Insight & Article

SignStix 3.2 Release Notes

SignStix 3.2 Release Notes

January 15,2019 Posted by Geoff Cawood

We are delighted to announce the release of SignStix version 3.2.  This release continues to build on last year's major release of SignStix V3, adding several new features and a number of fixes to further smooth the SignStix experience. 



Font Uploader


Users can now control fonts directly in the software without having to send requests to SignStix Support.  The new Fonts module in Director provides a convenient means of uploading, inspecting and editing fonts.  Users can 'test drive' a font to see how it looks and brand managers can improve brand consistency by nominating a default font for the account. 


Font files can also be dragged-and-dropped into Director for speedy upload.  (Note that if you have a Creator tab open at the time, you will need to re-open it to access newly-uploaded fonts.)



PDF Support


In response to customer feedback, SignStix now supports PDF documents.  A PDF file can be uploaded via the existing Upload Assets dialog, or via drag-and-drop.  Once the upload has completed, Director automatically creates one JPEG image for each page of the PDF document.  The names of the images are given suffixes (e.g. '-0', '-1', '-2') to identify them.  Users can then incorporate those images into one or more signs as they see fit.



Discover Where Assets are Used


The Director pages for images and videos now indicate where those assets are used, listing the signs and playlists that incorporate them.  This will help users manage their content and tidy up old assets that are no longer used. In addition, Director now prevents the deletion of assets that are still used elsewhere in the system.



Search Content by Resolution


Signs, images and videos can now be filtered by resolution.  Sliders in the filters panel allow users to specify the range they are interested in.  For example, this can be useful for identifying 4K videos (3840 x 2160) vs. HD videos (1920 x 1080).



Change Password on Next Login


As a security enhancement, SignStix administrators can now require that a user changes their password the next time they log in.  Simply tick the new box when resetting someone's password in the Edit User page.



SignStix JavaScript API Additions


The new SignStix Player software (Android variant) contains numerous additions to the SignStix JavaScript API.  This API allows JavaScript developers to build signs that can interact with the outside world and modify the signage dynamically.  The API now includes the ability to do the following:


  • Update an image layer in the current sign from an image available on the internet at a given URL.
  • Take a photograph from a USB webcam attached to the SignStix device.
  • Extract faces from a photograph taken on an attached webcam.
  • Trigger an overlay sign to be displayed over the top of the existing signage.
  • Download an RSS feed that includes links to images (and then download and display the images).
  • Change the font and weight of text box layers, and the colour of block layers.
  • Access files (e.g. images and data files) from a folder associated with a WebView layer.  For example, this could be used to build an interactive product-browsing sign where a folder of product images is automatically downloaded to the Player along with the sign, and the JavaScript can then populate place-holder layers in the sign with appropriate images, depending on the user's choices.
  • Arrange images into a 'carousel' display which interactive users can browse through.
  • Discover other SignStix Players on the same local network (intended for use with the Web Control Interface, described below).


The JavaScript API documentation is available at: https://cms.signstix.com/jsapi


Note: Due to some internal changes, existing devices playing Signs using certain API functions will need to upgrade the Player version to 3.2.1 when deploying content.  The API functions affected are: SignStixEngine.jumpToSignInSequence, SignStixStats.getCurrentSignInfo, SignStixNotify.notifyOnVideoStart, SignStixNotify.notifyOnSignEnd

Web Control Interface


The SignStix Player (Android variant) now includes a 'Web Control Interface' that allows a Player to control other Players on the same local network.  As an example, when a user touches a button on a touchscreen, this could be made to trigger content changes on multiple screens around the room.


Enable the '3rd party updates' setting to activate the Web Control Interface on a device.  The device then acts like a web server, listening for HTTP commands sent to it across the local network. Commands include the ability to:


  • Jump to a different frame in the current sign.
  • Jump to a different sign in the current sequence.
  • Pause/resume the animation timeline.
  • Pass data from one Player to another.


Documentation for the Web Control Interface is available to SignStix partners on request.  Note that we recommend this feature is only used on trusted networks - similar to other content-sharing applications such as Chromecast.



Quality Improvements


As part of our ongoing programme of quality improvement, we have rectified a number of defects reported against the previous version, including:


  • Deploy could fail with a 'server 500 error' if one or more dependent assets had been deleted.  Director now prevents deletion of assets that are used by the signage.
  • New content could fail to download when special characters (e.g. ampersands and slashes) were used in asset names.  All characters are now supported in names.
  • Video content could fail to download if multiple devices requested the same video at the same time.  This has been corrected.


SignStix Support


We hope you enjoy using the new 3.2 version of SignStix Director, which is being released to all SignStix customers as a free upgrade. 


Please note that after the upgrade, you will need to 'Deploy' in Director before you can upgrade your devices (otherwise your screens may show 'Loading').


When you are ready, use the Devices page in Director to upgrade the Player version on your devices to 3.2.1 (unless you're using a custom version for special purposes).


For further information, please contact SignStix Support:


www.signstix.com/support

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