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Kodak's picture-to-screen application at Times Square powered by Aerva

Kodak’s “Smile Gallery” at Times Square, New York, powered by Aerva’s Pic2Screen application was released last month. It allows people to email their pictures and have┬áthem show up on the huge digital display. This is part of Kodak’s year-long “It’s Time to Smile” campaign which was launched in summer of 2009.
According to Tom Hoehn, director, Brand Communications and New Media at Kodak, “The recently upgraded huge digital display on the 50-yard line of the Crossroads of the World is now networked. The cool part about it is that you control when it shows up.”

Kodak’s digital billboard in New York City.

Aerva’s Pic2Screen application accepts pictures via email to[email protected]with optional captions on the “Subject:” line. Users get immediate acknowledgement of their image along with disclaimers about use of the picture on the display and criteria for acceptance. Kodak team uses Aerva’s Photo Moderation web application, which allows batch acceptance/rejection of images for high throughput, especially at busy times like New Year’s Eve at Times Square. Multiple moderators from across the globe can help moderate the images. The Photo Moderation tool also allows Kodak to remove or edit captions for appropriateness, length, etc.

All users get an email upon moderation. Accepted images get a code that users can use to text in when they want to see their photo, thus making the “Smile Gallery” a destination and the user in control of when the picture will show. The same trigger code can be used up to 6 times during the campaign period. All rejected images are given reasons why they are rejected, usually for picture quality, inappropriate content, including explicit advertising of brands, logos, etc.
The technology
Aerva’s Pic2Screen application uses three technology platforms:
1) A digital signage platform called Aerchannel, which allows scheduling of any content type on any kind of digital display anywhere in the world
2) A mobile interactivity platform called MoApp, which allows text message interaction between users’ handsets and any number of Aerva applications, such as Pic2Screen
3) Aerva’s cloud computing back end is also involved and provides scalability as well as virtualization so that images can be processed at very high throughputs and user texts accepted and acknowledgements in a similarly scalable manner.