Airport Updates Flight Times From Another City
MEDELLÍN, COLOMBIA – Most airports are content to show the absolute minimum information to travelers in terms of flight arrivals and departures. Some may invest in a few sporadic televisions to keep passengers occupied. Olaya Herrera Airport, on the other hand, wanted to deliver meaningful information and topical entertainment that its audience would find both useful and engaging. To this end, Scala’s InfoChannel digital signage software suite was chosen to bring a modern, customized infotainment solution to the transportation hub.
In a country dominated by scrolling text-only LED boards and character generators, this next-generation display network is the first of its kind. A Super Video Wall made up of nine 42” Panasonic plasma screens is the highlight of the deployment. Within the same network are two other plasma display panels in separate waiting rooms. Each shows content delivered to Scala’s InfoChannel Player software 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Scala’s InfoChannel Network Manager connects them together and schedules multimedia distribution. Yet this software is not located onsite. It is actually in another city. Integrator Infoplasma handles this piece of the puzzle from their offices in Bogotá for easier administration and increased security However without evocative content, the sophisticated backend would be for nothing.
Due to the wide range of data displayed, a template was created in Scala’s InfoChannel Designer to accommodate existing information and real-time additions to the database. Though dynamic, the text displays with effects and transitions just as if it had been prerendered thanks to Scala’s store-and-forward playback methodology. Parts of the broadcast in this format include quotes of the day, daily almanac facts, weather forecasts, and current events updated by the local newspaper.
Also scheduled into the mix are a variety of animations in Flash to entertain travelers. There is even sound and music played back through three speakers on each side of the Super Video Wall. They are all targeted not to be invasive to the entire surroundings, and instead focus solely on passersby.
Of course this variety of multimedia is in addition to the vital Flight Information System, which displays arrivals and departures every 40 seconds. A user in constant contact with the air traffic controller updates the timetable using a program developed in Java by the integrator. The multi-OS application deposits text files on the local area network (LAN) that are fed into another template created in InfoChannel Designer which appears seamlessly with the other content.
Apart from each segment being scheduled individually, the entire look of the display also changes with the seasons and can be designed far in advance, if desired.
Eventually, the airport plans to add live video feeds at certain times of the day using Scala’s TV Tuner EX. Security even hopes to add in an IP-based camera to each location and tie it into the digital signage system for surveillance. Needless to say, the city, airport, integrator, and audience have all been pleased with the results so far. Never before had people imagined a better presentation with clean graphics, smooth animation, clear sound, and the flexibility to manage the system from one place with content from multiple sources located in different cities.