Flypaper's digital signage content creation suite adds interactive tools

October 6, 2010 by Dave Haynes

One of the companies I made a point seeing at Digital Signage Expo earlier this year was Phoenix-based Flypaper Studio, which has a Flash and motion graphics creation tool that it was just starting to angle into this sector.

I’d been watching the company for a while, but this was the first sign of the guys really stepping firmly into the space. The demo I saw was a little underwhelming, probably because I thought there’d be more to it. But the company has indeed been sticking with it, and as they have increased their PR volume and built up some partnerships, they’ve also added a lot of capabilities.

The new release, version 3.3, has a suite of multi-touch features that let digital signage network operators easily activate the sorts of bells and whistles that people think are so cool on iPads and are increasingly expecting to find on any interactive surface.

The newest multi-touch features, including the ability to slide, swipe and flick at all components on a screen, allow companies to do cooler things with digital signage, and do them more affordably and in significantly less time.

“The demand for digital signage is growing so exponentially, that companies are struggling to keep up and continually improve on the content itself. Flypaper is working tirelessly to stay ahead of the curve and give digital signage network owners and operators more options for creating killer content,” said Don Pierson, founder and president of Flypaper. “Multi-touch is the latest functionality that everyone is looking to incorporate, and this latest version of Flypaper helps showcase it beautifully.”

Flypaper’s Version 3.3 has several new features and updates aimed at making the customer experience with digital signage more interactive. New components that are especially powerful for kiosk displays include a virtual keyboard, a timer that kicks in during periods of inactivity, and a print button. Gesture support has been added to all components so users can slide, swipe and flick the display, making it a more engaging experience. Developers can also now add in Media RSS feeds and scrollers, run video within text, and input real-time weather data. In total, Flypaper added nearly 40 new features, updates and enhancements to version 3.3.

Flypaper describes the product as “a licensed environment where companies can create and share vast amounts of digital signage content and motion graphics. Users benefit from hundreds of already available templates and components, or can create their own quickly and easily, with no prior development experience.”

In the right hands, content creation tools and templates that speed up production are a great thing, and something like Flypaper gives network operators more capability to keep their content fresh and interesting, as well as deliver work that DOESN”T need to be done by someone with Flash Actionscripting skills.

The big caveat here, however, is that just because you have the toolset doesn’t make you good at using those tools.

Great creative comes from creative people. We’ve all suffered through Powerpoint and Keynote presentations from people who discovered the Effects tools and then went to town with them. Same applies here. Stuff like Flypaper will work well if the people using it are already motion graphic designers or have creative ideas and skills.

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