This project began with a comprehensive Design Specification, developed by B-Three through an intensive process of interaction with the client firm. The document describes a digital media tool that provides information in public places through digital signage. The content of the digital sign can include advertising.
The product differs from typical digital signage, because it utilizes advanced technology to provide much greater flexibility and adaptive control in message and content. From anywhere in the world, message and content can be controlled via the Internet.
As described in the Specification, the digital content can come from different sources, and the tool can mix together – on the same screen at the same time – different types of content, such as photo, image, data, or animation.
In conjunction with the work on the first draft of the Specification, B-Three developed a prototype of the application, as it was described in the document. This proof-of-concept initiative demonstrated the feasibility of the proposed solution. The document was then refined into the final Design Specification.
After the Specification was reviewed and approved by the client firm, B-Three put together a project plan and a detailed list of deliverables, as part of a fixed-fee proposal for implementing the solution described in the Specification. The proposal was accepted, and development began immediately.
Each client unit running the application includes a local MySQL database, a loader application to populate or update the database, and a main application to display the content to the screen. These applications were developed in C#.
The content is displayed as a series of “slides” that are assembled from components such as images, movies, clocks, and RSS feeds. The main application includes a wide range of features that control the appearance, timing, and display sequence of the “slides.”
Another important component of the digital signage system is the Administrative Portal, a web interface designed to allow an administrator to manage much of the basic functionality of the client machines that are connected to their server. The Administrative Portal was developed in PHP.
Working closely with the client, B-Three put the system through a systematic series of tests, in order to verify that it could smoothly handle the full range of content and operations, as outlined in the Specification. At the same time, B-Three assembled a comprehensive user manual, covering all of the system’s capabilities. The manual includes step‑by-step instructions (with examples) for managing content, executing administrative functions, and performing standard maintenance and support operations.
The project was completed on time, for the fixed fee that was specified in the contract. The production rollout was completed smoothly, and the digital signage system will soon be in operation at a number of locations around the world.