Smoke Signal Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Struggling to understand what Smoke Signal is? Hopefully these FAQs will clear the mist…

Smoke Signal is a next generation digital signage solution, created by 20/20 Productions. We replace printable signage such as wayfinding, general information or PowerPoint slides with dynamic digital media displayed on screens.

The signal is output from what we call ‘Beacons’ - small device computers that attach to your plasma/projector via HDMI, VGA or DVI.

For more information see our ‘Implementation and support’ section.

PowerPoint is a great tool for conveying information, but it’s impractical for unmanned stations, playing looped information.

However, the biggest downfall is editing. We all know that the one constant in the events industry is that things can change in an instant. Editing content in live situations often means plugging in keyboards and dealing with time pressures to make those changes. Even if you are able to use a holding slide, you often cannot communicate with your audience until updates are done.

Smoke Signal has been designed to fix this problem. As content is editable via our Smoke Signal system platform, making changes to content, ordering, on-screen timing and moderation, is as easy as pressing a button. So the digital signage at your three-day event can be left untouched, and can be changed or updated remotely.

Smoke Signal also handles dynamic data; Twitter streams and much, much more, without using a lot of bandwidth.

Smoke Signal requires only one component – Internet access; that’s it! We’ve programmed Smoke Signal so that it continues to play, even when offline. It also functions if you have a weaker connection however, downloading content to update can be slower.

In certain circumstances, yes. For locations we’re less familiar with, we need to assess Internet access, secure private venue Wi-Fi connectivity and confirm if we’d need to provide any additional kit; plasma/LCD screens, projectors or graphic walls, for instance. This will be advised at the time of your initial request.

We do, however, provide our own Smoke Signal kit, so on event days, our technician will be available to set-up and provide assistance, as well as update and moderate content.

As well as all the features mentioned on the features page, we are always on the lookout for opportunities to further-develop Smoke Signal, and we love a challenge. If there’s something you need our product to do, let us know, and we’ll see if it’s possible.

Smoke Signal is a next generation digital signage solution, created by 20/20 Productions. We replace printable signage such as wayfinding, general information or PowerPoint slides with dynamic digital media displayed on screens.

The signal is output from what we call ‘Beacons’ - small device computers that attach to your plasma/projector via HDMI, VGA or DVI.

For more information see our ‘Implementation and support’ section.

Some events now utilise event apps. Smoke Signal is a web-based platform so, if your app provider is open to third party communication, we can link the two together, depending on what information is required.

This does mean your event app provider needs to supply an API (Application Programming Interface) to facilitate this communication.

For more information on this, please contact our support team.

Smoke Signal is the end point of a communication path, so there are currently no plans to introduce an API (Application Programming Interface).

If you’re not that familiar with Twitter, and you’re worried about security, you’ve come to the right question. Twitter is, by nature, an open sharing platform. If you don’t want your event information/conversation made public, Twitter is not the tool for you. We’re currently working on a new solution to allow private audience communications, but is separate from the Twitter platform. For more information on this, please contact our support team.

We use two forms of communication with Twitter:

Trends

You create a #yourhashtag to be disseminated through your event or pre-event literature (or we can use an existing one, if you have created one). Your audience (with access to Twitter) can then utilise this #yourhashtag to engage with each other.

This allows for an open communication between any users that are using the hashtag trend.

Profile feeds

We pull your Twitter handler feed (@SmokeSignalSCRN, for example), so all your tweets are displayed via Smoke Signal, however, this only allows a one-way communication. Profile feeds can be made private and this is the only way you can have security using Twitter.

Yes, we’ve built two options:

Obscenity filter

We set up all tweets to come to the beacon devices through an obscenity filter, so it doesn't display tweets from ‘naughty’ users.

Moderation

As well as the obscenity filter, we’ve built a moderation tool, allowing you to pick and choose which tweets appear on screen.

We can provide Twitter activity reports following your event.

20/20 Productions is a creative agency, formed in Edinburgh in 1990. For the past 25 years we have been providing communications solutions for our clients.

We have become a major international player with a unique service portfolio of services encompassing Creative, Digital, Film & Events and have locations in Edinburgh, San Francisco and, most recently, Dubai.

Smoke Signal is one of three digital products we’ve developed. The others being Control Tower™; a bespoke Content Management System and DelegateManager™; a customisable event registration system.

Click the links below to find out more about these products.

Click the link below to find out more about 20/20 Productions.

Interested in using Smoke Signal?