News: $40,000 touch screen in Barge Hall brings past and present professors to life
November 19, 2013
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BY ALEX WARD, Staff Reporter
Central’s past and present professors are coming to life on a new $40,000 touch screen video wall on the third floor of Barge Hall.
A database is presently being created to contain current faculty and professors dating back to 1970. The professors featured on the interactive wall have been the recipients of awards in the categories of teaching, service and research.
Before the wall was created, these professors’ achievements were commemorated by black and white photos and short biographies. Updating the display became necessary because the photos had begun to fade due to age.
The interactive display will feature the professor’s picture as well as a video archive of their work if possible.
Bill Floyd, inside sales manager of Advanced Broadcasting Solutions, believes the new touch screen video walls will provide Central many opportunities.
“There is no limit to what you can do,” Floyd said.
There is no audio for the display, but it could be available through the installation of speakers, which is currently being debated by the university.
To construct the touch screen on a 120 year-old building, the faculty had to get creative. The school built a flat box that provided a flat surface for the screen to be placed. The screen took two days to be installed and calibrated correctly.
“Central had everything set up before we got there. All we had to do was place and calibrate the screen,” Floyd said. “Central was very efficient by having that box put up before we got there.”
Linda Schactler, executive director of Public Affairs, supports updating dated displays to the newer, more interactive video walls.
“The photos [of the professors] have aged and didn’t have information on them,” Schactler said. “With the new board, you can bring [the faculty] to life and take them with you,” Schactler said.
Currently, there are no concrete plans for implementing more video displays, but there has been some talk about getting screens for different departments.
“The education program wants to create a video wall that is interactive and displays all the information about the program,” Schactler said.
Central is in the process of moving away from bulletin boards because the video walls allow for more content without occupying as much space. Another benefit of going digital will be that photos will not have to be maintained for quality, such as fading colors and brittleness.
Since more students are turning to online education, the university will need to be able to stream media that way.
“The university has purchased a service called MediaAMP. The purpose of MediaAMP is to be able to stream content to students and anybody else who can access it,” Schactler said.
Although the video wall is in place and projecting interactive content, the project is not complete. The next step, according to Schactler, will be to add video and other forms of media to show the achievements of Central’s faculty and staff.