May 25, 2011

Mix-and-match software for digital signage and kiosks

Acquire and Neil Farr expanding into US and also offering wide range of options on their software.

Mix-and-match software for digital signage and kiosks |

Leicester, U.K.-based Working Solutions is taking a novel, mix-and-match approach to its digital signage and kiosk software.

Rather than just offering different levels of functionality pre-packaged at different price points, Working Solutions is offering a smorgasbord of plug-ins from which clients can pick and choose. The company is also working with third-party providers to create new plug-ins and added functionality.

Working Solutions, well known in Europe, is working to expand its reach and brand awareness in the United States, Working Solutions CEO Neil Farr said in a recent telephone interview from Leicester.

The company has been crafting new versions of its workhorse software solution, Acquire, meant to allow clients to fit the solution to their needs, rather than the other way around.

Clients wanting the full range of options can still buy the Acquire Premier Editor Suite, but the company also offers Acquire Editor, Acquire Hybrid, Acquire SOLO and the Signage2Go solutions.

These solutions offer the usual range of different levels of functionality, from standalone to networked, and even the ability to create a hybrid SaaS/signage application solution.

But perhaps most interesting, the company offers the ability to buy or rent the basic version of the Editor suite and then purchase, create or have created plug-ins as needed.

"It gives you the ability to say you've got a technology ... that allows you to basically say in three months time when I want to do something extra I'm not then artificially restrained by the what the functionality is in the solution I purchased," Farr said. "It means that you can go ahead and either choose one of the plug-ins and start utilizing it, or if there's something custom that you want developed you can either develop it yourselves or, because it's a plug-in driven system, we can build a plug in custom for you. So its very, very flexible."

The company also has been partnering with third parties to create new plug-ins and add-ons for its software suites, after deciding it could either build them in-house or work with partners who are already experts in that particular area. Working Solutions has partnered with third-party solution providers like AccuWeather, for weather updates; 3D Impact Media for dual 3-D and 2-D content on screens; Nemo-Q, for queuing solutions; and Quividi, for its audience-measurement package, allowing deployers to adjust their content depending on who's standing in front of the screen.

Working Solutions had in the past created its own facial-recognition audience tracking platform, but working with a third party whose expertise is in that field leverages that expertise but also provides another level of assurance, Farr said. The software is used to adjust content but also to provide reporting stats to network customers, and having a third party's software used for that purpose lends added credence and validity to the reporting, he said.

"If we're all doing that ourselves, well we do digital signage, of course we're going to say you've got 10 million people looking at it; whereas these third parties are more believable because that's their focus. If they make up their figures then they'll be out of business tomorrow," he said. "So it adds value, not just because it creates an easier-to-use solution, but because the features are something you can believe in and trust in."

Mix-and-match software for digital signage and kiosks |

Posted by staff at May 25, 2011 11:31 AM