FHU Mobile

by Michael Plyler
August 19, 2011 7:13 AM

FHU Mobile, our first native iPhone App, is now available in the App Store.

FHU Mobile is your portal to the heart of Freed-Hardeman University. Developed by FHU computer science students with the prospective student in mind, FHU Mobile connects you to FHU social media, news, current events, faculty, staff and our admissions office. You can apply here, then take a look at your dorm. And, if you are visiting campus, use the interactive campus map to get where you need to go, fast. FHU Mobile is the next best thing to actually being on campus.

Get it in the App Store: http://fhu.edu/fhumobile


GC Digital Signage

by Michael Clark
August 8, 2011 4:06 PM

Digital signage shows information, advertising and other messages utilizing electronic displays. You might be more used to seeing them in places such as retail stores and airports among other places.

As you walk into the Gardner Center, you might notice four plasma screens hanging above the Welcome Center. These screens used to display some basic static information so one of the projects I've been working on recently is an attempt to revamp them. Screen one now displays a static image with 'Freed-Hardeman University' displayed in the middle. Screen two is reminiscent of a slideshow, but is actually a series of .swf files playing in succession. Screen 3 shows all of the current guests currently visiting Freed-Hardeman (more on this later). Screen four displays more images in a simple loop, two banners at a time with information about upcoming events, and a simple flash flip clock.

In order to accomplish this, we utilized a set of free software called Signage Studio and Signage Player available for free from a company called Media Signage. Both Signage Studio and Signage Player utilize the Adobe Air platform to facilitate cross-platform development of signage.

Signage Studio is where the actual development of the signage takes place. Inside the Studio, you can manage layouts, resources (anything from .png images to .swf files), campaigns and sequences and even preview your presentation to get the kinks out before publishing. There is still a ton of functionality in the Studio that I haven't begun to play around with.

Once you are finished with the Studio portion, it's a simple matter of saving your presentation and opening Signage Player. Everything is linked to a user account set up with Media Signage so I can easily move between computers to edit and view my presentations. Once logged into Signage Player, I just tell it what presentation to load and view the results on the screen.

Before I close, I wanted to mention the current guests at FHU portion currently displayed on screen three. We created a simple program that allows for up to 7 lines of information outputted to an RSS file. The signage presentation then reads this RSS file and displays the information as it currently exists. This allows us to easily modify what is displayed as guests come and go on campus.

While there some kinks and nuances to learn once you get in the software, it's pretty straightforward to get some simple signage up and running.