Brooke Army Medical Center deploys touchscreen directory kiosk
Photo courtesy of DynaTouch
With a campus comprising 10 separate organizations and more than 350 potential hospital destinations, the team at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, realized they needed a wayfinding solution.
More specifically, BAMC wanted user-friendly touchscreen interaction with easy wheelchair access and rugged durability to allow for 24/7 unattended operation at each of the facility's main entry points.
The directory needed to provide hospital visitors and staff with dynamically generated maps and turn-by-turn directions, complete with a way for the maps and directions to be accessed on their smartphones.
BAMC worked with DynaTouch, which provided project management, consultation, content development, graphic design and installation.
Due to security requirements and the need for patient privacy, the solution could not depend on outside connectivity or support — it had to be able to integrate into the existing BAMC system architecture and government-owned servers. The software security features had to allow configuration of the kiosks to prevent unauthorized operations.
Creating a brand experience
The hardware solution consisted of six upright kiosks outfitted with 55-inch portrait displays with infrared touchscreens. Locked inside each of the steel enclosures is a desktop computer preloaded with Windows 7 Pro and a lifetime license for Touch Information Presentation Software for kiosk management. TIPS is a fourth-generation product developed by DynaTouch to prevent unauthorized operations.
Using BAMC photographs and logos, DynaTouch created a BAMC-branded interactive environment with welcoming screensavers, an intuitive main menu and a comprehensive set of wayfinding maps with QR codes that generate mobile versions. Upon touching the screen, the user can quickly choose a desired destination from database-driven selections. These selections can be searched alphabetically, by category, or by keyword.
Selections are presented on a large portrait display that allows a standing visitor to touch anywhere on the screen, and accommodates a seated visitor with a scrolling selector tool at the bottom of the interface. Once a selection is made, a color-coded 3D map appears, displaying a path from the “You Are Here” location to the selected destination, as well as corresponding written directions.
The user can opt to scan the QR code for a mobile version of the map, or can choose to print the map for pickup at the nearest location within the facility.
Providing proprietary access
Responding to BAMC's request for a staff-only view, the maps database includes all destinations, but filters these in a standard view that displays only visitor destinations. A private button hidden in the display allows staff to access and view the full, unfiltered list of destinations.
The solution also includes a lifetime license to TIPS content-editing software, which was loaded onto a designated BAMC server. The software allows editing of all kiosk content by nontechnical BAMC personnel.
Authorized access to the editor can be granted to personnel at multiple security levels, and administrators can enable or restrict user access as needed. Certificates can also be used for access, rather than usernames and passwords.
Upon logging into the editor, the user is presented with a BAMC-specific dashboard that allows access to the Screen Savers Editor, the Building Directory Editor and the Users Editor.
The Screen Savers Editor allows BAMC personnel to upload new images, modify and control the display order, and enable or disable certain images on specific kiosks.
The Building Directory Editor allows BAMC personnel to add and delete destinations, select and change base maps, draw or modify paths with a few clicks, and add or revise written directions.
In addition, authorized personnel can copy data or routes from other records, adjust line color and thickness, modify icons, and push published changes to the companion website that hosts URLs for the QR code-generated maps.