Gateway to education

A new era in digital interactive technology


Seamless, interactive surfaces arrive in the Ford Alumni Centre, University of Oregon.

The visualplanet™ touchfoil™ has been used by Second Story in partnership with visualplanet US distributor Brookview Technologies to create media cascades that are touch sensitive floor-to-ceiling displays presenting movies, images, slide shows text, infographics and maps at the University of Oregon in the Ford Alumni Center.

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These visually stunning, towering interactive media panels present information about a multitude of topics to explore in a ‘waterfall of content’ style. Positioned at the very front of the university they are the first thing that visitors and prospective students see as they enter the university –thus placing a huge importance on creating an immersive and visually inspiring entrance to showcase the university.

Second Story states “When the visionary leadership of the University of Oregon’s Alumni Association conceived of their new Center, a new paradigm was born. While most university alumni centres are heritage repositories celebrating the past, the Ford Alumni Center equally cultivates the future. As the new front door to the university, this dynamic building welcomes all visitors and immerses them in the pioneering spirit that defines the University of Oregon, providing equal parts inspiration and information.”1

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THE DESIGN

The brief was to fill the 2,000 square foot space with media installations to inspire and captivate – displaying the history whilst simultaneously showing the innovative capabilities of the universities wrapped up in an inspiring modern learning environment.

The cascades were mixed with static artefacts and posters, mixing traditional exhibits with the contemporary, to symbolise the learning environment–drawing on an understanding, learnings and appreciation of the past to bring around change, new ideas and ways of thinking.

Second story continue “The cascades reveal the past, present and future possibilities of the University experience. The stories and objects they feature preserve the legacy of the alumni who defined the University while the dynamic database that fuels them serves media and information to recruit new generations of Oregon alumni.”

The media Cascades are touch-sensitive floor-to-ceiling displays that present movies, images, slide shows, text, infographics and maps reflecting the university as a whole and each Cascade is devoted to a different subject matter. The media was designed to flow through the Cascades like a waterfall of content showcasing the universities diversity in education, arts, athleticism and social.

Visitors can simply stand and watch to see all the university has to offer, while more active visitors could swipe across the Cascade to navigate through stories, touch to dig deeper into specific areas, personalising the user experience.

KEEPING IT RELEVANT

The engagement doesn’t end at the cascades. Through a powerful, custom content management system, stakeholders across the university can log onto an intranet and modify their respective content areas. They can select between dozens of templates, upload and crop images, add videos, create slide shows, and add whole sections to their themes.

The interactive cascades also act as 3D dynamic wayfinders, which can easily be maintained and updated from the university database to serve the most current data about the student body, alumni, or programs.

The Cascade panels slide on a track system built into the floors and ceilings running throughout the Interpretive Center allowing the area to be rearranged in different ways to service for different functions. The information on the cascades can also be reconfigured to display relevant information for the event – reflect the right atmosphere. This stunning install visually represents the universities ethos of change and forward thinking.

INTERACTIVITY IN EDUCATION

Interactive displays and educational environments are an obvious match. In an environment focused on learning, developing ideas, keeping up to date with the latest findings and technology, digital signage is a clear solution.

Interactive way finders give visitors more independence and freedom to explore the site as well as the information on display resulting in a personalised experience.

The touchfoil is ideal for bespoke projects such as this. With custom sizes available the floor to ceiling displays were easily accommodated. The flexible foil based touch sensor fits flush to the glass, therefore not interfering with the design aesthetics of the cascades. This with zero bezel keeps them free from build-up of dust and dirt, so keeping them clean and smart is simple. Designed for public facing, unattended areas, the touchfoil has low maintenance requirements making it ideal for withstanding high volumes of traffic as experienced here in the University.

A HUGE SUCCESS

This innovative immersive interactive experience has generated fantastic recognition including numerous Digital Signage Awards. UK touch sensor manufacturer, visualplanet, is thrilled that the touchfoil played a part in this impressive installation which showcases it’s abilities to add touch capabilities.

1http://secondstory.com/project/browse/featured-work/university-of-oregon

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