The software start-up firm RedPost Inc. used the Digital Signage Expo last week at the Las Vegas Convention Center to showcase its new low-cost, easy-to-use, digital sign software and hardware. “We have one simple mission,” said RedPost CEO Eric Kanagy. “To replace bulletin boards with digital signs. To do that, we know we need to keep the cost down and make it almost as easy as posting a flier on a cork-and-wood board.”
“RedPost generated a lot of interest at the Expo, and it confirmed for us that this is a path that digital signs are primed to take,” said Kanagy. “This is not about showing off the latest bells and whistles. It is about making the message, not the medium, the primary focal point.” Using what Kanagy calls proven, off-the-shelf technology, RedPost has developed a low-cost way to link digital signage throughout a “neighborhood” — whether it be actual city blocks, a corporate office, a small town, a retirement village, department store or similar locale. “It’s for real people with ordinary computer skills looking to post ads and other notices in a simple but attractive way,” said Kanagy. “And with our package, they can do this for one half to one fourth the cost of what’s currently available for digital signs. We think there is a lot that digital signs can do to improve communication at the local level.” RedPost is a Web-based system with local users who distribute digital posters to digital signs that the users have placed in public gathering places throughout an immediate area. These neighborhood-based sign owners work with easy-to-use RedPost Corktop software to create, distribute, promote and manage the system through the Internet, relying on Wi-Fi access at the signs’ locations to pick up their neighborhood-specific feed. In this way, RedPost functions as an iTunes-like website through which local businesses and organizations can quickly and easily promote events, exhibits, products and services. These customers or clients essentially submit their electronic poster, which can consist of multiple views, pay for it online, and have it quickly scheduled for the signs’ playlists. “We want grandma to be able to use it for her church social as well as the corporate officer for the company’s headquarters. Museums, campuses, hospitals, retirement villages — there is an endless list of institutions and businesses as well as neighborhood locales that can make great use of this. But the key is keeping it simple, effective and low-cost,” said Kanagy.
Currently a number of institutions and organizations have been engaged as test sites for RedPost. These include: Argonne National Laboratory Leadership Computing Facility Internal Communications, 8 to 12 signs; The Mathematics and Computer Science Division and the Leadership Computing Facility within ANL will place multiple signs around its new and existing facilities to display information such as activity on its supercomputers, upcoming events and other internal communication. Long-term plans include extending the open source Linux software that runs the signs to recognize bluetooth cell phones and communicate customized information to individual users when they’re within range of the signs; Purdue University Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial Affiliates Outreach Program, which is expected to use up to 15 signs to replace bulletin boards in the Electrical Engineering Building; Island of Maui, Hawaii, which will have 40 signs throughout the island of 100,000 people. Located in local grocery and health food stores, coffee shops, restaurants and other venues, the signs’ purpose will be to support local events.
For more information about RedPost, visit www.theredpost.com