Jun 9, 2009 1:43 PM, By Dan Daley
Stetson University School of Business Administration students follow the market via an innovative digital signage system
Many folks these days are avoiding checking their retirement portfolios altogether, given the difficult economic environment, but for students still learning the ins and outs of what it takes to have a career in business and finance, having today’s business information constantly at hand creates context for their ambitions. That capability is what students at Stetson University’s School of Business Administration in DeLand, Fla., literally have at their fingertips. They have that information courtesy of a multiscreen digital signage system that is built on the foundation of a pair of Sharp PN-G655U 65in. HD LCD displays mounted in the building’s four-story atrium and five LG M3201C-BA 32in. LCD widescreen HD monitors positioned strategically throughout the building to compensate for the spots where the main displays can’t be seen, such as near the elevator banks.
The digital signage system’s genesis was the multimillion-dollar equities and bond portfolio amassed and managed by the business school’s students using a financial information feed from Rise Vision’s Rise Display Network that provides a customized feed on a near-realtime basis. Additionally, Wall Street stock information was already being displayed on a separate LED display system in the school’s mock trading room. Bringing it out into the public spaces of the building, however, gave all students a kind of emotional stake in what was happening in the market; it also acted as a marketing tool to prospective students touring the schoola visceral indicator that this is a business school that means business.
“When the content is compelling and tuned to what the environment and the audience want and need, digital signage has an enormous amount of power,” says Gerry Ewing, director of technical applications at Stetson University. Sitting in his office on the other side of the campus, Ewing can watch both the displays and the students’ reactions to them via an Axis 210 IP webcam mounted across from one of the two 65in. HD LCDs. “Installing a multiscreen digital signage system as a
retrofit into an existing building is a challenge in and of itself,” he says. “But the technology is just the beginning. The real challenge in an environment like thiswhere the same people walk past the same screens day after dayis that the content has to be constantly but carefully refreshed regularly for it to be effective. You have no control over whether someone comes by a particular program at the beginning, the middle, or the end. The message has to be clear without being repetitive, or else the signage literally becomes invisible to people.”
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