In August 2016, a large government agency began its search for new signage solutions for its Washington, D.C. facility. With 12 floors, 8,000 rooms, and ongoing renovations, guests and employees often had trouble navigating the vastness of the structure. While the agency had static signage in place, ongoing renovations and room changes made the information on static signage regularly out of date and unusable. The agency sought to upgrade their wayfinding with a digital solution that would address all of the shortcomings of their outdated current system.
As a government agency, there was a strong need for a cost-effective solution that could be seamlessly updated without any disruptions in service. The agency also required a solution that would be ADA compliant and meet the requirements set forth in Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which “requires the federal government to ensure that the electronic and information technology that it develops, procures, maintains, or uses is accessible to persons with disabilities” (ADA.gov).
The agency conducted a bidding process to select a vendor that could create a digital signage solution addressing the agency’s focus on:
· Reliability · Cost · Ease of use · ADA compliance
22 Miles, Inc., a Silicon Valley-based digital signage solution provider, won the bid based on the company’s expertise in developing interactive wayfinding solutions. To fully create the customizable solution, 22MILES recommended utilizing directional audio speakers, Elo’s commercial-grade touchscreen technology, and Peerless-AV®’s kiosk enclosures.
“What our collaboration is able to create here is monumental in so many ways,” said Kristin Roubie, Channel Sales Manager for Interactive Solutions at Elo. “Elo’s sleek design and ruggedized touchscreen, coupled with the proper enclosures, signage content, audio, and software, is a solution that brings together the very best every team has to offer the government agency an affordable, versatile, and high-tech solution.”
Peerless-AV’s Landscape Kiosk Enclosure (KIL555-S) was chosen as the model for this project. Designed to support commercial displays, this kiosk accentuates the sleek look of the display while providing ample space to integrate a media player and/or interactive touch system, creating a complete interactive kiosk experience. Paired with a wide range of aesthetic options, this modular line of kiosks makes it easy to execute any wayfinding solution or branding strategy. Peerless-AV’s Landscape Kiosk Enclosure is also ADA compliant, offering optimal screen placement that is easily accessible by disabled users.
The kiosk includes software from 22MILES, which allows for 3D wayfinding and includes an intuitive content management system, allowing for easy edits to the floor plan by the agency. Elo provided touch screen capabilities with a 55-inch interactive display featuring 10-touch infrared technology to deliver a large-scale, tablet-like experience for multiple users. Elo’s design incorporates a slim profile with commercial-grade durability built for public use. Further meeting ADA compliance, the kiosk includes directional audio speakers, as well.
Through these speakers, the kiosk is able to provide turn-by-turn directions, as well as wheelchair accessible routes and text-to-speech audio for the visually impaired. Creating a unique beam of sound, the speakers offer directed audio. This means the speakers project sound directly in front of the kiosk and cannot be heard to the left or right of it, which prevents unnecessary noise pollution in the building. The kiosk also allows for users to scan a QR code for directions that are sent to their mobile phones via text.
This custom interactive wayfinding solution is ideal for the government agency building’s guests and employees as it allows the agency to make directional changes and updates at any time, with no additional cost. With 22MILES software, the agency can dynamically update their entire UI/UX and make edits directly to its 3D floor plan, a feature not available by any other software provider in the world, keeping the system visually engaging and ensuring guests consistently have up-to-date directions to their destination. The user interface also delivers the agency’s internal information, Twitter Feed, Google Maps with 3D Earth Views of surrounding areas, and the agency’s websites with an on-screen keyboard.
Installation began in January 2017, with an interactive wayfinding kiosk implemented at each of the three main entrances of the building. To facilitate the speed and ease of installation, the kiosks were pre-assembled before arriving at the agency building. The kiosk’s secured doors allow for convenient access to the display, media player, and other components, easing installation and allowing for seamless maintenance in the future. Eight points of adjustment also allow for quick and easy positioning of the display within the kiosk window for flush alignment.
To ensure a smooth installation, 22MILES was joined by Peerless-AV, who provided on-site support and engineering guidance for all of the custom tech integrations. Peerless-AV was able to accommodate the government agency’s guidelines and policies surrounding external vendors, and understood the levels of clearance for each step of the process. Installation was complete within less than a week.
“The Peerless-AV and 22MILES teams have great team synergy,” said Tomer Mann, SVP, Global Sales & Operations at 22MILES. “We look to them for great service, great products, and great prices, time and time again.”
Creation and installation of the custom interactive wayfinding kiosks was extremely successful. Five days after the installation was complete, the government agency expressed interest in expanding the number of kiosks within the building.
Since January, the kiosks have been profoundly beneficial in easing navigation for guests. The government agency has also been able to consistently update its wayfinding maps due to renovations.
The agency has cited the kiosk’s improved wayfinding capabilities, as well as its cost and time savings as key features—the agency no longer needs to pay for printing and labor costs associated with changes to static signage. Further benefits noted include the ability to track analytics of the most popular keywords or icons touched, which allow for continuous analysis and improvement of the interactive solution.
The government agency also plans to add a mobile application that will provide users with visual directions to their end destination.