Look to the signs

Signs are everywhere on campus. They give us directions. They tell us information about events and happenings. In the past year, signs have been instrumental in alerting members of the campus community about precautions being taken to stop the spread of COVID-19. For the most part, signs on campus have been paper or cardboard. But now they are getting a whole new, high-tech look.

Digital signs will be installed on our campus to enhance way-finding, information sharing, and, most importantly, safety alerts. These new signs will be easier to update and share information with the community in a more efficient manner. “With the press of a button we can update the signs to convey information that people on campus need to know,” said Brett Eden, director of auxiliary business development. “These signs can deliver urgent safety alerts as well as messages can be about entertainment, events, parking or anything else that may be pertinent at that moment.”

Four types of digital signs are currently being installed. The largest are four displays on main roads providing information to drivers entering campus. There are two types of large outdoor digital signs for pedestrians on walkways and in campus parking garages. In addition to the outdoor signage, there are more than 100 interior digital signs with information pertinent to their locations, as well as campus-wide announcements. These too will display safety alerts at the touch of a button.

While the signs will display a wide array of information, the primary purpose is to enhance safety messaging on campus. The signs will be a conduit to quickly update students, faculty and staff of potential hazards or emergencies, and to provide information on how to proceed and stay safe.

“In the event that something like a shelter-in-place order is issued, the digital signs will quickly get that information out to a wide audience,” said Eden. “With the ability to quickly update information, it can provide real-time updates.”

As the installation progresses, the digital signs will include touch screen capabilities allowing for community members to obtain details about the information being displayed. They also will offer users the ability to send information from the signs to their personal devices, such as directions, contact and event details.

“These signs are really about accessing information as easily as possible,” said Eden. “We are also working to ensure the signs meet the standards of the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

Look for the new signs on campus starting July 1. For more information, including how to place information on the signs, visit digitalsigns.utah.edu.