Sennheiser manufactures, sells and distributes audio technology for both consumer and professional buyers including a range of wireless microphone systems. Changes to the frequency allocation in Australia being made by the Australian Government in line with the switchover to digital television broadcasting – commonly referred to as the ‘Digital Dividend’ – has an impact on the frequencies that wireless and in-ear microphones can operate at. FIRST was briefed to develop a mobile tool to help users determine the frequency they could run their wireless microphones and in-ear microphones on both during and after the transition.
Based on a review of available government data and client discussions, FIRST recommended a mobile website that would help users identify the available frequencies based on location.
The solution allows the user to do a GPS look-up using HTML5 functionality and smartphone hardware, or enter a latitude/longitude, or enter an address, or pinpoint a location on a map. These methods allow users to not only determine the allowed frequencies at their current location but also plan for events at other locations – think planning a national tour or a festival.
Once the position has been devised, users can select from a list of transmitter areas. These are displayed in order based on a nearest neighbour result set adjusted for path loss using the strength of the transmitter and the distance of the transmitter to the users location as inputs. One or more transmitters can be selected, providing maximum surety for the wireless microphone operator.
Based on the selected transmitter areas, the user is presented with a list of available frequencies for that location. The user can further drill down into the current status of the transmitter areas and the post digital dividend status. The user can also find out about Sennheiser products available that can support the frequencies.
A thorough UXD project defined all requirements and logic for the usability of this mobile application. A number of user journers were defined to ensure that the final product wold be a fast and efficient tool when deployed in the field.
While the solution sounds complex, operating the site is extremely simple. The site is also supported by an educational site at www.ddready.com.au, also built by FIRST. Traffic has been strong, particularly given the niche nature of the topic.
This bullet proof solution by First has helped us transition our products and services into the new era of wireless digital management.