Centralizing a Digital Signage Network Can Save Lives in Campus Emergencies

After the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 the recent National Campus Safety and Security Project survey found that electronic communications are now an important way to disseminate safety information. Yet most colleges and universities still don't have a single, centralized digital signage network to contact staff and students campus-wide.

According to Digital Signage Resource, the digital signage market in America stands at over $800 million. Within that, the education market is a massive growth area - more and more schools, Colleges and Universities are looking to digital signage networks as a way to communicate with staff and students over wide spread campus communities.

One of the key reasons why educational institutions are using digital signage is because it provides them with a campus emergency notification system. Large plasma screens, placed prominently in public places, are a highly effective way to alert students - over a wide geographic area - of a potentially dangerous situation, informing them where to assemble, and where not to go.

Yet too many colleges and universities don't have a single, centralized digital signage network: their digital signage installations have been piece-meal and separate faculties have often been left in charge of implementing their own network. As a result, the same emergency message cannot be sent to every single screen across the campus, at exactly the same time. It would take many precious minutes to upload the same, consistent alert to the multiple networks and the consequences could be disasterous.

Blake Reeves, Education Broadcast Media expert at Capital Networks Limited, (CNL) believes that colleges and universities are often unaware of the gaps in their digital signage networks - and that institutions who are in the process of installing or upgrading their digital signs, need to ensure they have complete control over their network through a centralized system and open technology that can integrate with outside sources.

CNL has put together a positioning paper that looks in more detail at the critical subject of digital signage as an emergency notification system for the education market. If you'd be interested in seeing the full article, which looks in detail at the issues and solutions surrounding campus safety and security, please visit www.iba-international.com/media/CAP003usSecurityComment1.pdf