Life doesn’t get much better than summer on Prince Edward Island, where our Development team and headquarters are based. But perfect weather, gorgeous beaches and BBQ’s galore didn’t stop the ScreenScape team from making excellent use of their time. We took advantage of the summer lull to go into high production on new features for our members.

Here’s a look back at a shortlist of the many new features and developments released by ScreenScape Networks over the 2010 summer season.

Member Tags

(early June 2010)

The development of this feature was a long time coming.

With all of our features we try hard to hide complexity and “keep it simple” when it comes to user interface.

On the surface, Tags might seem benign and, well, simple. Under the hood, ‘Tagging’ was a pivotal advance for the ScreenScape application. It provides a cornerstone for our Community search capabilities, and paved the way for our Advanced Distribution and Sharing features released shortly after.

We’ll see the implications and benefits of this one for a long time to come.

Impact: All Members

Advanced Distribution

(early June 2010)

On the back of the new set of “Tagging” features, ScreenScape advanced a major feature improvement for its Group members.

The goal of the Advanced Distribution feature set was to simplify the distribution of content to large groups. With its introduction, “slice and dice” distribution to cross-sections of those large groups became a simple and repeatable process with a couple of clicks.

An interesting evolution of this feature was the ability to automate content distribution, putting a smile on the face of group managers everywhere.

We think the functionality combining private member tags and advanced distribution is unique in the industry. It gives group managers with large networks a scalable recipe for success, while keeping the tools simple and easy-to-use.

Impact: Groups

Member Directory

(late June 2010)

While members of our service have always been able to find and connect with each other from inside the service, in late June ScreenScape introduced an external member directory.

This application is available to anyone on the Web, and allows our members to advertise their presence in the ScreenScape Community with zero effort. Every member has their own external ScreenScape URL, describing their venue and their Display.

Impact: All Members

Usability updates

(late June 2010)

Good application developers are never quite satisfied with their work, and our members give us great suggestions on where we can tweak and improve. In June our long time members noticed a string of small-but-mighty changes to existing ScreenScape features, like “Maximize Preview”, and the “Unread message” indicator.

If you have any ideas or suggestions for improvements, we’re always happy to hear them.

Impact: All Members

The foursquare widget

(late July 2010)

This one’s a biggie.

There are many dedicated foursquare users at ScreenScape HQ, so this feature got a lot of people around here very excited. We see HUGE potential for the integration of location-based-services and venue based digital displays. ScreenScape in combination with foursquare is a great marriage of two complementary technologies solving similar challenges.

Expect ongoing excitement and new developments around this particular widget.

Impact: All Members

Advanced Sharing

(late July 2010)

Similar to Advanced Distribution, the Advanced Sharing feature set was built on the back of a “Tag” foundation. The ability to Share screen content is a fundamental tenet of the ScreenScape approach to venue networking. Beyond the “all or nothing” sharing previously available, this feature set allowed our members fine tuned control over who they did and didn’t Share with.

This is one case where Groups have a significant feature advantage over our Single Venue members. Groups can share to all, some, or none; Single venues can share to all, none, or one. Simple difference, powerful results.

Impact: Groups and Single Venues

Full Screen

(mid August 2010)

The dev team really knocked this one out of the park. Lots of “wows”, “oohs” and “ahs” wherever this one got an early sneek peek showing.

This was a major shift that allowed members to selectively break free of the 3-panel mode that had been standard to all Displays. Members can now transition seamlessly between our traditional 3-panel information display and a Full Screen mode that fills the entire screen.

Full Screen also introduced a large bump in the overall quality of content displayed on our screens. Video conversion quality was amped up, image size limits were doubled, and overall video display quality was significantly improved.

This has been a highly requested feature since the early days of ScreenScape. Architecturally speaking, our Development team was very pleased to be able to deliver it in a way that “fit” with the rest of the ScreenScape system.

Impact: All Members

What’s next? “Location, location, location.”

Summer’s not over yet!

Venue Networks are inherently about “location”. There is a huge buzz going on in the software industry about location based media and its potential. ScreenScape is on the forefront of these trends.

Coming soon to a screen display near you, you’ll see an increase in the “location awareness” of all our members and screens.

Stay tuned.