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DB Digital Signage

Display fillers bring information to our screens

03/2020 – Smart screens, combined with a modular platform, display specific information wherever required – in DB Lounges, in maintenance depots and even on doors!

“DB Digital Signage is all about using displays to provide the right information in the right place for the right situation,” states Michael Dressler, responsible for DB Digital Signage at Deutsche Bahn. With this in mind, the DB Digital Signage team has developed appropriate solutions for a wide range of application scenarios. “We provide the display system for the large screens located in the DB Lounges at railway stations,” confirms Michael Dressler.

This is a much more effective way to communicate content than using traditional noticeboards.

Carsten Müller, DB Fernverkehr AG

While waiting for a train, passengers can obtain information about imminent arrivals and departures from the monitors installed in the DB Lounges. “The core function of such monitors is to display the departures board,” says Carsten Müller, responsible for DB Lounges at DB Fernverkehr AG. “In addition, we feed news into the system or we use it to display our own messages.” These may include, for example, tips on comfort check-in as well as moving images of the food and drinks available on board our trains.
We can also display local content (for example, if a DB Lounge has different opening hours or if engineering works are currently under way in the railway station). “This is a much more effective way to communicate content than using traditional noticeboards,” explains Carsten Müller.

Controlling content as required

The combination of live content in real time (for example, displaying the departures board), the latest information and specific non-time-sensitive content requires a sophisticated Content Management System (CMS) to run in the background and facilitate the centralised, web-based creation and management of the necessary information to be displayed, and then distribute this information to decentrally networked monitors with completely different display options. Any customers who book this service can decide to publish such information automatically, in a time-controlled manner or manually. “The CMS is supplied from a media & content pool and can play content as required – right down to just one specific display,” confirms Michael Dressler.

Displays located in DB Lounges show a combination of live content in real time (for example, displaying the departures board), the latest information and specific non-time-sensitive content

© DB Systel GmbH

DB Immobilien also benefits from the control options relating to content. Here, digital signage is used both for information on large monitors in buildings as well as for digital door displays linked to the DB Group’s Room Reservation System (KRBS). This reservation tool makes its possible to reserve meeting rooms and office space all across Germany. “The DB Group’s Room Reservation System is closely tied to Deutsche Bahn’s office concept of the future. It’s all about how office space will look in the future,” explains Olaf Teichmann from DB Immobilien. “Together with DB Systel GmbH, we had the idea to link KRBS to digital signage.”

Cost savings and less manpower

Today, the highly versatile CMS is also used in digital signage for conference areas and rooms. Highlight: The room occupancy information is not only displayed on door displays. Overviews of the rooms and spaces reserved can also be displayed on large monitors. One example of such use is DB’s new Lister Dreieck building in Hanover. Plans are already under way to roll out this system to other properties and new builds.

The use of displays in conjunction with CMS and Digital Signage displays represents a cost savings and requires less manpower: Since it is no longer necessary to manually label the rooms on site, employees are relieved of this task. “For rooms, we work with e-paper displays. Our main reason for doing so is because they do not require any cumbersome cabling,” explains Olaf Teichmann. The batteries last for approximately four years and the necessary information is transmitted centrally and wirelessly. “We have lots of other ideas in relation to utilising this system elsewhere (for example, as signposts within buildings or to show emergency escape routes).”

Countless possibilities with different models

Digital signage appeals to all segments within the DB Group. The possibilities are endless! Such solutions can be used in any location in which passenger, visitor, employee and guest information needs to be circulated and communicated via monitors in real time. For example, precise information can be disseminated by digital, audio-visual and interactive means. This can take place in maintenance depots, foyers, video rooms, buildings, workshops and lots of other locations.

We have also set our sights on the external market.

Michael Dressler, DB Systel GmbH

Different packages are available to meet the varying needs. The advanced product provides users with the complete service. For example, it enables users to display their own complex animations. Users can also interact with the monitor in such a way that it displays information from a particular category. If, for example, a user is looking for a bakery within the grounds of the railway station, the system displays not only the name and location of the bakery but also uses the wayfinding function to display the route. The light version is a simplified, more cost-efficient system that is used solely to display simple applications and information. Different hardware versions and screen options are available as required (for example, a simple monitor or an interactive touch display).

The perfect foundation for also using digital signage elsewhere: “We are also in talks with DB Travel Centre coordinators and have already implemented a test system there,” confirms Michael Dressler. “We are not only looking at various uses within Deutsche Bahn. We have also set our sights on the external market.”