- Smart Digital Screen, in association with Race Director University, is launching Real Smart DS, a digital signage platform mounted on a 10 ft. truss that provides additional safety and security at marathons, sporting events and special events by utilizing HD/4k screens, digital media, audio, wifi, cameras and drones, where permitted.
Since the bombing at the Boston Marathon, in April 2013 the company been exploring the idea of technology and IT solutions that go beyond a random number of cameras used by police posted throughout key areas at marathons. While this surveillance information helps police, homeland security and other security teams identify potential threats, Real Smart DS provides communication to runners, volunteers and spectators with the reports from those sources in real time.
“The need for real-time visual and audio alerts must be upscale and more progressive than other forms of media, including social media which is limited and can be compromised,” said Gregory Evans, founder of Smart Digital Screen in 2014 and president of Race Director University, the First National Certification Program for Race Directors. “I worked with the Bank of America Chicago Marathon staff for years in providing communication and entertainment systems on the marathon course using a verbal alert system that informs runners, volunteers, and spectators about weather conditions and terror threats. Real Smart DS extends those provisions by adding a high impact visual imagery.”
The strength of this platform is that a warning, both visual and audio, can be replicated to 10, 15, 20 plus platforms within 1-2 minutes in real time covering the marathon course at each mile marker, or wherever these structures are physically placed. Real Smart DS is new technology and had not been used or produced by any of the national race management organizations, like World Major Majors, the Competitor Group, Life Time Fitness or charity-based cause market owned events.
The EAS (Emergency Alert Systems) are currently used to illustrate changes in weather and physical flags are used to warning runners; the Real Smart DS system includes that system using digital media, and the media rotates every five seconds allowing for other signage, advertising and marketing opportunities for sponsors on the course.
“A lot of time has been spent over the past two years with manufacturer and software providers worldwide to choose which equipment integrates with other applications,” Evans said. “Technology is constantly evolving, and within the next six months we will be adding more apps and switching out equipment as upgrades are critical to the transition of this operation.”