Sign of the times for Data Display

A company making interactive signs in Ennistymon, Co Clare, is hoping to change the face of bus transport in New York City with the installation of low-powered signs.

Data Display has developed a unique solar-powered system that can display the length of time until the next bus arrives at a bus stop. The system is currently on trial in Staten Island with the New York City Department of Transportation.

Paul Horan of Data Display said that New York’s public transport services are currently being upgraded and the Co Clare company is hoping to play a major role.

“In many respects public transport in the US, both in terms of quality and usage, has lagged behind its European counterpart for many years, but they are now looking to leapfrog ahead with live signs and apps,” he said.

The new sign developed by Data Display and its Swedish partner company integrates a low-powered modem in the signs that can communicate with buses in real time and tell passengers how far away they are.

“One of the key aspects is the low power usage. This low power system which can be powered by solar panels means that they don’t need any wires,” he said.

If the pilot scheme is successful, Data Display is aiming to win a contract for thousands of signs across New York in 2014 in a deal that could be worth millions.

The company managed to gain a foothold in New York after electronics giant Siemens brought it in as a sub-contractor to install signs in the city’s subway system in 2005.

Since then Data Display has opened a New York office and is hoping to win further contracts in the US.

The company was involved in installing signs in London as part of the Olympics, and for Dublin Bus.

“Data Display has always had an international focus, managing to provide electronic displays from Seattle to New York, from Dublin to New Zealand.

“Customisation is a very important part of what we do, with customers not only desiring a finish that fits with their own specific environments, but also having different background systems with which we must interface,” said Mr Horan.


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