While I was at the Media4Me 2010 conference in Holland recently I met Chris Kwant who is Senior Policy Adviser ICT and Media Affairs to The Hague municipal council. Over the past four years Chris has directed development of a unique system that allow local organisations to display news, announcements and videos on large screens in the street or shops. Once organisations are approved with a login, they can publish whatever they like, without control from the council. Different content can be distributed to different screens among the 170 in the city.
The system is web-based, with a central server and small computers and consumer level screens providing local display.
The council is interested in further development of the system with partners, so here’s an opportunity for a local authority or other organisation in the UK to develop a system at relatively low cost. The software instructions will need translation from Dutch, but I gather from Chris that server hosting costs are modest, and each installation would be hundreds rather than thousands of pounds. Do drop a comment or mail me and I’ll make the connection.
Because the system is web-based, all content can be re-purposed … so it should be possible to tie in with the sort of neighbourhood systems that Hugh Flouch and Kevin Harris have been researching. The screens might also be a high-end version of the community notice boards that John Popham has promoted. Chris is likely to be in the UK in the New Year, so we might organise a meet-up.
Below is a more detailed explanation of the system, in Dutch but with English subtitles.