Using Digital Signage to Help Serve and Protect

Like other organizations that need to communicate with mass audiences on a daily basis, many U.S. Army garrisons are utilizing a solution made to deliver high-impact, eye-grabbing dynamic content – digital signage.

The Army Recreation Machine Program (ARMP), an Army organization that funds and supports Armed Forces Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation programs, manages a deployment of digital signage on base. The digital signage is used to provide emergency alerts as well as display marketing messages, news programming, and other content for soldiers and their families as they frequent fitness centers, recreational facilities and other common areas on base. The technology enables real-time, relevant communication to keep garrison audiences informed and entertained, with the added benefit of a supplemental advertising revenue stream for the garrison and MWR programs.

Businesses have long understood the value that digital signage can provide by effectively communicating with customers. And today, government agencies at all levels have discovered that digital signage technology utilized to connect businesses to consumers can also be used to inform, serve and protect citizens.

Digital signage is a term for a professional display such as an LCD or plasma screen, or a network of screens, which takes the place of a traditional printed sign and is used to showcase digital media including text, photos, animation or videos. It can be used in a virtually endless amount of settings – both indoor and outdoor – and in numerous applications to communicate with the public.

Just like in private business settings, digital signage can be invaluable in providing good customer service in government facilities. The technology enables the efficient communication of eye-catching messages that can be updated as needed, and multiple displays can be controlled from a single location. It can be used to do everything from calling the next person in line, to providing an interactive map for way-finding in a large facility, to displaying news programming in a restless waiting room. Whether in an Army garrison fitness center, a local department of motor vehicles office or a county health clinic, digital signage also helps to convey a professional, state-of-the-art image to citizens that shows that the organization cares about making their experiences as helpful as possible.

For government organizations, another valuable benefit of digital signage is the ability to effectively broadcast emergency alerts, weather warnings and safety messages to the public. In times of crisis, these alerts often involve communicating time-sensitive information that can change in an instant – a task uniquely suited for digital signage. On military bases, a Department of Defense report has called for mass warning and notification capabilities with the ability to warn all personnel within ten minutes of an emergency, following the 2009 mass shooting atFortHood inTexas. The same timely mass notification capabilities can be crucial in other public gathering spots, such as transit terminals, parks and museums, and large office complexes.

A number of effective and cost-efficient indoor and outdoor digital signage solutions are available for various types of government organizations and their needs. Products like Panasonic’s LF30 Series LCD displays, in 42-inch and 47-inch sizes, are made to serve as full HD digital signage that works in brightly lit indoor settings. For outdoor applications, Panasonic’s LFP30 and LFT30 Series LCD displays both carry Ingress Protection (IP) ratings indicating their resistance to water and dust. Additionally, Panasonic’s LF5 Series, available in July 2012, provides an entry-level, reliable and rugged display for a simple digital signage application. Remember that for professional digital signage applications, it’s important to look for a product built with reliability and return on investment in mind.

For many Americans, the term “digital signage” brings to mind the menu board at a fast food restaurant or an interactive map at a shopping mall. Just like in these businesses, digital signage provides a vital tool for government organizations to communicate with the public in innovative, impactful ways. How do you see this technology used in government organizations?