First, you need to have the External Communications feature enabled on your account - if you don't, just reach out to us so we can add it for you (it's free!)
With this enabled, there is a three step process to follow:
Create a new External Communication setup
Add the relevant commands to the Ext Comms setup
Configure the commands in a Layout to perform the actions you want (send + receive commands)
Let's dive in...
Set up the New Communication:
Go to the External Communications section and add a new comms setup by clicking 'Create New':
Give it a name that is relevant to you and hit 'Create'
Under 'Type' select 'UDP':
The UDP Receiving Port can be left as the default '49152'. This is only used for embed signage devices to listen to / receive UDP commands and is the default port for the UDP server running on the device. If you need to alter this port for any reason, you can do so if required.
If you plan to run both UDP and TCP on the same device in the same layout. You will need to make sure that the UDP and TCP ports are not the same. So we would recommend leaving the TCP port as '49152' and then setting the UDP port as '49153'. Then send your UDP traffic to the '49153' port.
Now we need to set up the various connection end points. In this example, we're going to setup 3 (three) x embed devices - a BrightSign XT1144, an Intel NUC Windows 10 IoT commercial and a Mac Mini Monterey.
To add a connection we click on 'Add Connection'
Then we can enter a 'Connection Name' - your UI reference label:
Then we specify its IP address:
And finally the 'Connection Port' - as we're going to be control content between embed signage devices, we add the default embed signage UDP Server Port which is '49152':
We can continue to add all other endpoint connections we want. Our example would look like this:
We can now hit 'Save Changes'
Set up the Communication Commands:
Click the 'Commands' tab:
Then click, 'Add New Command'
Give the command a 'Label' - this is just a UI name that will make it easy for you to recognise the command in the layout builder. In this example, we're going to sending a UDP command to change pages within a layout, so we can call this 'Change Page'
The 'Command Encoding' we set as ASCII/Plain Text
Then we add the 'Command String' which we'll set as 'change'
With the command set up, we can go and click 'Save Changes'
Now, the Ext Comms configuration is complete, we can head over to the Layout builder to start to configure the actions we want.
Using Commands in a Layout with an example:
We will presume that you are familiar with Layouts already but if not, head over to our Layout Builder articles to learn more.
In our example, we're going to have a multi-page layout running on the BrightSign, Windows and macOS devices. Then we're going to have a touch layout running on a Windows Surface Go 3 Windows 11 tablet. The tablet will be used to send the 'change page' command to the other devices which will then change the page of the layout.
Layout 1: The Mulit-Page layout setup to Receive UDP commands
Here we have our multi page layout - as you can see there are 3 x pages:
We need to go to the 'Ext Comms' tab in the layout builder:
Here we can 'Add Command'
Select the connection that we setup earlier - ours was simply called 'UDP'
Choose the available 'Commands' from the drop down - we only had one which was called 'Change page'. Then to assign an action we need to click 'Add New Action'
On the 'Actions' drop down we can choose all types of actions. For this example, we want to choose the 'Show Next Page' option:
With all selected, our command looks like the below and we can click 'Save Changes'
That's all we need to do on this layout so we can simply save it and publish to the relevant devices.
Layout 2: Touch layout setup to Send UDP commands
Here we have our single page, single zone layout that we're going to Tap the button zone to send the UDP commands onto the network to the target end points which will activate the page change within Layout 1 as setup above.
With the zone selected, hit the 'Interactivity / Touch' tab:
Then click 'Add New'
Select a 'Gesture', in our example we'll choose 'Tap'
Then on the 'Action' we will choose to 'Send External Comm Command'
Here we click on 'Configure'
To add a command, click 'Add Command'
We choose the 'Connection' as the UDP we set up earlier:
And select the command we want to send which is the 'Change Page' command
Now, we need to specify the end points this command is broadcast to:
When we click into the Connection Endpoints box we'll be presented with a drop down of all the connections already setup on this UDP connection.
We can select each one we want to send the command to - in this example, all three:
Our configuration will look like the below where we can click 'Save Changes'
That's everything setup on Layout 2 so this can now be saved and published to the tablet.
In this example, with the tablet running the touch layout, the zone can be tapped which will broadcast the 'change' command to the other embed signage devices. These devices will be running the multi-page layout and once they receive the 'change' command, they'll change to the next page, like this:
This is just one example of how to use UDP connections with embed signage but it can be applied to any external devices that can communicate via UDP.
Have fun! 😃
Should you have any questions about using this feature, please reach out to us via [email protected]