Digital signage is already a vital tool for retailers, boosting sales by up to 33 percent. Now businesses can make their signage even more effective with Intel® Retail Client Manager (Intel® RCM). This updated content management system (CMS) adds features including:
- Remote Control, for browser-based management of both ad content and signage hardware
- Audience Analytics, which enables signs to sense their audience, deliver custom messages, and measure the results
- Localization, with new support for Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, German and Portuguese
These new features can help boost sales, cut costs, and simplify operations. Best of all, it’s easy to get started with Intel RCM thanks to support from Arrow, Avnet, and Seneca, all Associate members of the Intel® Internet of Things Solutions Alliance (Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance).
Before we get into the new features, a quick review of Intel RCM is in order. As shown in Figure 1, the basic components include:
- Intel® RCM Campaign Manager, for creating and updating content
- Intel® RCM Service, which distributes content and stores all related information (such as play history)
- Intel® RCM Player, which displays content on the screen
Together, these components enable non-technical personnel to create, distribute, and manage multiple campaigns across digital signage, kiosks, and point-of-sale (POS) terminals, and other digital touch points. (See our earlier coverage for more details.)
Figure 1. Intel RCM enables distribution across a network.
With that background in mind, let’s take a peek at the new features:
The new Remote Control interface gives operators have a number of “in-band management” capabilities. Most notably, they can watch what is playing on up to six screens in real time (Figure 2). Operators can also remotely power off or restart a media player, or take direct control of any player. For platforms equipped with Intel® Active Management Technology (Intel® AMT), operators can also exercise “out-of-band management” functions like waking up a device or resetting the BIOS.
Figure 2. Remote Control employs a browser-based interface.
These remote management tools can be a major money saver. According to Global Retail Insights (an IDC Company), remote management can reduce support costs by approximately $400 per device per year. What’s more, these tools can reduce downtime by enabling remote technicians to troubleshoot malfunctioning screens – thus ensuring that audiences get maximum exposure to ad campaigns.
Intel® RCM Audience Analytics
One of the main advantages of digital signage is its flexibility. A given sign can support many different campaigns, switching between campaigns as needed to meet various business goals.
The new Audience Analytics feature in Intel RCM takes full advantage of this flexibility by allowing signs to adapt to the audience. When a sign is paired with a digital camera, Audience Analytics can detect audience demographics like gender and age, allowing digital touch points to deliver the most relevant message to audience at hand. For example, a sign could advertise sport drinks to young males and diet soda to mature women.
Just as importantly, Audience Analytics enables a sign to measure the success of each campaign. Specifically, the software can measure interactions including dwell time, time of day, and viewed content. Figure 3 illustrates how this data can be used to evaluate the success of different campaigns.
Figure 3. Audience Analytics can measure views and dwell time.
It is worth noting that most of the new capabilities in Intel RCM were previously available in separate product offerings. For example, the features of Audience Analytics were offered in the Intel® Audience Impression Metrics Suite (Intel® AIM Suite). However, Intel RCM better integrates these features and improves the user experience, makes signage networks easier to control, analyze, and maintain.
Getting Started with Intel® RCM
Intel RCM is available from Arrow, Avnet, and Seneca, as well as a variety of other distributors. In addition to offering Intel RCM as stand-alone software, several distributors are pre-packaging it with media players for easier deployment. A good example of this latter approach is the Seneca HDN illustrated in Figure 4. This small form factor media player offers a turnkey signage solution with features including:
- High-performance, low-power 3rd or 4th generation Intel® Core™ processors
- Support for Intel® AMT (and thus support for the full suite of Remote Control features)
- Front USB port to expand I/O capability and simplified servicing
- Serial port for central management and monitor control
- Enhanced thermal efficiencies for extreme environments
Figure 4. The Seneca HDN is a turnkey media player.
Many other players have been bundled with Intel RCM, or certified for use with Intel RCM. For a full list, see the Solutions Directory. Here you will find solution for small signs, large, signs, and even multi-screen installations. And as always, don’t hesitate to contact me for more details!
Contact featured member:
Solutions in this blog:
Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® IoT Solutions Alliance
Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine
Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston