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Geo-fencing Conditional Play: what it is and how to use it.
Geo-fencing Conditional Play: what it is and how to use it.

Here's how the Geo-fencing conditional play feature works and how you can set it up for various uses.

Drew Harding avatar
Written by Drew Harding
Updated over a week ago

Geo-fencing conditional play allows you to specify a radius of a location for when content is valid to play. If a device is located within that area, the content is valid to play.

This feature can be used in a different ways such as:

  • Fixed installations for example targeting content to all devices in offices located in London, UK

  • Content that changes as the device(s) travel in and out of specific areas such as screens on Public Transport for advertising and information

Understanding the different methods of using the Geo-fencing conditional play feature:

There are a few different methods of using the location for the Geo-fencing conditional play feature. Below we've outlined the different methods which can be applied by platform and function:

  1. Geo-fencing conditional play can be used on any device, to target content by its radius of a location. This method uses the location of the device that is set in the device edit page and is best suited to targeting content to devices in a fixed location i.e. London office devices. To update a device location, you must enter the location in the Geolocation field and then publish content to the device.

  2. If you're using a platform that supports automatic geolocation in embed (iOS or Android with location services enabled) you can use this feature to activate content as a device changes location. When the device first connects to embed and it successfully geolocates, the location for the device will continue to update based on the locations services of the device (combination of GPS, WiFi and Mobile signal to locate). This method will use the on-going location for the device (taken every 60s) to check if content is valid to play. It will also update the device location on the embed devices page if it is connected.

  3. For the most precise method of the Geo-fencing feature, this is done on a device that uses the external communications plugin to connect an external GPS device (Platforms include Windows, BrightSign, macOS). Once external GPS hardware has been setup, you are able to set the embed device to use the external GPS hardware for the Geo-fencing location data. This method will update the location constantly via external comms on the device and will use the most up to date location data received for the geo-fencing conditional play checks.

How to use the Geo-fencing conditional play feature with content:

To add the feature to content you enable it via the conditional play function on any page, zone or playlist item. Conditional play checks every time an item is loaded (i.e. when a playlist item loads) and for pages / zones, there is a regular conditional play check (every 10s) to see what is valid to play.

On a page, zone or playlist item go to the conditional play option. Then configure your rules based on what you want to set the radius + location as:

  • Rule = Geo-fencing

  • Location = enter the address (City, Town, Street, Postcode, Zip etc) then hit 'Find address'. You can also enter the longitude and latitude if known.

  • Radius = Enter a distance (can be decimal places for increments) and choose a value of either Miles or Kilometres. As an example for 200m radius, enter 0.2 Kilometres.

How to connect an external GPS device via External Communications plugin for Windows, macOS and BrightSign devices:

To setup a GPS receiver with a BrightSign, Windows or macOS device you first need to go the External Communications plugin area. If you do not have this on your account, contact us and we can get that added to your account (no extra cost).

In the External Communications plugin area and click 'Create new'. Give it an easily identifiable name like 'GPS'. Continue to setup the remaining fields to match the device you are connecting, for example:

  • Type = (choose RS232)

  • Default Port = (1 = BrightSign Serial, 2 = BrightSign USB. If using Windows or macOS it'll be COM followed by the port number i.e. 'COM3'. You can obtain this from the Windows and macOS device manager sections showing the connected COM devices on the OS)

  • Baud rate = Outlined in GPS receiver documentation

  • Data bits = Outlined in GPS receiver documentation

  • Stop bits = Outlined in GPS receiver documentation

  • Parity = Outlined in GPS receiver documentation

For reference we've used the GlobalSat BU-353-S4 USB GPS Receiver (SiRF Star IV/Black) during testing paired with a BrightSign XT1144.

If you're using the GPS receiver and BrightSign device like we have, the GPS external comms setup should look like this:

Save the settings and go to the 'Commands' tab. Then your command add a label (something simple like GPS) and then choose the Commands Type from the drop down as 'GPS Device'.

Your commands tab should be like this:

Save the External Comms setup and now you can go to the final stage.

The final part to setting this up is done via the device edit page for the player. In our case it is the BrightSign XT1144 player registered to the test account. Click into edit the device and there you'll find a section for 'External Communications' where you can select to use the GPS device you've just setup as the Geo-fencing location for that device - like so:

Save the device, then publish content to it and you're good to go!

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