OptiSigns IoT Sensor Add-on - Quick Start

OptiSigns IoT Sensor Add-on allows you to use any IoT sensors that work with serial communication to interact with your digital signage screens. With IoT Sensor Addon, you can:

  1. Detect and monitor sensor data about the surroundings, such as people's presence, temperature/humidity, and object lift up /place down. 
  2. Responsively display different content based on the sensor event that was received by the player connected to the screen.
  3. Send commands to other IoT devices to control its behavior, e.g. turn on the atmosphere light, turn on/off the screen monitor.

OptiSigns IoT sensor Add-on requires an Enterprise plan, and it supports Windows, Linux, MacOS, BrightSigns Player, and OptiSigns pre-configured Android Stick.

A wide range of use cases can be supported with IoT sensors.  This YouTube video shows how it supports the lift and learns use cases using the Nexmosphere sensor.

Quick start guide to use OptiSigns IoT Sensor Add-on:

In this guide, we will use a temperature sensor with an Arduino board to demonstrate how it works. The temperature sensor will send data in its format to OptiSigns player through serial communication. The temperature data can be displayed on the screen in real-time, and when the defined condition is met, the screen content will change to show the overheating status. 

To set up the IoT sensor app, we will need:

  1. Set up the serial communication channel.
  2. Set up an IoT sensor Add-on app to define the condition so that the player knows when to change the content.
  3. Activate the IoT sensor on the screen and assign the IoT sensor addon app to it.

From there you can modify the setup to fit your needs.

1. Set up a serial communication channel.

In the admin settings, expand Advanced and go to the External Communications (RS232) page. You can also go the the page using the link below.

Click Add New in the Connections tab to bring up the connection creation page, where you can define the parameters for the serial communication. In this case, we use Braud rate 9600 for the communication with the Arduino board. When working with Nexmosphere sensors, the baud rate is always 115200.

Save the connection once the configuration is complete and then it is ready for use. Please note, different systems will organize the serial port differently, on windows, it is normally like "COM3", whereas on Linux, it is normally like "/dev/ttyUSB0" or "/dev/ttyACM0". On Brightsigns player, it is normally "1" or "2". On OptiSigns pre-configured Android sticks, you can put "USB0" there.

Also note, that both the Arduino board and Nexmosphere controller use a USB port, please make sure the media player you use comes with a USB port.

2. Set up IoT sensor Add-on app

The IoT sensor app is only available with the enterprise plan, to use it you will need to contact OptiSigns support team to upgrade to the enterprise plan. After that, you can select the app and bring up the app configuration page.

You can see how the asset is set up:

  • Play for at least: when triggered, the app will play the content corresponding to the play rule for at least X seconds. (Default is 3s)
  • Rest for: when the triggering condition is not met, the device will resume playing the content assigned to it for at least X seconds (Default is 3s) 

We recommend keeping Play for at least and Rest for at 3s, to give a smooth feeling experience when in cases the triggering events are received and met frequently.

  • Play rules: set content you want to play corresponding to the trigger event: i.e. you received a specific code from the sensor. In this case, when the serial command received from the sensor is "TOOHOT30", it will play the asset "Heat Sensor - Overheat State". 

Depending on the use cases, there are 2 more optional settings available. 

  • Commands: if you need to send out commands to sensors instead of just receiving commands from sensors, you can use this option to achieve it. For example, when you receive an overheated status from the heat sensor, instead of just showing the warning on the screen, you also want to send commands to turn on a warning light, you can specify the commands you need to send out here.
  • "</>" - processing rule: In the case, that the sensor is sending you data following a certain standard and you will need to process the value to determine the triggering event, you can use the processing rules to achieve it. The processing rule is just a Javascript-based function, where you can apply the needed logic to process the incoming command and derive the needed result. In this example, the Arduino board will send the temperature data from the sensor in a string, the processing rule will extract the temperature value and determine when the "TOOHOT30" command will be returned to trigger the event.

3. Assign the IoT sensor Add-on app to the screen

After the above steps, go to Screen Management, and click Edit the screen to you want to add this Add-on to.

Click Advanced -> More IoT Sensor Add-on Activate.

On the screen, you should also select the standard content that should be played on the screen in the normal, in this case, we use the "Heat Sensor - Normal" asset that displays the standard content and also data from the temperature sensor in real time.

Once the IoT Sensor Addon is activated, you can assign the IoT Sensor Add-on app that was created earlier, in this case, it is called "Sensor". Also select the sensor connection that was created in the first step, in this case, it is "Arduino - Win". Since we are only receiving commands from sensors, we will leave the sensor commands template as "None".

Now you have completed all the needed configurations to use the IoT sensors addon, just connect the sensors and controller to your screen(media player), and then you are ready to go.

In this case, the screen will play the standard content like the one on the left with real-time data from the temperature sensor, and when the temperature surpasses 30 degrees Celsius, it will trigger the overheated content on the screen like the one on the right. 

That's all!

This is how you can use OptiSigns IoT Sensor Add-on.


If you have any additional questions, concerns, or any feedback about OptiSigns, feel free to reach out to our support team at support@optisigns.com