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University Digital Signage Installs with Rise Display, Part 2

Nov 8, 2011 1:32 PM, with Bennett Liles

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So how long is the ticker that you installed at Valdosta State and where does the content displayed on there originate?

A ticker’s about 16ft. long and it’s about 8in. tall. They chose that unit because its 24 pixels in height and that’s an ideal height for showing logos associated with a stock quote so it makes it a little more graphical—a little bit more interesting and engaging. The content all resides in the cloud so again users can go into our web based interface be able to schedule their messages and put up their own announcements, they could put in RSS feeds from the university blog, they can interject Twitter feeds, or they can always use the live data such as our stock quotes or sports scores. We manage all the data feed agreements so the stocks and sports are bundled in with the software and it makes it really easy to for users to be able to select the layouts they want to see. In Valdosta’s case they wanted to focus on showing the Dow 30 stock components because they’re very recognizable companies—they’ve got the logo’s for them and that helps keep people’s attention and engage them because they’re recognizable—that’s the Wal-Mart’s, the Microsoft’s, things like that. [Timestamp: 8:29]

Ok and did you use the same software application on this one that you used at SMU?

We did. The same as the platform that we used for all of our installations—the open source components from our sister company Rise Vision—so again it’s built off the Google app engine. It allows us to take all that open source documentation and create the gadgets—in this case it’s really focused around financial gadgets—leveraging that Thomson Reuters information and making it easy for those professors to be able to interact with it and put up what’s important to them. If their curriculum is focused in on equities or currencies or bonds, letting them handpick those instruments whether it’s for the video wall or for the ticker so that they can really use it as a tool as they’re teaching those classes. [Timestamp: 9:09]

Now is the interactive quad display at Valdosta located in a public hallway or reception area or is it in a classroom situation where they can demonstrate it to students?

It’s more for demonstrating to classes. [Timestamp: 9:21]

OK, so the instructors obviously want to get in on the ground floor and make sure they know what they’re doing before they try to demo it for a class. I think this one was done last spring sometime so they’ve had some time to get familiar with the system there.

Correct, I think it went in about three or four months ago. [Timestamp: 9:37]

You’ve had some time to get some feedback on this one and see how things are going with it.

Absolutely, the neat thing when you put any of this technology in whether it’s digital signage or donor recognition displays or interactive market walls is the first 30 days is that feeling out period for the client where they have that opportunity. On paper you always have perceptions about how you think things will work once you get it on the wall and you realize, "hey, that font needs to be a little bit bigger so the people in the back can see it" or people aren’t really interacting with these aspects. That’s where those first 30 days are really great to collect that feedback and help them fine tune the message, the branding, the sizes of it, the type of content that’s there so it really fits the purpose. What we found and even though clients have the flexibility especially in these types of applications with live market data, they’ve got flexibility to change it whenever they want but once you get that core group of content elements that the professors are comfortable with it doesn’t change very frequently maybe at semester breaks or on an annual basis they’ll make a few updates but the Dow will always be Dow, gold will always be gold. The key things that they’re looking at for market indicators stay pretty stationary so that’s really the trick with those first 30 days is fine tuning it into what’s important to them. [Timestamp: 10:54]

Sounds like it worked pretty well for Valdosta State University and of course every venue where you install an interactive display has its own sort of collective personality among the users. So what’s Rise Display got coming up? What have you got in the box ready to come out pretty soon?

We have a lot of exciting projects. The advancements in digital signage make every one fun and unique. As we wrap up September here we’ll put in our 195th business school finance lab so we’re anxious to just get a few more over this fall semester to cross that magic threshold of the 200th school that’s put it in. But in addition to the finance labs we’re seeing a lot of excitement for the use of interactive displays whether it’s for…I’ll call it an info wall where students can come up and get maps of nearby restaurants or events schedules or announcements or interactive donor recognition whether you’re a business school or university or a hospital to make these facilities possible there’s always these key business—key individuals that help make those key donations that make it all possible and they’re all looking for new ways to recognize those donors—getting away from a traditional plaque or an etched glass wall and that’s where interactive displays make it fun because they can tell a story, students can come up, they can touch, they can interact, they can view a profile of those donors. So the excitement we’re seeing right now is really coming into its own with interactive activity and all the fun ideas that our clients are coming up with on new things that we can implement. [Timestamp: 12:26]

Right, and in the academic realm, one thing that you can count on is there are always going to be new people coming along and I would think that one of the most useful digital signage applications on a university campus would be in way finding area and people just trying to find their way around.

Absolutely and what’s really neat with way finding is it’s moving beyond the digital display—it’s one thing to walk up to the display and touch a map and find out where a building is or the local restaurant is or a hotel or whatever it may be but the next step is using a QR code—a quick response code, those rectangular bar codes that you can scan with your cell phone—and then letting you transfer that map to your cell phone so that when you walk away from that display all the instructions are right there with you so you don’t get five steps down the path and go was it a left or a right, it’s all right in your hand. So think of these digital displays as becoming the sign posts to really get that information onto your mobile device so that it’s all portable and can be taken with you. [Timestamp: 13:24]

And QR codes are a whole world in themselves and we could talk about all the things you can do with those for the whole time here. I thank you Ryan for taking time to tell us the details on the interactive signage displays for the Langdale College of Business Administration at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Ga. All done by Rise Display.

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