The Joy Of Text (Amsterdam Style)

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Starting this weekend, the next 2 weeks sees us visit Israel, Paris (as long as the tunnel is working and airlines are not still charging exorbitant prices to fly) and then Munich so we certainly get around.

On our collective way back from Amsterdam we noticed this rather interestingly titled “Digital Meeting Point” at Amsterdam’s Schipol airport. It’s an interesting development for an LED manufacturer like Lighthouse and an AV systems integrator.

Simply put it’s a 5 x 5 panel (3.2 x 2.4m) 10mm pixel pitch LED screen from Lighthouse and installed by Dutch systems integrator Hecla Professional Audio & Video Systems BV.

However there’s more. Hecla’s new business manager, Jos den Hartog told us “We have pioneered a new application for the LED screen. An easy to use messaging system that allows a text message to be sent, which will then be displayed on the screen” – there’s actually nothing new technically in that of course but this is a useful service for airport passengers – the 21st century way of leaving notes at the meeting point (each SMS message is displayed for a fixed amount of time).

There’s a censor system of course to stop abuse – nothing clever here, we believe it is a human – we hope that person has a grasp of lots of foreign languages!!!

The screen itself is also fed advertising content from the rest of Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport media system (impressive that is too for anyone who has seen it) but we are told that Hecla themselves maintains overall control of the LED remotely from its offices in the Dutch town of Hengelo.

“Sending a text to the system is a bit more expensive than a normal text message because the airport wants to prevent people like cab drivers putting ads up there,” says Jos. “They want it to provide a genuine service for passengers, rather than become a giant LED small ads service”.

Overall we were pretty impressed by the concept of the “Digital Meeting Point’ – these guys have taken an everyday LED product and turned it into a service and a solution – it’s useful too!

We would like to have seen a few smaller screens around the LED as well (craning your neck from 6 metres away to read an SMS is not for everyone).

There is still the opportunity to really ‘digitise’ it – free Wi-Fi perhaps? (airport allowing) or how about some mobile phone charging points and there’s no problem if these are ‘chargeable’ items (no pun intended) or how about free electrical power points?

About Hecla

Hecla Professional Audio & Video Systems B.V. was founded in 1969. 40 Years of experience is used daily to assist clients with the purchase or rent of professional audio and video systems. This renown Dutch company delivers turnkey installations for professional audio and video systems, with more than 50 employees working on the sale and installation of AV systems in boardrooms, meeting centres, class halls, editing rooms and studios.

Audio, video, projection and ICT specialists organize AV projects for fixed installations or temporary events, such as parties, sports events, presentations, exhibitions and conferences: the company has every speciality in-house.

Together with its customers, Hecla is able to realise technological, high-quality, efficient solutions, that satisfy their wishes and demands.

Hecla’s clients are Dutch business, ministries and municipal authorities as well as civil services, such as fire departments and police.

Hecla provides many innovative and functional solutions across the Netherlands, such as the LED screen with an innovative messaging system in the main arrivals hall at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.

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