Milan visitors and residents now have full access to all public transport schedules and travel and event information around the clock by using the interactive digital signage totem installation across the city that was created by M-Cube, using Scala software.

“ATM advocated this project to provide the city of Milan with a comprehensive information service system available at all times”,
states Roberto Carreri,
Project Manager IT Dpt. ATM
“For ATM this is the opportunity to offer an added value service to the passengers and to bring them closer to our offerings.”

ATM, Milan Transport Agency, was established in 1931 to manage the Milan public transport system. In 2006, ATM was re-structured into a group formed of 15 companies under the holding ATM S.p.A. Contracted by the Municipality of Milan, the Group manages the entire public transport system of the city and the province in which Milan is situated including the tram, bus, trolleybus, metro and train network. Besides these core activities, ATM has also developed the sustainable transport service network consisting of “Bus on Demand” and local district Bus networks, car sharing, bike sharing and car parking facilities near public transport hubs. Since 2007 ATM has invested heavily in transforming Milan into a well-connected and a sustainable metropolitan area, a so called “smart city”. To meet this objective ATM has developed an advanced system of info-mobility and a real time communication network providing added value service to the city transport’s users with the support of local institutions.

The Challenge
For the “info-mobility” project ATM has used innovative technology to improve the customer service and they have developed an integrated information and communication system providing important information to passengers before, during and after their trip. The “infomobility” platform provides up to date news on services via several channels of communication like the internet, at transport stops (1,600 displays), on vehicles (1,000 monitors inside busses), in metro stations and offline media. To provide an all-round information service for the travelers during their journey, ATM, the Municipality of Milan, the Milan’s Airport Agency the Railway Transport Agency, the Traffic Information Agency and the Milan Fair sealed a collaboration to equip the city with interactive information points.

The project encompasses the presence of interactive totems at the travel hubs around town including metro stations entrances, bus stops and the airport. At all of these spots residents and tourists are able to browse through public transport information, plan their journey, consult interactive maps, check on-going events and fairs in town, view up to date flights arrival and departure times in real time, find emergency numbers and much more.

Tech Talk
The Samsung digital signage Totem is especially designed for outdoor use. It measures 195 cm in heights, 75 cm in length and 68 cm in width. The sleek casing, engineered for outdoor durability, has a built in 46” touch screen monitor with system cooling technology.

The display has a luminance of 1500 Nit and a 3500:1 contrast ratio assures excellent visibility from all angles even in direct sunlight and the infrared technology gives the touch-screen an exceptionally high reaction speed and sensitivity assuring high performance. The protective glass, the shock sensor and a camera provide added protection against vandalism acts. The Totem is fixed to the ground through an anchorage system designed to guarantee stability.

The Solution
ATM, knew that the success of the project depended on three critical factors:

  •  The hardware: a highly reliable outdoor interactive Totem capable of sustaining intense usage under all weather conditions
  • The digital signage software: a reliable and flexible platform that could guarantee real time interaction and processing of the data coming from different sources – ATM, Milan Municipality, airports and the Milan Fair.
  • Network planning and management: a high level of graphic design, navigation ability, data integration from a number of sources, upgrading flexibility and monitoring.

After thorough investigations ATM decided that Samsung’s Interactive Totem was the ideal hardware solution for the project. “The Samsung Outdoor Totem stands out clearly versus various other solutions,” states Roberto Carreri, Project Manager IT Dpt. at ATM. “Its technological specifications, the excellent value for money are clearly superb and the unequivocal reliability and support that such an important brand offers is another great benefit.”

For the digital signage solution, network planning and management ATM cooperates with Scala partner M-Cube. The latter has already been working with ATM for years on covering the project named “renewal of the signaling and public information channels” for the Milan underground network. This system is also running on the Scala digital communication platform.

“The ATM’s Interactive Totem project has highlighted the potential of this new communication platform,” states Leonardo Comelli, Sales Manager at M-Cube. “It is a one of a kind digital signage project with high impact and great social, cultural and economic value. The system we have developed is able to process data coming from an unlimited number of sources in real time and has the flexibility to adapt to any future network growth requirement thanks to the high-performance and network management reliability provided by the Scala’s software platform. Scala is a solution that we trust, able to respond to the most exigent and demanding challenge.”

The Content
M-Cube has designed the graphic and navigation functionality of the touch-screens, aiming at usability and intuitive access to information. The screen content is available in multiple languages and is organized in “theme” categories:

The first theme is dedicated to communicating the public transport options, with real time updates provided by ATM Operation Control Centre.

The Milan Municipality theme provides information about events, places of interest, tourist information and cultural activities taking place around the city.

The Airports theme provides real time information about flight arrivals and departure times, delays or cancellations of the Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa airports.

The Milan Fair theme provides information on ongoing fairs and exhibitions in town. The railway transport system provides information on train routes and journey planning within the region.
The traffic information system provides access to live video streams from several traffic surveillance cameras located in the city and Milan’s province. This makes it possible to get an instant overview of the current traffic situation.

The geo-localization service provides interactive maps to find the nearest bus or metro station, to locate the nearest pharmacy and to plan one’s journey by viewing routes and transport options. Users can enlarge maps; zoom in on locations and scroll the maps with the touch of a finger!

“The ATM’s interactive multi-media Totems are an important milestone for Samsung, confirming that our digital signage solutions are revolutionizing the world of communication. This project has underlined the importance of an optimal synergy between the technological excellence of Samsung systems and the project development quality provided by our trusted partners, resulting from of a strict selection process.”
Mario Levratto, Marketing Director
IT Division Samsung Italia

The Benefits

  • The interactive totems provide a range of information services for the public, easily accessible and updated in real time.
  • The interactive multimedia system enhances the customers’ experience, providing a service level that cannot be reached by traditional static communication media
  • The system is user friendly and multi-lingual
  • The network is very reliable and stable, ensuring a flawless operation under all weather conditions
  • The software guarantees maximum flexibility to respond to all future growth requirements

Network content integration and management
To ensure effective real-time updating of the information on the entire network, which is crucial for flight arrival and departure times and public transport information, the content is managed by an integrated webservice developed by ATM’s IT Department in collaboration with M-Cube. The data received from the airports’ Flight Management Systems, ATM, the city of Milan, Milan Fair’s databases etc., is automatically converted by the application into the required format for playback on the interactive totem. M-Cube provides ongoing assistance for adding units to the network growth and for integrating new content streams.

“By using Scala software the Milan Transport Agency has chosen the platform that gives them optimal flexibility for integrating various data sources in their digital communication strategy. Data integration combined with superb presentation of that data is currently one of the most important aspects in digital communications,” states Damon Crowhurst, Senior Director at Scala. “Because of the intuitive interactive system that M-Cube has created, the users of the totems can now access all traveling information that they need for their specific requirements instantly.”

The Future
The testing phase for the Totem installation is almost concluded. The first two installations located at the entrance of the San Babila and Cairoli underground stations have been operational for several months and ATM was very positive about the results. The interactive totem network has surpassed all expectations by withstanding the extreme weather conditions during winter and sorting very positive feedback from the users of the system. ATM is planning to extend the number of interactive totems to 9 in the next phase and is considering extending the project to all underground stations in the future.

About M-Cube
Founded in 2001, M-Cube is Italy’s leading company specialising in audio-visual solutions and digital content management for in-store and out-of-home marketing. M-Cube is Scala’s partner for Italy since 2004 and through
its hardware and software solutions M-Cube has established itself as Italy’s leading company in the design and implementation of in-store radio, marketing intelligence and digital signage communication projects. It is specialised in the deployment of long distance digital signage media content , specifically designed for public places and multipoint and institutional sale organizations. M-Cube manages over 2,500 digital signage displays and 4,000 in-store radio stations around the world. The company offers its solution to all major vertical markets: Retail, Fashion & Luxury, Banking and Finance, Transportation, IT and the Public Sector. In June 2012 M-Cube achieved ISO 9001:2008 certification for “Interactive installations and services for the multimedia and communication marketing, software and displays distribution”.

About Samsung
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. is a global leader in semiconductor, telecommunication, digital media and digital convergence technologies with 2011 consolidated sales of US$143.1 billion. Employing approximately 222,000
people in 205 offices across 71 countries, the company operates two separate organizations to coordinate its nine independent business units: Digital Media & Communications, comprising Visual Display, Mobile Communications, Telecommunication Systems, Digital Appliances, IT Solutions, and Digital Imaging; and Device Solutions, consisting of Memory, System LSI and LCD. Recognized for its industry-leading performance across a range of economic, environmental and social criteria, Samsung Electronics was named the world’s most sustainable technology company in the 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. For more information, please visit.