The University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading universities, with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry. It was founded in 1965 in Coventry, England. Having successfully utilised the scheduling capabilities of the ONELAN solution on an outdoor screen, the University of Warwick was keen to exploit the benefits of digital signage across the whole Campus. Their key objective was to disseminate important information across the Campus and beyond, utilising digital signage and meeting room signage spread between some 40 departments.
Local Content, Global Control
To ensure relevant content is delivered to the appropriate target audience, some of the screens are owned and managed by the local department (or building) they reside in, giving departments control of their own playlists. Using the power and flexibility of the ONELAN Content Management System (CMS), overall administration of the system is managed centrally, as is the production of ‘global’ content which is managed by the marketing department, and then feeds into the local playlists.
Surrounding their local ‘hero’ content are several automated feeds, widgets and live streams set up in standard templates. Management of these is a collaboration between the Marketing and Audio Visual Services departments which ensures consistent content is delivered with as much visual, eye-catching appeal as possible.
At the core of the Campus, is the new state-of-the art ‘Oculus’ building – a £19m flagship teaching and learning building with two large, tiered lecture theatres, 12 other top quality flexible teaching spaces, study areas and a café. At the heart of this is an impressive 16k resolution video wall with a range of art displays, timetables of upcoming activity in the building and live-streams of lectures and other events in the main lecture theatres as well as acting as the ‘building dashboard’.
In addition, they deployed a wayfinding kiosk for interactive and passive wayfinding, enabling users to select an individual room which is then highlighted on an interactive map. Throughout the rest of the building, outside each bookable space, the University deployed Reserva Room Signage, helping them to optimise the building’s efficiencies. The Reserva solution is unique in its seamless integration with Scientia Syllabus Plus, providing real-time and dynamic timetabling information for both staff and students. As opposed to installing separate solutions for each element, Warwick selected the ONELAN solution combining all three elements under a single content management platform. Warwick maximises the use of workspace through Reserva. Rooms previously left empty as no one was sure whether they were about to be used, are now utilised to their full capacity. Due to the intuitive design, students were found to use the room signage without any training or instruction. This was a significant advantage to the institution’s facilities team who are constantly looking for ways to improve campus utilistation. In addition, disturbances are less frequent as the LED indicators on the room signage clearly show occupancy levels at a glance without any need to open a door and disrupt lectures already underway.
The next stages of development will look to deliver further value using Reserva’s capability to show other signage content in playlist with the room availability information. The university are developing a simple piece of HTML which shows whether the current teaching session is being recoded using the Echo360 lesson capture technology. This simple yet effective solution is a fantastic example of how ONELAN Digital Signage and Reserva Room Signage can be used in harmony to deliver a diverse and completely immersive visual communication network.
Through integration with the building management and utilities management software, the University’s digital signage delivers dynamic information including displaying live building and utility data to highlight building energy efficiencies, monitoring energy used as well as solar power generated by the building. This is then translated into data displayed on two dials which change depending on energy usage levels. The University will be taking this concept further with a bespoke app in their student accommodation which will present information in context, such as ‘turning off lights will save enough power to make x cups of coffee’. This will encourage energy-saving and accountability, which in turn helps to ensure the University delivers against its own sustainability and environmental policies.