Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature
youRhere Inc. provides unique digital interactive informational signage to properties ranging from commercial and health care to multi-use and retail. With more than 600 touchscreens installed and staff working across the country, the company continues to grow and evolve its capabilities to meet building owners’ changing demands.
Scot Martin, youRhere CEO, says the origins of the company go back 15 years and began with a focus on office lobby directories. “There was a growing interest in shifting from the old-style static signage to touch screens as a way to modernize and keep up with technology, and fueled by the time and cost involved in constantly updating posters and lettered boards as information changed.”
He says at the time, though, the technology was basic, with small touch screens, simple functionality and little integration. Today, things have changed and available hardware includes screens up to 55 inches. Software, too, has improved. “Today’s systems provide a shared content management system with a range of information that can be provided and changes made by either the customer or ourselves.”
Martin says building owners can provide tenants and visitors with information ranging from local transit feeds, mapping of the surrounding area and amenities, building news and initiatives, retailer promotions, and of course, the traditional tenant information. Instead of remaining a touch point for visitors to the building, these interactive signs become a touch point for tenants as well. “These directories can be loaded with communication for tenants, including maintenance notices, sustainability initiatives, announcements about new tenants or building awards. And they can be available in multiple languages.”
Installed from Victoria to Newfoundland in malls, hospitals, government buildings, tourist attractions and in commercial and residential properties, Martin says these directories also produce valuable data for building management. “If a building has an interest in determining tenants’ interest in sustainability, for instance, they can send a message to all tenants to check the directory for updates. Our directories can then generate a before-and-after usage report, informing building management as to how many people subsequently visited the directory to look at the update and letting them know whether this is something people care about.”
Martin says youRhere, unlike others in the industry, is an end-to-end systems integrator. The company has designers, project managers and support staff across the country who work with customers to first create a look – either a simple wall mount or something more complex and co-ordinated to the décor of the building, then determine the right software to meet the client’s needs, and finally, the right plan for follow up and support.
“Some clients may want us to remain connected simply as a service and maintenance provider over the life of the directory. For others, we can act as content managers and partners to the property owner, updating and interacting with the directory at their direction.”
With several of youRhere’s clients already operating or expanding into the U.S., the company is now moving internationally to provide its hardware, software and service south of the border. For more information, visit http://yourhere.ca.