University of Toronto Background
Established in 1967, the University of Toronto Mississauga provides undergraduate and graduate studies and is the second largest division of the University of Toronto, Canada’s largest university. The university is set upon a park-like campus on the Credit River, approximately 33 kilometers west of Downtown Toronto. The Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre, UTM’s library, is a central place for the students to meet and study. Tucked inside this library is the Li Koon Chun Finance Learning Centre, a new, state-of-the-art facility. Programming is provided on a variety of topics related to the stock markets and financial literacy for students, faculty, and staff of UTM. The Centre offers 32 computer stations and four Bloomberg terminals for student use and training purposes. In addition, the Centre is used as a unique classroom for students in the department of management.
Digital Displays Project Summary
“There are a couple of finance courses and an international business course held in the Centre,” explains Michael Meth, the Centre’s director. “The management program is one of our biggest supporters, but because of our location in the library, we reach a lot of people on our campus.”
Because of this reach, it was important to the University that the Centre offered cutting-edge communication solutions. That’s where Rise Display comes in.
“The service level, the pricing, and the fact that our needs were met were the factors in choosing Rise,” says Mr. Meth. “We were told that we were Canada’s first eight-color stock ticker. That was a neat thing that Rise got to innovate with us.”
The Rise Vision Solution
The University of Toronto Mississauga had already selected an AV integration partner to provide the Sharp LCD screens for the room, and asked Rise to help define the rest of the digital signage solution along with the ticker. Rise worked closely with IT to build a media player that would support running a 2×1 video wall plus a separate single LCD screen from a server room nearly 1000 feet away. After the media player, video distribution system and LED ticker hardware components were defined, the creative staff went to work designing the content to give a broad overview of the markets worldwide.
The Final Result
The LED ticker, and all three LCDs, were installed and running for the Fall 2008 ribbon-cutting to greet the room’s donor and the media. A wall of windows lets library patrons see the technology from all angles. “The digital signage lets us push through market news, North American Exchange stock quotes and index data, and a live video feed from the Business News Network,” Mr. Meth says.
Mr. Meth has also found an effective way of utilizing the ticker at night, when the stock market is closed but the library is still open.
“We keep the closing prices running, but we also start running sports scores,” he says.
“I think people are pretty impressed by the digital signage,” says Mr. Meth. “People will often stand by the window and watch what’s going on the ticker and displays. Overall, they’ve been very favorably received.”
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