Innovative Scala Partners Collaborate on Revolutionary Digital Signage Project for Sprint Studio Store
The Sprint Company, a leader in telecommunications, recently launched the Sprint Studio in Kansas City. Totaling 5,500 squarefeet, the new facility is a high-tech showcase for the latest in retail design and digital signage technology. Scala Certified Partners Level 5 Media Group, a subsidiary of CTI Solutions, Hammond Communications Group and IBM collaborated to help Sprint realize their dream to deliver the most revolutionary deployment of retail digital signage in the country.
Sprint turned to Level 5 Media Group to help develop a ground breaking retail digital signage solution. Level 5 Media Group took the reigns as the project manager and lead integrator for the Sprint Studio solution. Level 5 then collaborated with Hammond Communications Group, IBM and Scala to take the Studio concept from the drawing board to a working solution in less than three months.
Visitors to the store are greeted at the concierge station, where they are then directed to one of five zones, depending on interest. Each zone is equipped with three to five HD LCD monitors with content relevant 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.
Scala programmers took the lead in developing the triggering codes for multiple third-party devices and applications. This included custom triggers for BIAMP lighting servers, Muzak audio controllers, Sprint’s custom Queue application as well as the overall “Grand Moment” triggers that brought them all together. Scala engineers also played a key role in helping Level 5 determine the proper hardware devices needed to operate the network. Extensive testing was required to find the proper devices capable of firing 17 HD videos, within 5 playlists, each being between 4080 and 6800 pixels wide per zone, at precisely the same time!
Much of the magic behind the “Grand Moment” can be found in the custom HD transcoding, scripting and central Content Manager configuration performed by Hammond Communication Group, the custom programming created by Scala engineers and the third-party triggering device development by Level 5 Media Group . These items allow the 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.
“This truly is one of the most innovative digital signage deployments in a retail space,” claims Brian Russell, Managing Director for Level 5 Media Group. “We are honored to be a part of it and look forward to continuing our partnership with Sprint to help them provide a better experience to their retail customers.”
“We are excited to be a part of this ground breaking project,” states Dean Reverman, Director of Business Development for Hammond Communication Group. “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.”
“It may not sound unique,” claims Craig Miller, Hammond’s Vice President of Interactive Media, “but firing 17 HD videos running within 5 separate Scala playlists, each being between 4,080 and 6800 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.”
“Projects like the Sprint Studio store would not be possible without the innovative industry skills found in the Scala Certified Partner program,” says Andrea Waldin, Vice President of Marketing for Scala. “The aggregate skills available throughout the community not only benefit our customers but are a resource to other members of the community.”