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Greetings in the name of our Lord and Maker, Jesus Christ. The following is the story of one man and a vision to build a network of programmable signs in Indiana, Pennsylvania for the purpose of bettering the community and the well-being of those who live and work here.
In 1994, while working for Telcom Electronics as a salesman and system designer of two-way radio products, Doug Varner began to think about this plan. As he was traveling much in Western and Central Pennsylvania, he was noticing the portable electronic road direction signs and considering how it would be possible through radio communication to "talk" to the signs over a wide area.
For those who know Doug, he is a man who is often simultaneously involved in multiple projects, thus taking longer to develop some of his own ideas. Over time he had started investigations and studies into how this dream could be accomplished. As need for income and other projects of work would arise, the plan would wait. This waiting turned out for the good, as the technology to communicate with the signs and the quality of the signs themselves improved greatly, eventually emerging into the full color (16.7 million) sign panels that are in Indiana today.
Through the help of a silent partner and the encouragement of a friend, Doug was able to secure the funding necessary to develop the project. In December of 2005, the final process began. Investigation into sign companies that could provide the product and service commenced. Traffic studies were ordered. Contacts with landowners were made, and leases were signed. In addition, necessary permitting was accomplished in the municipalities, and with PennDOT with respect to state highway locations. The signs were installed over a ten day period in October 2006, under Doug's leadership and with help from his wife Sharon and family members. A very special thank you is also due for the unique and tireless help of Tal McGary who literally made the difference in keeping the project moving.
Although this type of technology is often seen first in cities like New York, Las Vegas, and other large metropolitan areas, many secondary cities and some smaller towns are now seeing the installation of this type of signage. In 2004, there were 450,000 billboards in the US, of those only 500 were electronic. Even today the use of this technology in this way is still emerging. The field is called Out of Home Media.
As to how they work, the signs are communicated with over the internet and can literally be programmed from any point around the world with high speed internet access. Our clients can simply call in to the office and tell us what the message is they wish to get across, send pictures, logos and information electronically to us. We help them by simplifying the information to the least that needs to be displayed to accomplish their desire. We also provide graphics development for logo presentation and branding. The client provides credit/debit card information and we process the sale and schedule the ads. No paper billing is done, normally.
The ads are eight seconds long and are scheduled either every minute, every two minutes, of every four minutes with the result being a minimum of 7,200 / 3,600 / 1,800 exposures over five signs, in a 24 hour period, respectively. Different plans are available from daily rates for one or two day runs, to annual plans with significant savings over the day/open rate.
Typical billboard companies would not hear of anything less than a monthly commitment, so this makes MINDSIGHT, LLC unique in allowing smaller businesses with limited budgets an opportunity to display messages effectively, without long term commitments. For regular billboard advertisers, they can now be on five signboards for about the price of one billboard (based on monthly rates) and most importantly have changeable copy.
In addition, Mindsight currently offers two panels per day that are FREE to non-profit organizations up to twice per calendar month. A non-profit organization can additionally receive a reduced rate for the ads they display. We just ask for a letter of recognition and placement in their publications when appropriate. Regarding community service, Mindsight has notified the local authorities that should an amber alert occur, or should an emergency arise in the community, they can call and have this information placed on the signs nearly as fast as they call, at no charge.
We hope that you find the signs helpful, inspiring, and valuable as a tool to better the awareness of the businesses, community organizations, and events in our community. Please take opportunity to call for rates and availability today at 724-463-6463 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for your support, and may God bless you and keep you.
For a better community,
OB GPS PMA
Director of Operations, MINDSIGHT, LLC.