Black Box Corp., a Lawrence, Pa.-based telecommunications company that operates a 32-employee regional office in Spokane, has launched a division that sells commercial flat-screen monitors that can be programmed to display informational and promotional messages.
Lance Lorenz, a major accounts executive for Spokane's Black Box Network Services, a subsidiary of Black Box Corp., says initial responses to the indoor digital sign, called an iCompel, have been good. So far, a doctor's office, a fast-food restaurant, and a church have bought or are in the process of buying iCompel signs, Lorenz says.
He says the durable commercial-grade digital signs can run continuously for years, and can be networked together throughout a building. The signs can be programmed to display Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, photographic images, stored or live video, or other content, all using a personal computer, or even remotely when using an Internet connection. Preprogrammed emergency messages, such as "evacuate the building now" also could be uploaded instantly, if necessary, Lorenz says.
The company has four different models of the signs, which range in cost from $1,700 to $3,000 each. They are designed to increase sales, to inform, educate, notify, or alert, or to encourage certain behavior, Black Box's Web site says. Because the signs feature moving images, they attract more attention in a waiting room, lobby, or walkway than a static advertisement.
Black Box's Spokane operations, which are located at 55 E. Lincoln, oversee nine branch offices in Eastern Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The office sells and services voice and data communications systems, and has about 15,000 customers, says Jennifer Hall, business manager at the office here.
Black Box, which has 194 offices in 141 countries, established an office in Spokane in 2007, when it bought longtime Spokane telephone equipment supplier B&C Telephone.
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