Future-Proof Products for Birmingham International
The biggest TFT passenger information displays ever designed and manufactured by Infotec are now in use at what Virgin Trains is calling ‘the station of the future’ – Birmingham International.
Each one features a 98in effective display area comprising four 46in TFT panels which have a minimal bezel and are mounted to give the impression of a single screen. This huge canvas has been divided up into eight virtual regions, which work as next train indicators, summary of departures, summary of arrivals, next fastest train and a special ‘Virgin fastest train to London’.
The ruggedised IP65-rated screens, driven by Infotec’s dedicated Tetrus display controller, use bespoke scripts and layouts to deliver beautifully presented content in high definition with buttery-smooth graphical transitions and scrolling animations.
Unlike PC-based displays, with Tetrus there are no extra features that might one day cause the system to crash, restart or, worse still, to receive a virus from the Internet or cause the system to ‘go looking’ for a software update on the Internet.
In future, using Infotec’s tsPlayer, the panels’ content can be dynamically repositioned and reconfigured. In addition, it is possible to post notices of different sizes across one or more of the panels – the largest possible notice, running across all panels, is very imposing and allows for high impact messages.
"Clear and concise information is key to having a good customer experience," explained Simon Greaves, Virgin Trains Station Manager at Birmingham International. "Infotec were able to take on board our ideas and deliver what I believe represents a real step change in how we present information to our customers."
The flexibility of Tetrus and Infotec’s ability to easily and rapidly deploy new scripts remotely means that these displays, although specially built, are a future-proofed, long-term product which can have new functionality and features added to keep it relevant to the customer’s evolving requirements.
The steelwork by which the Birmingham International displays are supported has been purpose-designed and built by Infotec. All work on the ‘station of the future’ project has been done in very close co-operation with Virgin Trains.
Commenting on the project, Infotec managing director Tim Court says: "This was a challenging brief that has seen a successful result achieved through teamwork. It is a real feat of engineering both from a hardware and software point of view.
"Birmingham International has been described by Virgin Trains as ‘our vision for the station of the future’ and Infotec is proud to have provided forward-looking products that are rightly part of it."