Four Winds Interactive has announced the launch of a digital signage network for the Washington State Ferries. The goal of the new visual paging system is to effectively communicate with all of their passengers, including those with hearing disabilities.
"Four Winds is one of the most innovative, thorough and tenacious vendors we've ever had the privilege to work with, and it is through their team approach and unparalleled industry knowledge that we've been able to implement a program that is the first of its kind in the United States," said Marta Coursey, Director of Communications for Washington State Ferries.
Passengers will now receive important alerts and announcements visually through the digital signage network. Some examples include safety messages, vessel arrival and departure notices, lost item locator, and emergency alerts.
Marta Coursey commented, "This system is going to be an integral addition to our current communication plan both in the terminals and on our vessels. It has vastly expanded our communication abilities so now we're able to push visual messaging out to the majority of our passengers, including those with hearing disabilities."
Currently in a pilot phase on two vessels, the Wenatchee and the Tacoma, and in two terminals, Seattle and Bainbridge Island, the solution is providing a comprehensive messaging system in a simple, quick and easy to use interface. On the back end, operators have three separate terminal locations that provide interactive buttons to push out pre-loaded messaging. An on-screen keyboard and external keyboard are also available to compose custom messages if necessary. Instead of having the operators push messages out from a content management interface, the back-end system was developed as an interactive digital sign, so when a particular button is selected it triggers the desired content on the passenger facing system.
"Working with Washington State Ferries was a remarkable experience. They approached the project with specific goals in mind which gave us a clear direction for developing their solution. The end product is something that we're all proud of and represents a new way forward for visual communication solutions in public transportation," said Greg Newman, Director of Implementation at Four Winds Interactive.