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Digital signage at the water cooler

Amsterdam, Netherlands — A joint initiative between local water companies and health organizations has led to the installation of multimedia-enabled water coolers across hundreds of schools in the Netherlands.

Through a program called TENQ (“tank”), water coolers featuring built-in display screens are available to secondary and vocational schools across the country.

Powered by Scala software, TENQ’s 365 water coolers currently play educational programming, controlled advertising and user-generated content on built-in 19-inch LCD screens. Students can upload personal videos and pictures, and this content can be viewed by other students on the TENQ website, with some of the content playing on the TENQ screens at their own school. When students use a TENQ cooler, they can select to view content uploaded by someone at their school.

“When we envisioned the concept of TENQ, we saw an opportunity to build a community for participating schools,” said Fine Trossèl, managing director of TENQ. “We realized that if students could contribute content, they would be more likely to view the screens and pay attention longer.”

Working with Scala, TENQ can provide each school access to the network. School administrators can log in to their own Web portal and input information that is visible on the screen through a ticker bar. Through this site, they can also power the screens on or off, as well as control the audio content.

TENQ is now expanding to elementary schools with a special version called TENQY for children ages 4 to 12. TENQY features a built-in flatscreen and programming that is tailored for a younger audience.

TENQ water coolers are available upon request by any school, and a local water company installs and maintains the coolers. Funding for the water can come directly from the schools, or students can purchase their own servings of water. A percentage of proceeds of water sales from TENQ are donated to Aqua for All, a Dutch non-profit organization committed to providing clean drinking water to developing countries in need.

digital signage at the water cooler