Using Google Slides for digital signage on Solstice Pods

This guide covers using Google Slides for digital signage content on Mersive Solstice Pods.

 


A. Managing signage config via Solstice Dashboard

1 - Install Solstice Dashboard

Solstice Dashboard can be downloaded here for installation (Windows only). Installation may require Administrator account credentials.

If you have Dashboard installed already, click the ‘by mersive’ link in the upper right of the window. In the About pop-up, there will be a notification link if there is an update to download the current version.

2 - Add devices for management

To add the Solstice Pods for management in Dashboard, you can either select from the discovery list or enter the Pod manually. Depending on the configuration, it may not be listed on the discovery list.

If the Solstice Pod is listed in the discovered displays list, then simply select it and click the Import button.

To manually add a Pod, enter the name and IP address shown on the Pod display then click the Add button.

If the name entered during manual add is different than what the Pod currently displays, the name will change to the manually entered name.

3 - Enable Digital Signage

With the Pod added in Dashboard for management, select the Pod in the list on the left and go to the Digital Signage tab.

If the Enabled box has not been checked, check it.

Then select Full Screen for the signage display. This will show the signage content without any overlay from the Solstice Pod. Footer and Instruction Overlay views can be enabled if this Pod will still provide content sharing and presentation functions in addition to displaying digital signage.

4 - Add Google Slides URL for signage

Before we add the signage URL to the configuration, the Slides presentation needs to be published for the Pod to access it. Once the presentation is published, copy the URL given in the Publish to the Web box and paste it into the Source URL box on the Signage tab in Dashboard.

There are a few things we need to break down about the URL provided from Google Slides. Not all options may be present by default and the options will change depending on what was selected during publishing. Without going into full HTML URL specifications, just know that the options follow the question mark (/pub?) and are separated by an ampersand (&).

  • start=true - This tells the presentation to start automatically when the signage starts.

  • loop=true - This makes the presentation start over when it reaches the last slide.

  • delayms=5000 - The delay between slides in milliseconds. Default when publishing is 3000 (3s), max of 60000 (60s).

  • rm=minimal - Hides the Slides control bar during presentation. This option is not present when publishing and must be specified manually in the URL. The Slides control bar has presenter controls that do not need to be shown for digital signage purposes.

Lastly, set the Start After drop-down to 10 Seconds so that the signage will start to play as soon as possible.

Click Apply in the lower right corner of Dashboard to apply the signage settings and the Solstice Pod will start playing your Slides presentation!


B. Managing signage config via Solstice Cloud

1 - Sign in to Solstice Cloud

Sign in to Solstice Cloud with your credentials.

2 - Navigate to the signage templates

In the left navigation bar, select Manage > Templates > Digital Signage. There may or may not be existing templates for digital signage in the listing, but there will at least be a Default template.

3 - Create your template for signage

To create a template, you can either start with a blank template via the ‘Create New Digital Signage Template’ button or Duplicate an existing template via the More (three dots) menu on the right side of the template expanders.

Click the title text to rename the template.

The template layout is basically identical to the options given in Solstice Dashboard, so you will select your Start After time, overlay options, and enter the Source URL. The Cloud web interface, though, will give an example overlay graphic depending on what you have selected.

4 - Add Google Slides URL for signage

Before we add the signage URL to the configuration, the Slides presentation needs to be published for the Pod to access it. Once the presentation is published, copy the URL given in the Publish to the Web box and paste it into the Source URL box.

There are a few things we need to break down about the URL provided from Google Slides. Not all options may be present by default and the options will change depending on what was selected during publishing. Without going into full HTML URL specifications, just know that the options follow the question mark (/pub?) and are separated by an ampersand (&).

  • start=true - This tells the presentation to start automatically when the signage starts.

  • loop=true - This makes the presentation start over when it reaches the last slide.

  • delayms=5000 - The delay between slides in milliseconds. Default when publishing is 3000 (3s), max of 60000 (60s).

  • rm=minimal - Hides the Slides control bar during presentation. This option is not present when publishing and must be specified manually in the URL. The Slides control bar has presenter controls that do not need to be shown for digital signage purposes.

With the Source URL added to the template, click the Save button in the upper right of the template card.

5 - Apply the signage template to Pods

In the left navigation bar, select Manage > Pods. This will list all available Solstice Pods to apply templates and their current template setting.

You can apply templates to one Pod at a time or apply a template to several Pods at once. Use the checkboxes on the left column to select multiple Pods. You can then select the dropdown menu from any checked row for the template category you want to apply. In the case of the screenshot below, we are selecting the Digital Signage column for just the first Pod in the list.

If ‘Unassign’ is selected in the template dropdown, it will clear all settings for that configuration category that have been applied by a template.

Once the template has been selected, Solstice Cloud will push that configuration to the selected Pods and they will begin displaying the content once the Start After timer completes.

If a Pod is unavailable or unable to contact the Solstice Cloud service, the selected template will be applied the next time it is able to connect to the service.