By Victoria Sanville
Senior Manager, Vertical Sales – Public Sector
LG Electronics USA
Mobile, reconfigurable health protocol signage solutions allow schools to position their messages in high-traffic locations and then move them as necessary. Smart displays usually form the basis of the solution, attached to a portable mount or a rolling base.*
A built-in operating system and digital signage software allow staff to tailor messages from day-to-day and place digital signs at entrances in lobbies and learning spaces that don’t currently include digital signage. Various portable health protocol signage solutions even come with batteries and high-brightness displays so they can be placed curbside, for example, where people can read them in daylight and the school doesn’t have to run power cords to them.
Occupancy Management Systems
Many schools’ health protocols will include limiting the number of people in a building, lecture hall or other large space, similar to how retail stores and restaurants count and limit patrons to allow for social distancing. Occupancy management solutions for education can help automate an important health protocol while also providing digital signage messaging.
Using sensors integrated with a smart digital display and a media player, schools can track and count students and faculty as they enter and exit a space. So there’s no need for staff to risk their own health manually counting people. The system would display current occupancy levels versus school-determined maximums and alert people with ‘enter’ or ‘wait’ messaging. Such systems can usually be attached to a school’s IT network so that staff automatically receive alerts when spaces are at full occupancy and staff can then make arrangements to accommodate waiting visitors.
Such occupancy management systems can also be used on campus for very specific purposes. Increasingly, transportation hubs, corporate sites and other facilities are using smart restroom solutions to monitor restroom occupancy and alert custodial services when they may need to be cleaned. The same solutions, which typically would include a small display that tells people when it is safe to enter, can be used in schools and college buildings.
Safe Interactive Displays
Advanced technology has even made it so that interactive solutions, such as touch-enabled wayfinding displays, can be deployed safely by schools, whether for existing applications or to convey health safety-specific information, like the safest, one-way route to a room or location in a building.
As schools navigate safe reopening during the pandemic, interactive touch technology can actually be “contact-less.” The touch functionality will still be there in the future, but for now interactivity can be accomplished by QR code scanners or voice control integrated with new and existing systems. For example, a campus visitor wants to find the student center but doesn’t want to touch an interactive display. By scanning a QR code with her smartphone, an interactive map is replicated on her device and she can safely navigate routes and other information on her smartphone screen. Or she can speak to the interactive display and using artificial intelligence and voice recognition, the display can show her information the way today’s smart speakers do.
Ultimately, many of the features and functions of health protocol display solutions will have a useful life well beyond the current public health challenge. Schools that already have robust digital signage programs can easily see the value of added visual communication in reopening during the pandemic. And those just starting out can quickly adopt new health protocol solutions today and use them as the foundation of future digital signage applications. Technology companies have been recommitting their expertise to helping educational institutions operate safely. As they say, we’re all in this together.
*LG provides the displays utilized within healthcare protocol solution products developed and offered by a number of third party manufacturers.