Dec 1, 2009
Hammond and CTI Solutions helps implement digital signage in groundbreaking Sprint Studio
Hammond Communications Group, a leading supplier of turnkey digital signage solutions, and CTI Solutions, a leader in IT services and Solution, has played an important role in a revolutionary Digital Signage system for Sprint. The Sprint Company, a leader in telecommunications, recently debuted the Sprint Studio in Kansas City. Totaling 5,500 square-feet, the new facility is a high-tech showcase for the latest in retail design and Digital Signage Technology.
Visitors to the store are greeted at the concierge station, where they are then directed to one of five zones depending on need. Each zone is equipped with three to five HD LCD monitors with content relative to customer queuing and zone specific messaging. There are a total of 17 HD displays spread throughout the store. One of the innovative elements of the system comes during a “Grand Moment”.
During triggered events, which are scheduled to occur randomly around the top of every hour, the digital signage system performs a “Grand Moment” by lowering the ambient light and audio in the entire store and playing synchronized video, audio and special effects lighting. During a Grand Moment, a single message comprised of 17 HD videos and 5 audio sources (one for each zone) is split and synchronized on 17 displays, with each of the 5 zones playing audio relative to its “part” of the Grand Moment.
“It may not sound unique,” claims Craig Miller, Hammond’s Vice President of Interactive Media. “but firing 17 HD videos running within 5 separate Play Lists, each being over 4,000 pixels wide per zone, requires a great deal of sophisticated programming. Our customers are demanding more from digital signage than just animated content on a single display. Custom programming, like that performed for Sprint, will be the rule rather than the exception as we move forward.”
The magic behind the Grand Moment can be found in the custom HD Transcoding, Scripting and central Content Manager configuration performed by Hammond; as well as the custom programming created by Scala. These items allow the central Content Manager to control, not only the Media Players, but also external environmental control devices which when used together allow for synchronized audio, video and lighting. The visitor experiences an entire store moment unlike any in the retail environment today.
Conceptualizing a revolutionary retail space may look good on paper, but pose real challenges during implementation. That’s where consultation came in to play for this project. Hammond, in conjunction with CTI Solutions, Scala and IBM, began by consulting on system design, specifications and content protocol. This process was critical in not only designing a system that would facilitate the needs of Sprint, but also in communicating the capabilities of all parties involved such as advertising agencies and retail design teams.
Taking the concept from paper to implementation, CTI Solutions took the reigns as project manager, facilitated component procurement and performed on-site installation and set-up. Hammond’s role included configuring the digital signage network (including configuration that scripts to be triggered by outside applications), transcoding and incorporating close to 100 HD videos, as well as aiding in the installation and testing process. In addition to the wall mounted LCD monitors, the Sprint Studio Digital Signage system includes a display and kiosk for “Sprint TV” and “Sprint Navigation” zones.
“We are excited to be a part of this ground breaking project,” states Dean Reverman, Director of Business Development for Hammond. “Digital Signage continues to offer retailers unique opportunities for in-store communications and customer experience. Projects like the Sprint Studio confirm the importance of Digital Signage for retailers today.”