Four Winds Digital Signage

Last Updated: 10/29/2014

Overview

CU-Boulder has a campus wide agreement with Four Winds Interactive (FWi) to provide their digital signage software. This enables campus departments to implement digital signage for the cost of the related hardware and infrastructure (see below).  The Office of Information Technology has purchased this software to encourage usage and standardization across campus departments.  

What is Digital Signage?

Digital signage is a way of electronically displaying information in public spaces.  A digital sign consists of a display device, typically a wall mounted LCD screen, and a connected player device that will play back content, typically a very small format computer.  There are many variations to this, including using projection devices, and kiosk style signage.  Digital signage can be displayed in many orientations, although generally uses a display mounted on a wall in landscape or portrait format.

Most digital signage is considered static, meaning there is no interactive manipulation or customization of the content by the audience or viewer.  Note that “static” in this case doesn’t mean that content on the screen can never change, just that the viewer can’t change what they’re seeing.  Some common examples of static digital signage are a departures list screen at an airport, a roadside advertisement, or an overhead electronic menu at a fast food restaurant.

With interactive signage, the viewer can actively select information of interest to be displayed.  An interactive sign might be in an office building lobby that would allow you to look up the location of a department, or employee office – often called way finding.  Interactive signs typically utilize touchscreen displays.

In either type of signage, the displays are generally always active 24/7, so more robust commercial grade displays designed for such use are strongly recommended over consumer market screens.

More information on digital signage can be found on the Four Winds Interactive website.

Four Winds and CU-Boulder

FWi Digital Signage can be developed and customized by your department or by working directly with FWi (current service rates will apply).

Features

  • Local or remote (for fee) server hosting options; you can host your own content, or pay to have FWi host for you
  • Scheduling of content to reflect daily activities, notices, and events
  • The latest release of software supports numerous content types such as:
    • Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, and Excel files
    • Images (JPEG, PNG, BMP, GIF, TIF, or TIFF)
    • Video (WMV, MPG, MPEG, MP4, or AVI)
    • Adobe Flash
    • PDF
    • RSS (Typically scrolling news content)
    • Text
    • HTML
    • Live Data (XLS, XLSX, DTA, XML, or NSS)
    • Way finding (Mapping from start to destination)
    • Weather
    • Live TV (CableTV tuner required)
    • Date/Time
    • Microsoft Bing Maps

Cost

FWi Digital Signage software is provided as a common good to the campus.  Departments will need to pay for the display itself, a content player (typically a small computer), and any infrastructure needed, such as a power outlet and network jack, plus having the screen physically installed.

If you choose to use FWi’s content hosting or their design and administrative services, please contact FWi directly for their current support rates.

Who can get it

Faculty, staff or student employees for university use.

How to get it

Contact the IT Service Center for assistance.