Meta Digital Signage Totem » How to Use

This article is about Signage totems, digital signage totems, pillars, stele, digital stands … – Our industry takes a very creative approach to naming. Learn now what types of totems there are, what advantages they offer and what is their field of application. At the end, we will show you how our software will make your totem perfect.

What Does Signage Totem Mean?

A Signage Totem or digital pillar is the term we used to describe multimedia stand systems in which the display and media player form a single unit. There are two types of totems: Outdoor and indoor stands: Totem usually placed in edgewise because they attract more attention.

Totem with Gender and Age Recognition on Airport
Digital Signage Totem with Gender and Age Recognition at the Airport

Outdoor Totem

The outdoor totem withstands different weather conditions. For example, direct sunlight, rain, and snow. Weather conditions. Therefore, the displays require special properties.

They are certified for continuous operation, tolerate large temperature tolerances and shine particularly brightly. Often, these columns have a light sensor to automatically adjust their brightness to the lighting conditions.

Outdoor totems are also built very robustly to protect them from vandalism. It goes without saying that no cables or controls exist outside.

Indoor Totem

Indoor totems typically come in a slimmer form and do not need this extreme robustness. Unless, of course, they are used in public areas as so-called Public Displays.

Digital signage stands additionally sometimes include touch functions.

Which Advantages do Signage Totems offer?

You can administer Signage Totems flexibly and remotely with little effort. They are certified for continuous operation, tolerate large temperature differences and shine particularly brightly. Posters on ad-pillars get ugly “wrinkles” or are torn off. This does not happen so quickly to a vandalism-proof pillar.

Remote Administration

Content is exchanged in a timely manner using a web-based CMS. In the event of an error, the column can be maintained and administered from the control center.

Multiple Use

You can use mobile pillars for different events. Printed information becomes outdated in terms of content or no longer fits the current advertising concept. Digital totems are more economical in the long term because they have a much longer life and use.

Longer-Lasting Content

Posters get ugly “wrinkles” in inclement weather or can be torn down. This can't happen so easily to a totem that is designed to be secured against vandalism.

Did You Know?

Did you know that the term stand or stele comes from the ancient Greek στήλη and was regularly used with inscriptions as a gravestone or boundary stone?

Public image

Well illuminated displays cannot be overlooked. Information, news, or advertising messages will be able to be displayed animated in perfect quality. No matter if during the day or at night. Totems look modern and create a contemporary image.

Respond Flexibly to Different Target Groups

Schedule content playout based on time for different audiences. This can depend on the day or time of day. Spontaneous playout also become possible. This makes spontaneous recordings possible, and there is nothing standing in the way of individualized advertising.

It Can be Used as a Self-Service Solution

Save time, money and relieve your employees with an interactive stand. Guests and visitors can determine service or information easily themselves.

Where are Signage Totems Used?

Digital Signage Totems are often used as so-called public displays in train stations, airports, city centers. Furthermore, they are suitable as information carriers or eye-catchers at trade fairs, company buildings as well as in hotels and hospitals.

Trade Show Operators and Exhibitors

Give your visitors an overview and clarity. Describe which company has its trade show booth in the respective hall. Let visitors search on interactive totems or display the directions leading to you. Likewise, content can be printed out or downloaded to a cell phone via Bluetooth.

Present yourself as an innovative company. With an impressive video presentation and modern advertising, you will become a crowd magnet.


Promote in cooperation with local stores and service providers. Show interested tourists the sights as digital showcases right away with directions. Provide tips for things to do and “must-see” attractions.

Culture and Party Organizers

Interested customers can purchase and print concert tickets at an interactive terminal outside business hours. Generate more attention by enhancing events with animations and videos. With digital signage marketing, you also no longer need to worry about expired events. They will disappear automatically, unlike the conventional totems.

Company Premises

Access controls can be automated. Gatekeepers and security guards will be happy, and they will save costs. Protect your building and thus your property and data from theft.

Furthermore, inform employees of work instructions and resolutions, or direct visitors to find their way within the building.

Hotel Receptions

Digital totems in the hotel offer added value for guests and staff. They facilitate the provision of information, increase efficiency and optimize communication.

A digital menu board instantly displays the daily specials, drinks or special offers. This way, your guests always receive up-to-date information and the staff spends less time making manual changes.

Outdoor totems, on the other hand, are an effective marketing tool. It attracts the attention of passers-by, shows attractive offers and directs them to your hotel. Furthermore, it provides useful information such as directions or local weather forecasts when needed.

Provide rating opportunities to keep your service and reputation at a high level through regular feedback. Alternatively, offer a self-service check-in for that to reduce waiting times.

Airports, Train Stations and Stops

An info terminal automates check-in or baggage check-in. Display ads tailored for business customers on weekdays and ads for families on weekends. Entertain travelers with entertaining programming and show “unobtrusive” advertising.


Not only useful regarding Covid-19. Control body temperature and disinfect hands automatically. Display helpful route and position descriptions in front of elevators and areas, or inform visitors to put on the mask before entering. Digital signage in hospitals improves communication and reduces costs.


With an interactive screen, visitors fill out applications for vehicle license plates, for example. Digital call systems can also be integrated. Make waiting times more pleasant with helpful tips and entertainment.

What are the Costs of Digital Totems?

You can get cheap indoor totems around 43 inches (1.09 m) from about 1000 to 2000 EUR. If you have higher demands on the design and stability, expect at least 3000 EUR. Prices for outdoor stands of the same size start at, 8000 – 10,000 EUR; robust vandal-proof public displays often cost 20,000 EUR and more.

Technical Aspects

The technology behind digital totems is wide-ranging. To set up and operate a digital signage totem, you need both hardware and software components and a stable Internet connection.

The hardware consists of screens that provide a clear display of content. The housing of a digital totem protects the components from environmental influences. This plays a crucial role mainly in outdoor use. The player plays the content and controls the display.

On the software side, content management systems (CMS) are used. They allow content to be created, managed and displayed on the digital advertising totem. In addition, interactive software can be used to provide users with an interactive experience.

To provide the digital stand with new content, a stable Internet connection is required, whether Wi-Fi, Ethernet or 4G/5G.

In summary, these aspects enable the use of digital pillar and digital signage totems to present dynamic and engaging content. They contribute to efficient communication and interaction with the audience.

Installation and Maintenance

Installation and maintenance of digital signage totems are critical steps to ensure optimal functionality and longevity of this technology. A properly installed and well-maintained digital totem system not only provides trouble-free performance, but also contributes to an improved user experience. With these tips, you can ensure the optimal use of your digital stand.

Selecting the Right Location

The location of your digital totem is critical to its effectiveness. It should be highly visible and easily accessible. For outdoor pillars, make sure they are not exposed to direct sunlight to ensure readability. When choosing a location, also consider proximity to power sources and Internet connections.

Installation and Setup

After you have selected the suitable location, the installation can begin. This includes setting up the totem, connecting the power supply and setting up the Internet connection. Then you install the necessary software, such as the content management system. With this, you can control and update the content on the stand. Make sure that the screen is properly calibrated to ensure optimal visibility and readability.

Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Maintenance of the digital stand is critical to ensure its longevity. Regularly clean the surface and screen to ensure a clear display. Install software updates promptly to close security gaps and incorporate new features. In the event of hardware problems, such as a screen or connection failure, call in a technician immediately to troubleshoot.

Indoor Totem

Our Offer

We place great emphasis on security and remote administration when developing our digital signage software. We also know from experience that one of the more costly aspects of digital signage maintenance is on-site technician visits. That is why we strive to prevent on-site technician visits as much as possible.

Hardware Guide

When selecting hardware for outdoor digital stands, there are some special aspects to consider:

  • Screen quality: Look for high-resolution and good brightness. This helps to present clear and legible content even in different lighting conditions indoors. Sufficient brightness is especially essential for outdoor devices because they have to struggle against sunlight.
  • Size: The size of the digital totem should be adapted to the environment. In large rooms, a larger screen may be required, while in smaller areas, a more compact screen will suffice. The screen diagonal of a pillar display should be at least 50 inches (1.27 m) so that the content can be easily seen from a distance.
  • Housing: The housing should be robust and durable, even if it is not exposed to the same weather conditions indoors as outdoors. It should also have good cooling properties to prevent overheating. If your stand is outdoors, the enclosure must protect it against environmental conditions such as rain, snow, heat, cold, and from vandalism.
  • Player: A powerful player ensures that the content can be played smoothly and without delays. Make sure you have enough power and memory to display more complex content.
  • Connections: Check whether the digital signage totem has the necessary connections for your needs. These can be HDMI or USB ports, but also network ports for a wired Internet connection.
  • Energy efficiency: Digital totems are often in operation for many hours a day. So make sure you have good energy efficiency to reduce operating costs.

Reports and Remote Maintenance Software by Default

Our digital signage player runs with almost any operating system. With the SmilControl CMS, it offers valuable functions for the administration of your advertising monitors. The remote maintenance and reporting functionalities that are important for this solution are included as standard.

You boot the system with one click. Installing, configuring or updating software is also no problem on totems with our launcher-player combination.

Detailed log and report functions help you monitor the “heartbeat” of your devices. You even receive an availability report at the push of a button. From this, you can determine how the totem behaved online over the past few weeks.

If there is a fault, this allows you to quickly isolate issues and save costs.

Interactive terminals ensure that only the service technician can get access to it. Even in the unlikely event of a total crash of the player software, a random user on site cannot access the UI of the operating system. Thus, the person cannot cause any damage.

More Digital Signage Solutions


Do you have further questions?

Our contact data

SmilControl GmbH
Niederaue 1a
D-30419 Hanover


☎ +49 (0) 511 - 96 499 560

Local court Hanover
HRB 221981
VAT-Id: DE 281 780 194

Authorized to represent:
Nikolaos Sagiadinos