Bass to launch virtual flier board

It is an early Christmas present for Bass Library — a $4,000, 47” screen for displaying student group fliers.

Yale’s Office of Student Affairs will install the LCD monitor — a virtual poster board — sometime next week in the Bass Library’s Thain Family Café. The $4,000 screen will display a virtual bulletin board like the one on the YaleStation Web site, as well as dining menus, University Transit shuttle locations and Yale College Council surveys. Edgar Letriz, associate dean of student affairs, said electronic signage screens have many advantages over traditional poster boards.

“You have a countless number of posters you can place [on one board],” Letriz said. “You can be more creative with the flier and poster because it’s virtual. You have a global sense of what’s going on that poster board doesn’t allow you.”

The screen cost around $4,000, but Letriz said he was not sure how much maintenance and regular upkeep will cost. The University has only purchased one screen so far, Letriz said, but the Office of Student Affairs will consider buying additional screens if students react positively to the first. The Office of Student Affairs chose Bass Library because of its central location and the frequent trafficking of the Thain Family Café by Yale students throughout the day.

By swiping their student IDs at the screen, students will see a poster board tailored to their individual interests, added screen creator and YaleStation founder Alex Clark ’04.

Clark, who runs the New Haven software firm Technolutions, designed the screen last year after feeling what he called “iPhone envy” when his fiancée bought the coveted Apple gadget. He designed the screen to operate like to the phone and brought his creation to the Dean’s office for a presentation this summer.

A majority of student organizations interviewed said they were excited about the new opportunity to advertise. Usama Qadri ’10, president of Yale’s Muslim Student Association, said the device would save student organizations time and money, as they would not have to distribute or print often costly posters. Four of the five leaders agreed that not having to print posters was an advantage to the screen.

“Having an electronic advertisement screen, in Bass Café, which I think is certainly a high-traffic area, would be a good idea for all groups putting on events,” Qadri said.

Five of five patrons interviewed at the Thain Family Cafe said they look forward to the new screen’s installation.

“Having the screen would be useful because of the sheer amount of content you can put on it,” Reginald Bachus DIV ’09 said. “I don’t view it as a waste of money, especially with all the money Yale has.”

Added Ah Joo Shin ’12:

“The LCD screen would be beneficial if people could put up events quickly and easily,” she said. “Accessibility would be key, and the speed at which the screen updated.”

The Shubert Theater had a similar screen installed a month and a half ago, Clark said. The screen displays information on upcoming shows, the history of the Shubert and its community and outreach programs.

Anthony Lupinacci, a spokesman for the theater, said that patrons have enjoyed using the screen.

“One thing they like about it is that you can maneuver it so quickly,” he said. “It really works very efficiently in a lobby environment as opposed to a computer that needs a keyboard or a mouse.”

The Shubert’s screen is similarly personalized, allowing patrons to scan a business card which will immediately enter their contact information into a database for updates on upcoming performances.

Comments

  • question

    How does the screen tailor to our individual interests? It sounds like an awesome idea, but I'm curious how that happens.

  • gerald

    a gratuitous waste of money.

  • CVL

    Considering that MIT has had a system like this for years except with dozens of screens, I'm sure that its will be a good in the long run. Its about time Yale gets creative.

  • '99

    I believe Gaddis was in Berzelius, as was his father.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds like a huge waste of money to me, but I guess we'll see…

  • Alcibiades

    Why don't I just pick up a copy of the Yale Tangent?

  • PC'10

    Sounds incredible. This is such a boon to student organizations seeking more publicity.