In-Venue Social Interaction

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

SMS180 Interface

We were contacted by an organization last week who was looking into the possibility of projecting text messages submitted by participants onto a screen.  After looking at other possibilities and being told 1Eighty Design didn’t do this type of thing; they decided to contact us anyway. (Just to be clear, this is exactly the type of custom applications we like to do!)

After an hour of research we presented a theoretical solution that would accomplish their goals.  In the end the organization determined they did not have the time to pursue this but it sounded like a fun project so we developed a prototype anyway!

The way this works is a person submits a text message to a short code (a special 5 digit phone number) along with a keyword and their message. For example they could send a text to 55555 with the message: “1EIGHTY Thanks for posting my message!” and “Thanks for posting my message!” would appear on the screen once approved by a moderator.

Moderating Messages

All text messages are received by a third-party and then sent to our server where we store the information. A moderator can be logged into our Content Management System and see new messages as they appear.

The moderator can select “Approve”, “Rush” or “Delete”. If they approve the message it will be added to the queue of texts to be shown or if they select rush the message will be elevated to the top of the list. Deleting the message will simply remove it and not show it on the screen. The code is also setup to search for common profanities and automatically delete those.

Viewing Messages

The display interface is web based so you could have it on multiple computers at the location or even multiple locations. It could also be displayed on any computer or inside a Facebook application.

We didn’t spend hardly any time on the design below and developed a system for randomly submitting fake texts (so ignore the messages!). The interface highlights the most recent message and then shows the previous messages below it. The programming is setup to show a new message every 15 seconds, if a new message is not available it will randomly select one of the previously shown messages.

What Now?

The prototype could be ready to go with just a few minor tweaks. If you have a project in mind that could use this type of technology let us know!

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About Kevin

My name is Kevin Hamstra, I'm the owner of 1Eighty Design. I graduated from Purdue University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Graphics Technology. I've been developing websites, web applications and print materials for over 10 years now. I love what I do and enjoy meeting new clients and helping them turn their image around!

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