Ed Trapasso
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Sarah Finnane
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May 02, 2006
New Accenture Technology Lands at O’Hare International Airport

Delivers Weather and Other Useful Info to Fingertips of Travelers

CHICAGO; May 2, 2006 – The Accenture Interactive Network – a new technology with the potential to revolutionize billboard advertising and workplace collaboration – was unveiled today at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport.

The O’Hare installation is designed to demonstrate practical applications of the new technology, an interactive medium that places the latest news, weather and sports at the fingertips of travelers, according to Accenture, the global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. What’s more, the content is menu-driven, allowing travelers to determine what and when to watch.

A second installation is slated to be unveiled at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York in the very near future.

“The project began with our researchers asking, ‘Why think small? Small is great, but let’s think big.’ With that in mind, they set out to develop a large, multi-purpose interactive display that resulted in the Accenture Interactive Network,” said Don Rippert, Accenture’s chief technology officer. “The business world is getting more complex, and this simplifies things by bringing facts into focus, thereby fostering collaboration, allowing for informed decisions, regardless of the industry.”

Researchers from Accenture Technology Labs – the company’s research and development arm – developed the Interactive Network by combining enhanced off-the-shelf technology with new software that allows users to interact with the screen, while seamlessly knitting together graphics, images and other data. The new software was also developed by Accenture Technology Labs.

The result is an immersive experience that fosters collaboration by allowing multiple users to simultaneously manipulate content, a feature lacking in other commercially-available, wall-sized screens. And while the Interactive Network was developed with all industries in mind –healthcare, utilities, manufacturing, battlefield management and control room command centers, among others – the O’Hare version demonstrates its power as a new advertising medium.

The Interactive Network made its debut at O’Hare’s busy American Airlines Terminal 3 where its vivid graphics captured the attention of passersby who took advantage of its touch-screen simplicity to instantly gain access to useful information. The screen – it measures 7-foot high by 10-foot wide screen – is housed in a 10 x 14, custom-built frame.

“While the Interactive Network is noteworthy because of its versatility, we feel that the O’Hare configuration represents a preview of the future of airport billboards,” said Teresa Poggenpohl, Executive Director, Global Advertising & Brand Management, Accenture.

“Accenture has been a pioneer in airport billboard advertising and we view the Interactive Network as another example of our ability to use innovation to cut through the clutter,” Ms. Poggenpohl added. ”It entertains travelers, while simultaneously delivering our advertising featuring Tiger Woods. In the future, users might be able to request a brochure or white paper, or even order a product or service. “

Added Rippert: “Think about what’s more effective: a static billboard that stays up for months displaying the same message, or an interactive, immersive display that can be customized on demand, depending on the audience? The answer is obvious.”

Users of the Accenture Interactive Network enjoy content ranging from practical to informative to entertaining. For instance, travelers are able to obtain recent forecasts delivered via video by meteorologists. Weather-watchers are also able to view radar and satellite images.

And weather is just one of a menu of choices. Also available are video clips of news and sports stories, the latest sports scores, and feature material about professional golfer Tiger Woods.

It is the first of what Accenture believes could evolve into a network of wall-sized screens that carry advertising while simultaneously delivering useful information and entertainment to the fingertips of users.

In future iterations, the display’s content could be instantly changed to another language to accommodate passengers disembarking from a foreign country. The display could also be used in shopping malls, providing movie schedules, product specials, and directions, among other things. Or, if the ad featured a celebrity as a spokesperson, users might be able to see clips of his or her latest performance.

"It’s exciting to see a futuristic idea evolve into a device that can help businesses achieve high performance today, be it advertising or in multiple industries,” said Rippert.

View the ePress Kit for more information on the Interactive Network launch at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago.

About Accenture
Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Committed to delivering innovation, Accenture collaborates with its clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With deep industry and business process expertise, broad global resources and a proven track record, Accenture can mobilize the right people, skills and technologies to help clients improve their performance. With more than 129,000 people in 48 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$15.55 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2005. Its home page is www.accenture.com.