June 2006
  
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Public Spaces Signage

Audience of One Call to Action Via Electronic Message Delivery

Allan Olbur
ISMS
instoremerchandisingsolutions

Information Intrusion
A walk out the front door of your residence results in a visual cornucopia of words and pictures begging for your attention. The categories include information, warnings, advertising, wayfinding, education and entertainment, to name a few. Satisfy your curiosity; simply count the number of signs within your personal viewing space on the way to work or school. The number is overwhelming.

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Static signage comprises metal signs, billboards, neons, limited use LEDs, flyers, napkins, bar coasters, sandwich boards, clothing apparel, human torsos and skywriting. Even restrooms are no longer off limits. TV monitors readily sport close-captioned visual displays where ambient noise is an issue. Venues are for sale. In-store merchandising opportunities include floor decals, case cards, end caps, ceiling & window banners. Every inch of plannogram space has been defined and is for sale to the highest bidder!

Bombardment, Processing and Interactions
The human eye can rapidly process a remarkable number of visual items simultaneously. Colors, font sizes & styles, movement and content attract attention. Irrelevant information is immediately discarded and information retention is purely subjective. Prolific studies have been commissioned by marketing and advertising to garner pertinent research that determines statistical trends by viewers. The end game is effective message retention that results in interactions i.e. brand recognition and buying decisions.

Non-verbal communication regulates traffic flow without benefit of human intervention. Traffic lights, stop signs, speed limit signs, etc. provide public information that is clearly understood by drivers. International symbols pervade language barriers.

Control Solutions, Inc Real estate has its price. Each message vehicle noted above provides a media buy opportunity. The out of doors advertising industry attracts millions of dollars based upon a contrived measurement tool, namely impressions. Cost per thousand (CPM) is the artificial measure that determines exposure and rates. In the absence of scientific measurement, human people counting estimates have rules as the arbitrary determinator for perceived value. The illusion continues. Superbowl XL recently garnered $2.5 Million 30 second ad spots predicated upon estimated viewership. Corporate naming rights to public buildings are now the fashion. Brand recognition and visibility is the perceived methodology to increase product depletions in a highly competitive market.

Benefits of static signage integrated with electronic signage
The positive benefits of static signage in public places include constant high visibility on a 24 x 7 basis. Static exit signs or station information signs used in transit do not change. Wayfinding or floor location information in public buildings may only seldomly need to be updated. However, information can become obsolete or not be fresh. Augmenting static signage with electronic signage overcomes this problem.

Electronic displays provide realtime delivery of information on a fully remote basis. Sign control to a particular venue or pane on the screen insures fresh content and real time reaction from the viewer. Movement on the display captivates attention. Interactivity could include cell phone text messages or touch screen capabilities. Rapid display of pertinent information can result in silent directives to the viewer.

The Vision is to leverage existing enabling technology platforms via commodity components to delivery visually appealing targeted messages…At the right time, To the right place, For the designated viewer causing a call to action resulting in a positive response all in the spirit of public welfare.

Common Applications
Grocery stores have ventured into electronic displays to offer daily specials, menu ideas or supplier campaigns.

Common Applications

Electronic case cards or integrated kiosk units featuring Internet enabled connectivity provides excitement and fresh content for viewer interactions. Interactive market research surveys are available via these on-line end point devices. Ethnic or specific demographic markets can be directly addressed on a customized basis.

Common Applications

Electronic Information Boards

Electronic Information Boards

Deliver route schedules, service changes, interagency information, handicap accessibility in compliance with ADA requirements, customer assistance via intercom/camera, E-911 call, etc. The system also enables information, entertainment and education, as well as advertising via defined split screen control. Individual panes defined by a pre-schedule of time enable rapid delivery of a variety of defined content.

The ADSN Dual-Use integrated software solution adds a dynamic that integrates the emergency live broadcast control feature to each individual display on the information pylon. Emergency first responders can integrate camera, chemical/biological detection and threat assessment technology to apply zone control and information delivery. Dynamic exit routes or status updates to the zone can be facilitated via command center escalations. First responders now have the ability to be proactive in the event of an emergency.

Electronic Exit Signs

Electronic Exit Signs

Strategic replacement of static exit signage with electronic exit signs provides additional coverage for multi-floor buildings. Logical placement of these signs in elevator lobbies or in front of stairwells provides information delivery for multiple purposes. Non-emergency usage provides an opportunity to display building information or advertising.

Integration with resident life/safety systems including intercom, smoke & fire alarms, emergency telephones enables the building command center to effectively communicate with floor wardens and employees or visitors requiring direction during the course of an emergency. In many cases, stairwells are not safe for evacuation. Directionals to safe exit routes can be dynamically displayed in visual format where smoke is not a factor.

Summary
Advances in durable electronic display hardware and affordable pricing for LCD displays coupled with a robust software content management system enables economical scalability for deployment. Investment cost mitigation can be achieved via sponsorship and advertising revenues. Life/safety considerations and exposure to liability in the post September 11th era necessitate elected officials’ consideration in insuring a safe environment to the public in these venues.

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