“Even the most thorough disaster preparation can be rendered useless without the ability to quickly and automatically alert people to the danger at hand,” says Nanxi Liu, CEO of Enplug. “Our collaboration with Alertus gives Enplug users an effective way to use their digital signage networks not only to inform and entertain, but also to protect their customers, students and colleagues in the event of an emergency.”
My experience and some Googling suggests while Enplug is not the first to do this kind of integration, I think it remains relatively rare in terms of functionality marketed by CMS providers. Which I think is odd, given how many companies chase business in corporate, education, health care and mass transport settings.
Visix, Hypersign and RiseVision support this, and probably some others …
The Alertus Mass Notification System pushes out alerts for things like hairy weather or active shooters, and set up the right way can do things like override what’s on a screen and add things like audio warnings.
“Digital displays are increasingly common in a variety of corporate, academic and government settings, making digital signage one of the most effective ways to alert people and keep them safe as dangerous situations unfold,” says Amanda Sassano, Director of Commercial Sales at Alertus. “Opening up our emergency notification system to users on the Enplug platform extends our reach into an important segment of the digital signage market, and gives those users an easy way to keep viewers safe when disaster strikes.”
Enplug’s set-up, as with other kinds of template-driven functions, is based around an app in its content store or toolset.
To take advantage of this integration, the company says, existing Alertus users simply activate the Emergency Alert App in the Enplug dashboard and copy the URL displayed. The user would then log into their Alertus account and use the provided URL to configure a new Alert Profile. In the event of manmade and/or natural disaster, Alertus notifications are pushed into Enplug’s Emergency Alert App. The alert messages, which include text and images, override default content in the Enplug playlist and instantly appear across a signage network.
Given all the nuttiness out there these days – and let’s just leave it at that – having functionality that deals with increasingly volatile weather and increasingly volatile members of the public, functionality that provides early warning and possibly saves lives no longer strikes me as a nice to have thing for network operators.
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.