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Technology provides a unique window tourism


1 December 2008

Touchscreen technology provides a unique window to Stratford’s tourist attractions

Stratford District Council’s Information Centre has launched its new touchwindow information system. The interactive window display - the first of its type in New Zealand - allows visitors to browse for information at all times, without having to enter the centre. By tapping the streetside window menu, visitors can access information on what to do, where to stay and what to see in the Stratford district.

IT Manager for Stratford District Council, Brendan Coles, regards the touchwindow as a major new addition to Information Centre services. ``It’s an impressive system because it’s available to visitors and locals alike, regardless of whether or not the Information Centre is open,’’ said Brendon. ``The touchwindow supports the key goals of the ongoing ‘Stratford Identity Project’, a Council initiative to improve the look, feel and sense of place of Broadway (Stratford’s main street) as well as reducing the impacts of traffic and attracting people to the Stratford district.’’

Perfectly clear, day and night
Touchwindow technology relies on a transparent touch film that is placed onto the window’s interior and in front of an LCD touchscreen monitor. For Stratford’s Information centre, a high-bright 32inch LCD display was chosen. The display has a built-in light sensor system that adjusts screen brightness automatically, depending on the ambient light. The high-bright screen can be seen in full sunlight, which is a benefit, given the window’s northerly facing aspect.

The LCD display generates about three times the brightness of an average desktop LCD and so much heat that it requires seven fans to keep it cool. The intelligent Ambient Light Adjusting System is very important for the display to be seen clearly in sunlight, but not to glow like a searchlight during the night.

The first interactive touchscreen of its type in New Zealand
The Information Centre’s touchwindow system was designed, supplied and installed by Auckland digital media company, The Complete Package Ltd (TCP). Director, Kevin Wright, found it a challenge getting the touchwindow system up and running: ``Because it’s the first installation of its type in New Zealand, we needed to be a bit inventive with hardware and software development’’, he said. ``To enable council staff to continually add and update tourist information, TCP developed it’s own content management system, TouchTerminal for Windows XP.’’


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