Catalyst Blog

News and information related to Catalyst products and services.

Control your signage with the Amazon Echo
Announcing support for the Amazon Echo for controlling and monitoring your digital signage and kiosk displays with voice. Using the new Alexa Skill for Revel Digital you can send commands or get the current status of any device in your account. With our Smart Scheduling it's easy to create voice activated content useful for kiosk experiences or for simply managing your content on the fly without having to login. With the Alexa app for Android and iOS it's even possible to view a screenshot of currently running content along with the player status.

For example, to trigger content you could say,

"Ask my signage to show weather on lobby screen." 

This would send the command 'weather' to the player in your account named 'lobby screen'.  Another example,

"Ask my signage to tell me the status of lobby screen".

Again, the player is named 'lobby screen', and Alexa will enunciate the current status of the player, as well as send a current screenshot to your Alexa app. For more advanced usage it's possible to utilize the command in player script in order to achieve virtually any level of funtionality.

Please see our KB article for an example of triggering content with your Echo: http://support.reveldigital.com/kb/advanced-topics/amazon-echo-integration
We've introduced two new reports for detailed camera and beacon based audience analysis. These reports work in tandem with AdHawk which is our collection of tools for audience analytics and provide more detailed information on not only impressions by device, but also a breakdown of impressions by media. This means it's now possible to determine the viewership of a specific media item which is a powerful new capability. For example, you need to determine how many people actually looked at a particular advertisement in rotation in your playlist. Not only will you be able to determine the number of true impressions, but also age and gender metrics associated with those impressions.
Audience analysis by media
The screenshot above shows the Media Impressions report generated for the media item titled $5 Off Any Haircut. We get the total number of impressions (views) at 11, and also a breakdown of age/gender for those impressions.

The second report we've added provides the details of the point-in-time impressions with timestamp and viewer metrics. The report also includes useful charts for determining active time of day and engagement.

Impressions Detail

These reports are available in the standard Reports section of your RevelDigital account, however they are only applicable for AdHawk enabled devices (camera or beacon enabled) and must be in the Plus pricing tier (Professional+ or Enterprise+). For more information on getting started with AdHawk and our suite of audience measurement tools please contact us.

We've added new Facebook and Twitter gadgets better suited for displaying your photos. Any attached photo in your post or tweet will be prominently displayed left of the post details. This gadget has the ability to fade or slide and supports swipe gestures for interactive kiosk applications. The new gadgets are called Facebook Photo and Twitter Photo and are listed along with the other stock gadgets in the template editor. Just add a Gadget zone then select the new gadgets from the drop-down list.

Remember to link or re-link your Facebook and/or Twitter profiles to your RevelDigital account as described here: http://support.reveldigital.com/kb/advanced-topics/facebook-integration


Instagram has implemented some changes to their API which affect our integration and will require updating any of your templates currently using the Instagram gadget. Going forward Instagram will not allow referencing content from any account other than your own. We have added an option to the Instagram gadget called 'My most recent posts' and deprecated all other options. It's also recommended to un-link your Instagram account from your RevelDigital account and then re-link following the instructions in your KB article here: http://support.reveldigital.com/kb/advanced-topics/instagram-howto

Sorry for the inconvenience and we will continue to work with Instagram on getting more of the content features re-implemented if at all possible.
The ability to embed external video in digital signage is a powerful feature with a number of use cases. Waiting rooms or lobbies, for example, might have two separate displays for digital signage and live TV. In these cases it would be more cost effective to utilize a single display and embed the TV directly into the signage.


RevelDigital provides a simple means to achieve this functionality without breaking the bank. The only requirement is an Android based PC with HDMI input. Compatible devices are available through us, so just contact us for more information. Enabling live TV in your digital signage template is as easy as adding a TV zone and selecting HDMI as the input type. Most any HDMI source will work including output from DVD players, Cable/Satellite boxes, CCTV, etc.

See our KB article for information here: http://support.reveldigital.com/kb/incorporating-tv-into-digital-signage/picture-in-picture-embedding-external-video-in-a-template
Here's a requirement we see a lot of, the need to utilize a common template across a display network but with small location specific changes. The simple solution would be to just copy and customize the template for each location. Managing this solution however does not scale well since it requires not only keeping track of multiple templates but also scheduling each template to it's respective player. A better solution is to use template variables.

A variable is just that, a placeholder for a value which can change. A variable can be used just about anywhere in your template, including scripting, and allows you to inject values from outside of the template. This means you can now create a single generic template which automatically gets customized to the device once deployed.

We provide an example of creating a generic template playlist which uses the device tags to define the variable. The variable in this example is the device location which is then used to populate the weather gadget. In most cases you would just use Merge Tags to populate the weather, but this example is specifically about using variables which is a more generic approach.

For more information please check out KB article here:
http://support.reveldigital.com/kb/advanced-topics/variables-and-generic-templates