Four Winds takes pilot cruise with ferry system

April 12, 2011 by Dave Haynes

Denver-based Four Winds Interactive has announced an interesting pilot program with the  Washington State Ferries system that communicates with passengers while on the water and at the terminals.

Currently installed on two two vessels and at the Seattle and Bainbridge Island terminals, the solution sends out  important alerts and announcements through digital signage screens. The notices include safety messages, vessel arrival and departure notices, lost item locator, and emergency alerts.

What’s interesting is how the system is designed not to be run off a desktop but off touchscreens right on site.

Says the release:

On the back end, operators have three separate terminal locations that provide interactive buttons to push out pre-loaded messaging. An on-screen keyboard and external keyboard are also available to compose custom messages if necessary. Instead of having the operators push messages out from a content management interface, the back-end system was developed as an interactive digital sign, so when a particular button is selected it triggers the desired content on the passenger facing system.

The attraction there, I’d imagine, is that in the event of some sort of safety issue, an operator can trigger that alert in the time it takes to reach a touch screen and hit the right icon.

“Four Winds is one of the most innovative, thorough and tenacious vendors we’ve ever had the privilege to work with, and it is through their team approach and unparalleled industry knowledge that we’ve been able to implement a program that is the first of its kind in the United States,” said Marta Coursey, Director of Communications for Washington State Ferries.

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