If you spend anytime working with WordPress and the roughly bazillion commercial themes available to buy and use, you’ve almost certainly come across a plugin in called Revolution Slider.
It’s functionality that slides visuals and text onto, usually, the top parts of website, so that a series of messages get cycled through in a rotation, based on timing. That bears similarities to what’s done with scheduling for the sorts of straight-forward presentations that are used on many to most signage networks.
So it makes some sense that just like WordPress as a content management system is now being used to also drive digital signage, one of the most popular commercial plugins for WordPress would also get tweaked and adopted for the signage market.
A London, UK-based startup called SmartContent TV has started marketing a platform a platform developed by ThemePunch, the Cologne, Germany development shop that built, supports and updates Revolution Slider. More than 175,000 licenses of that slider have been sold just off one online marketplace.
David Douglas-Beveridge, the co-founder of SmartContent, says the product was developed over the past year, and after ironing out some final wrinkles, the website is live and people are invited to try it out for free for 14 days. Commercial accounts are $10/month USD.
The product is, not surprisingly, very much built around web technologies and services, and has a web-based editor and design studio. I’ve not used Revolution Slider in a while, but what I remember of it was that there was a lot going on inside that plug-in when it came to settings, animations, timelines, layered video and so on.
The company plans to add a marketplace that will sell templates and added functionality.
One of the reasons this is interesting is that it’s another case in which content developers who work outside the digital signage bubble can, with this, develop a signage application for a client and drop it the URL on something like a “smart” display or HTML5 player and never need to learn and pay for a conventional signage CMS. They can pretty much stay in their WordPress world and use a version a slider they already know.
This is a screenshot of Revolution Slider, not Smart Content, but it’s a reasonable assumption they’ll at the very least be similar.
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He’s based near Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast.