Timers

    Definition

    Timers are used to trigger actions after a specified period of time. There are two kinds of timers:

    1. Simple Timer - Triggers an action after a specified time following the appearance of a given scene, asset or collection.
    2. Inactivity Timer - Triggers an action if there is no user activity - i.e. no touch, gesture or input tag event - on a specified scene, asset or collection after a specified time period.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: Timers require their associated item to be visible. If either timer is associated with an item that is always visible then the timer begins as soon as the scene on which that item appears becomes visible. If the item is hidden the timer will not start.

    For self-service experiences, the Inactivity Timer is particularly useful. It enables an automatic reset - e.g. automatically navigating to a "home" scene - should a specified period of time pass without activity. A home scene could be designed to attract new users to the display.

    Differences Between Simple and Inactivity Timers

    The main difference between the two timers is the Simple Timer can only be stopped when its associated scene, asset or collection becomes hidden while the the Inactivity Timer can be stopped either when it's associated item becomes hidden or if any interaction event (e.g. touch or gesture) occurs.

    Adding a Timer to a Scene

    Both timers are available as a trigger that can be associated with a scene or an asset/collection in a scene.

    To create a timer, select the scene, asset or collection with which you want to associate the timer, and then open the Triggers and Actions window at the bottom-right of Composer.

    When the Triggers and Actions window becomes visible, the Timers category is already selected. Select the appropriate subcategory - either Has been inactive (i.e. inactivity timer) or Timer has elapsed (i.e. simple timer).

    For the Simple Timer (Timer has elapsed):

    • enter the Duration after which the timer should should trigger an action. You can enter values in increments of 0.1 seconds.
    • specify how often you wish to repeat the timer. For example, if the Duration is 30 seconds and you choose the Repeats indefinitely option, the timer will trigger its events every 30 seconds for as long as the associated item is visible.

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    For the Inactivity Timer (Has been inactive):

    • enter the Duration after which the timer should should trigger an event. You can enter values in increments of 0.1 seconds.
    • select the Repeats indefinitely checkbox if you want to repeat the actions associated with this trigger using the Duration as an interval. For example, if the Duration is 30 seconds and you choose the Repeats indefinitely option, the timer will trigger its events every 30 seconds for as long as the associate item remains visible and no user interacts with it.

    (click image to enlarge)

    Use the Actions section of the Triggers and Actions panel to specify what you want those triggered actions to be. For example, you could trigger a navigation action, moving the experience to a new space.

    Important Note About Inactivity Timers

    As noted above, inactivity timers are only triggered when there is a touch, gesture or input tag event. This means a playing video will NOT cancel an inactivity timer. Check this article to see how to avoid raising an inactivity timer while a video is playing.