Digitalisation, Passenger Rail, Safety, Standards & Regulation, Signalling & Communications, Technology and IT

Smart upgrade for public information systems

Smart pi is an equipment manufacturer providing high-quality hardware and software for public information systems, with its innovative Smart pi ECOsystem offering more than just products and applications that communicate information to the general public.
It’s a fully integrated smart public information environment, working as one seamless system across public spaces and transportation hubs of all sizes.

The fully modular Smart pi ECOsystem allows for specific options to be chosen by transport service providers.

According to tm stagetec systems general manager, Mark Lownds, inclusive design in terms of the ECOsystem means that systems can be designed to keep in mind all people in a population.

“The focus of inclusive design in this realm is on dissemination of public information easily and clearly to people that may be hearing impaired or visually impaired,” he said.

“Inclusive design can also allow other people who may consume information differently to select the most convenient way to understand information.

“This may be residents or tourists who speak and read different languages, people with sensory differences who choose to travel with headphones on and many other people in between.”

The Smart pi ECOsystem aim of inclusive design is to deliver the same content in multiple ways, allowing people to self-select the way that is simplest and most effective for them to receive it. This selection process should be easy and make people as independent and self-sufficient as possible.

Inclusive design also aims to support all relevant industry standards whilst also focusing on the future.

For example, the NSW Government, Transport for NSW, has produced the Disability Inclusion Action Plan 2018-2022, which is part of Transport for NSW’s strategy to reach the long-term goal of ‘accessibility for all, no exceptions’.

Lownds said the Plan places the needs of the customer at the centre of planning and decision-making for the transport system. This means delivering high quality services to all customers, including travel information such as signage and wayfinding.

“The signage and wayfinding within the Smart pi ECOsystem is built with the understanding that as technology improves in the future, it will be able to be further incorporated into the ECOsystem once it is available,” he said.

The ECOsystem includes the Smart pi EYE (Digital Information/Signage System), which offers the following features:

  • Real time text and the ability to convert any live audio into text with google AI
  • Using Google AI means it is always at the leading edge of Voice to Text conversion
  • Ability to ustomise templates to show real time information and overlay real time text announcements for a pre-configured amount of time
  • Average of five seconds to progress and display content
  • Integrated with Smart pi DVA with linked meta data
  • Show Hearing Loop logo on screens whilst announcements are playing
  • Designed to select different accents, languages and pronunciations (for example Australian English)
  • Ability to integrate multilingual features in the future

Also included is the Smart pi DVA (Digital Voice Announcement), DSP and MIC, which allows:

  • Smart pi NAM field hearing loop amplifier with delay and looped announcements
  • Adding of meta data to display content of pre-recorded messages
  • Multilingual support (announce in multiple languages)
  • Speech to text (multiple languages and voices available from all leading providers)

“The Smart pi ECOsystem has been designed to look, feel, and work as one. For example, the Smart pi DVA range can integrate with the Smart pi EYE to display the metadata of announcements being made on the visual displays as they are playing,” Lownds said.

“The benefits of the Inclusive design within the Smart pi ECOsystem are to help all people, especially those with impairments to live and move throughout society as they choose.

“With technology moving forward and changing so rapidly, keeping inclusivity as a priority in design can only further improve the lives of so many people and that is certainty something we aim to achieve at tm stagetec systems.”

tm stagetec systems is the exclusive Australian distributor of the Smart pi ECOsystem.