Signs that talk

To improve the provision of information to visually-impaired passengers, Vultron International has developed the Talking Information System which converts a text message in English into synthesised speech using recently-developed software. A control box with an integral processor receives ASCII text data from the PC-based host system, and translates this into synthesised speech when activated by a push button, a sensor such as an infra-red device or a contactless smart card. Announcements can also be triggered automatically by the host.

TIS can be used independently or in conjunction with real-time information systems, as well as the Vultron range of LCD, LED and reflective disc displays. Vultron says that pronunciation can be customised ’to suit local place names’. French and German language versions are under development.

Mitron Oy has developed an on-train display to inform passengers if tickets are available for sale in a particular car. Single-sided thermo-chromic display technology provides high contrast and allows the use of a range of colours and free-shape pictograms.

RhinoCase housings are being supplied by Techspan Systems for 280 video monitors that Datel Rail Systems Ltd is installing at 20 stations managed by British train operator First Great Western, including Plymouth, Swansea and Reading. RhinoCase enclosures feature stainless steel metalwork and covers in GRP or fire-resistant phenolic material to match corporate colours, with concealed cable entries and hardcoat polycarbonate screens to resist vandalism.

Syseca Ltd has upgraded passenger information displays at Arnos Grove station on London Underground’s Piccadilly line. An ’electronic whiteboard’ in the ticket hall displays service information, and a dot-matrix indicator has been installed to give the expected arrival time of the next train, linked to track circuits.

Reader Enquiry Numbers

Vultron International Ltd 131

Mitron Oy 132

Techspan Systems plc 133

Syseca Ltd 134