Four Winds Interactive, USA TODAY Partner

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Four Winds Interactive and USA TODAY have partnered on a digital signage initiative that will bring a digital concierge to each new and redesigned lobby in the Courtyard by Marriott brand. Debuting late last year as a prototype, the GoBoard acts as an interactive digital information center for guests, showcasing live news from USA TODAY and running off of the Four Winds Interactive digital signage software platform. Now available in eight hotels, Courtyard expects to rollout the GoBoard and lobby redesign at 150 hotels by the end of 2009.

Located next to the welcome podiums in the new Courtyard lobby, the GoBoard is displayed on a 57-inch LCD touch screen and is the technological centerpiece of the lobby redesign. The Four Winds Interactive digital signage software system supports the various types of content being displayed on the screen including USA TODAY, Microsoft Virtual Earth, weather, and local events, and then pushes them out to be viewed and interacted with by the Courtyard guest.

Live USA TODAY news, money, sports, life, and scores serve as a centerpiece on the GoBoard as well as a three-day weather forecast, live stock market quotes and airport delays. Microsoft Virtual Earth displays an interactive map identifying local points of interest and near-by restaurants, making the GoBoard the ideal tool for the business traveler who is not familiar with the local surroundings. Developed specifically for the Courtyard brand by Four Winds Interactive and USA TODAY, the GoBoard gives the user control over the output on the screen, making it an excellent tool to customize offerings based on guest preferences.

Four Winds Interactive President David Levin stated, "The partnership with USA TODAY and the development of the GoBoard have been major initiatives throughout our entire company. The buzz surrounding the GoBoard project and its impact on the Courtyard guest experience have been phenomenal. It's a great honor to work with Marriott and a privilege to be aligned with USA TODAY on such a groundbreaking initiative."

Jeff Webber, SVP and publisher of USATODAY.com stated, "USA TODAY has had a longstanding relationship with Marriott and the Courtyard brand by offering news and information products to guests. We are excited to work together with Marriott and Four Winds Interactive to create additional products that provide value to guests and keep them connected while they are traveling."

For more information on Four Winds Interactive products/services, visit www.fourwindsinteractive.com.

For more information on USA TODAY, visit www.usatoday.com.

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