/or micro location content, can now directly feed BeaconZone or Screenery via API’s.

The configurable text to speech capabilities added to BeaconZone enables in addition to extend the visual content that may be activated at a given location with audio facilities in different languages.

Besides the strict data feed (and technical) aspects, content to be allocated to a given iBeacon and/or a given target screen may also be bound with a more complex set of rules and conditions arising within an external system.

In other words, and as an example, BeaconZone does not contain decisional marketing models, but can be used in conjunction with such systems by offering and extension and the possibility to reach users via the Digital Signage and/or Beacons channels.

Since driven via API’s, external systems can also drive the point in time when a particular information or message would need to be activated on Beacons or screens.

The philosophy for both BeaconZone and Screenery is therefore not to create content as such but rather to provide an infrastructure targeting beacons and screens.

The following diagram shows an overview of the full platform:
Stacks Image 16751
We believe in cooperation with companies providing professional content and information and wishing to bring it to the right place and at the right point in time.
Since cloud based, the platform is scalable wich means that the strategy of deploying beacons and/or digital signage targets can be done following a progressive extension of the target locations.
who we are
BTC Business Technology Consulting offers high level services since 1998

Large consulting expertise in Analysis, Design and Implementation at large customer site.

Fabio Trentini
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Consulting services and project coaching for IT-Architectures and Strategy in the Web Mobile and Business Service integration areas