Alabama Patent of the Month – July 2023

In today’s digital age, electronic content is an integral part of advertising and communication strategies. Companies are constantly seeking innovative ways to enhance the effectiveness and reliability of their display systems. Outdoorlink, Inc., innovators in remote management, are meeting this need with their newly patented electronic display monitoring systems.

Outdoorlink was founded in 2007 with a vision to solve the struggles the Out of Home Advertising industry faces on a daily basis. Since then, they have become industry leaders in providing remote control of billboard lighting and digital displays both in the United States and abroad. Their SmartLink units are installed throughout the world.

The Outdoorlink system is designed to provide seamless and error-free display of electronic content. It comprises several key components working in harmony to deliver a superior user experience. At the core of the system is a display device that showcases video data received from a network. This video data includes captivating advertisements carefully crafted to engage the audience.

To ensure optimal performance, Outdoorlink integrates a content controller into the system. This controller acts as the brain, receiving and storing the video data in a frame buffer. It then provides crystal-clear image frames for display on the device, ensuring that the advertisements are visually stunning and attention-grabbing.

The content monitor uses an optical sensor which plays a crucial role in maintaining display quality. By sensing the light emitted from the display device, it generates sensor data indicative of the observed light. The content monitor analyzes this data and compares it to a portion of the video data being displayed.

In the event of any discrepancies, the content monitor swiftly detects errors associated with the displayed advertisements. Whether it’s a minor glitch or a more critical issue, the content monitor promptly transmits a notification, signaling the detected error. This real-time feedback mechanism allows for immediate corrective action, ensuring that advertisers can address any problems promptly.

In addition to error detection, the content monitor is equipped to initiate reboots when necessary. Upon detecting an error, whether it’s the first occurrence or a recurring issue, the content monitor triggers a reboot of the display device. This proactive approach ensures that the system remains stable and functional, minimizing disruptions and maximizing uptime.

Outdoorlink’s system also prioritizes efficiency and scalability. By employing compression techniques, the network interface receives compressed video data, which is then decompressed by the content controller for optimal image quality. The content monitor seamlessly integrates into the system, acting as a relay between the content controller, display device, and power source.

Furthermore, the content monitor can insert graphical content into the video data and determine whether it is displayed correctly. This capability allows advertisers to track and assess the effectiveness of their content, optimizing their advertising campaigns for maximum impact.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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