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News and information related to Catalyst products and services.

Timing is everything, or at least goes a long way towards making a digital signage deployment successful. Concise, engaging content is of course very important, but equally important is getting that content in front of your audience at the right time.

Zapier automation for real-time triggers

The Revel Digital CMS includes a wide range of smart scheduling tools available for precise targeting of content based on various conditions including geo-location, face detection, motion sensing, etc. New to the mix is our recent integration with Zapier. Zapier is an automation tool with hooks into most any web based service platform you can think of such as Slack, Mail Chimp, and Google Calendar. With Zapier it's possible to not only trigger digital signage content in real-time, but also modify content with data provided by the trigger itself.

This works by utilizing a condition available to Revel's Smart Scheduling engine known as a command. Commands can be generated in a number of ways including our REST API, player script, or in this case using Zapier.

The command will provide the trigger for inclusion of a media item within a playlist, but may also be utilized by the player to modify runtime behaviors or content. With the Revel Digital Zapier integration, it's now possible to automate the delivery of a command to your digital signage players based on any of the thousands of apps available in the Zapier library.

Let's check out a few examples

A simple example is triggering content based on a weather condition. In this case we want to include certain content in our playlist only when it's forecast for rain. We won't detail the entire integration procedure here, but there is a complete walkthrough available on our support site here:

https://support.reveldigital.com/hc/en-us/articles/360061984171-Zapier-Automation

From the Zapier account homepage you can search the available apps and get an idea of what's possible. For our weather example we can utilize the Weather by Zapier app along with our Revel Digital app as shown in the screenshot here.


In this case the Zap will be configured to send the command weather with the argument rain. We can then add a schedule condition to any item in our playlist with those parameters and we are done. Only when the player receives this command will it play the media item with this condition.



#Slack messages for the masses

Another great example is using Zapier to trigger and modify content in real-time. In this example we can use the Slack Zapier app along with our Text template gadget.

Say for example you have a corporate Slack channel and any messages in this channel are to be displayed on the corporate signage network. Easy enough, just use the 'New Message Posted to Channel' event to trigger a command. 

The message body from Slack will be used to update the Text zone within your signage template!



Thousands of automation possibilities

There are more than 3000 partner apps available on Zapier, any of which can be used in combination with the Revel Digital app in some form or another. Head over to zapier.com to check them out!


We've recently made some changes to our automated alerts functionality affecting which devices are targeted depending on your configuration. In the original configuration all devices were targeted by default with the ability to exclude specific devices. The new configuration tool has a toggle for selecting all devices, with the ability to target specific devices if necessary. We've also added the ability to create multiple sets of configurations. This allows or more fine grained control over which devices receive which alerts, as well as the ability to suspend alerts if necessary. 


Improved automated alerts tool allows for more than one configuration

If you are currently using the Automated Alerts functionality we suggest you review your configuration for accuracy. Please contact us with any questions or for assistance.

Revel Digital now has native support for the Geniatech APC390R, an Android based mini PC with the capability of accepting HDMI input for picture-in-picture functionality. This allows for seamless integration of an external video source, such as live TV, directly within your digital signage. Most any HDMI v2.0 audio/video device is compatible such as a DVD player, cable/set-top box, satellite dish, game console, camcorder, security camera, PC, etc.


Embed any live video source


The video is treated as any other type of content zone within the Revel Digital template designer which allows you to be as creative as you like with your content. A common use case for this type of functionality is framing the video with contextual information or advertising.


Geniatech APC390R with HDMI input

The process of adding the HDMI video to your digital signage is very simple. Just add a TV Tuner zone to any template, select HDMI as the input type, then position and size the zone as needed. Then get creative by embellishing with other content such as slideshows, marquees, date/time, gadgets, backgrounds, overlays, etc.

Add an HDMI TV zone to your template

In order to utilize the HDMI input it's necessary to install a special build of our Android player APK. For more information on downloading and installation please see our KB article here:


Continuing to improve on our collection of gadgets, we have just added three brand new options.

All of these are available now in the Gadget gallery!

Instagram App

Animated collage of Instagram posts with the ability to display from 1 to 6 images at once.

News App

Improved RSS/Atom based news feed app with over 50+ news source options.

Clock App

Basic Date/Time clock with up to 5 additional time zones displayed.


Have a suggestion? We are always happy to hear your feedback. Contact us here.

It's now possible to send commands to your devices via SMS text messaging. This is a simple and convenient method for instantly triggering new content without requiring access to the CMS. To ensure security, only originating phone numbers configured in your account will be allowed access. It's also possible to restrict sending to specific devices.

SMS to device command messaging

An important use for this feature would be for a time sensitive alert message requiring a method for instant activation. For example, the command 'fire activate', could be used to trigger a fire alarm template immediately when texted. Our Smart Scheduling capability provides complete flexibility in defining how commands are handled. A Smart Schedule can be defined to override any existing schedules so there is no impact on your current scheduling. Commands can also be utilized within template scripting for more advanced functionality.

Check out our KB article for help getting started:

https://support.reveldigital.com/hc/en-us/articles/360056401931-Sending-commands-via-SMS-text-messaging-


Two new gadgets are now available for weather and calendar of events. Both gadgets are fully localized supporting 60+ locales. The new events gadget supports any iCal feed which is a standard format for sharing calendar data. Both Outlook and Google Calendar have support for exporting to iCal feeds. Please refer to our KB article for help with obtaining an iCal link for your calendar: https://support.reveldigital.com/hc/en-us/articles/360056082411-iCal-Calendar-Feed-HOWTO.

The new weather app displays current conditions along with daily and extended forecasts in rotation. New modern icons and the ability to style the gadget with custom Google Fonts provides a fresh alternative to our existing weather gadgets.


New weather app gadget with current and 3 day forecast
New weather app gadget with current and 3 day forecast


The new events calendar includes two different layouts to accommodate various template designs and screen sizes. As with the weather, this gadget also supports custom styling with Google Fonts. Automatic scrolling can be enabled with options for scroll speed and for limiting the number of events to display.


Large format layout

Tabular layout

Localization is enabled by default. Simply setting the language in either the device or account settings will determine the date and time formats displayed by both gadgets. Calendar dates and times will also take into consideration the device specific time zone, automatically adjusting based on the calendar time zone (if specified).

You will find the new gadgets in both the template editor, as well as the gadget creator in the media section of the CMS.