Video Walls in the university campus
From art to athletics, research to marketing, video walls prove to be a versatile attraction.
Falling costs encourage institutions to adopt video walls and digital signage.
Much of the draw is the eye-catching nature of the walls, which can broadcast high-definition, 24-foot-high (or even taller) marketing messages that are virtually impossible to ignore.
The walls can serve multiple purposes: branding campaigns, campus news and event calendars, wayfinding, advertising and emergency notification systems.
The nature of a video wall is a dramatic presentation to get people’s attention very quickly. However, in a well-planned digital signage rollout, you want that video wall to perform a variety of other communications tasks.
Video Walls Display Unlimited Potential
At Irvine Valley College, a community college in California, officials installed a square, nine-panel video wall in the common area of a new engineering building. Each screen is 46 inches wide.
The building opened recently, and the video wall was used for presentations at the grand opening ceremony. When the wall is idle, the college uses it to display information about the energy performance of the building, which is equipped with an array of solar panels.
To give the building flexibility for the future, Irvine Valley College also incorporated digital signage throughout.
Make Signage Accessible for Students as well as Teachers
Indiana University had a similar reason for placing video walls around its several campuses: to democratize the technology by giving not only faculty but also students and other users the ability to display content in a way that commands attention.
Video walls can bring scientific software to life, with vibrant colors and a large number of pixels that let viewers see both tiny details and broader context at once. For example, someone could use a video wall to display mapping software.
The audience would be able to make out the individual streets of a neighborhood, along with how that neighborhood fits into its larger city. This functionality has applications for graphic designers, web developers and engineers, Eller says, but also for nontechnical individuals, such as writers.
Artists have connected Indiana University’s video walls to motion-tracking systems, creating dynamic digital art exhibits. The university has even let students use a video wall to watch a varsity soccer game together.
Create Content and Encourage Campus Contributions
Troy University in Alabama installed a Planar Clarity Matrix MultiTouch LCD Video Wall System in a six-by-two configuration in its new administrative building in 2017. The interactive wall, divided into three segments, primarily serves prospective students, who view videos about campus life, housing and athletics as they wait for campus tours to start. At other times, the screens broadcast images from the university’s Instagram account.
As technology improves and costs come down, the main challenge will be devising policies and strategies around content.
Strategically Plan Content Before Deploying Video Wall Tech
While video walls can spur creativity, institutions must consider their content strategy before implementing the technology because viewers have become much more sophisticated, and they really expect a greater level of consistency to the content.
Often, IT staff will partner with employees from other departments, such as marketing, communications, athletics and public safety, to coordinate the development and timing of content around events, messaging campaigns and other initiatives.