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Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) turns to Formula D interactive to create an innovative multi-touch wall.

The Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) has turned to South African design company, Formula D interactive, to create an innovative multi-touch wall that will enable the Authority to communicate its vision and responsibilities to the general public and VIP guests in an original and engaging way.

In a market saturated with food and drugs products and medical devices, it is essential that the regulatory body monitoring and controlling these products is able to communicate effectively with its public. More often than not, exhibitions and conferences provide opportunities to communicate, and it is in these environments that Formula D’s interactive tool really comes into its own.

The multi-touch wall is a radical departure from traditional video-based promotional and educational media that has long since dominated the market. Its interactive system invites active participation from members of the public. A single touch is a literal portal into the heart of the organization. Instead of simply telling users what the Authority is and how it operates, the multi-touch wall allows them an opportunity to navigate at their own pace and control their own experience.

Content display gallery on multi-touch wall

Content display gallery on multi-touch wall

Formula D’s multi-touch wall, however, is not just a kiosk for accessing information. At a width of more than 2 meters, up to 3 adults can comfortably use the system simultaneously and share their experience as they explore the application.

A first touch at any point of the screen activates a flower-shaped menu around the SFDA logo. Each menu item stands for one of the core responsibilities of the Authority, including Food, Drug and Medical Devices. From here users can watch videos, access text-based information and explore animated explanations of typical SFDA registration and evaluation processes.
Integration of Google maps browser

Integration of Google maps browser

State-of-the- art multi-touch technology lets users interact with images, video and animations using natural gestures, such as grabbing, stretching and sliding virtual objects on screen with fingers or hands.

Special features include access to Google maps showing SFDA branches and laboratories, and an interactive guestbook where visitors can “sign in”.

The first of its kind in Saudi Arabia, the interactive wall is composed of four 55-inch High Definition screens running at a huge resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels, giving users the impression that they are handling a giant iPad. In order to display multiple animations and video feeds at this resolution and include multi-touch interactivity, Formula D interactive had to program the application using a sophisticated Java-based processing framework. The custom-built content management system makes the application flexible enough to be in use for many years to come.

The distinct collaboration between a South African design company and a Saudi Arabian government Authority has created a successful example of using a large-scale interactive multi-touch system and multimedia for governmental information distribution and education.