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Powersoft Deva Messaging System Makes U.S. Debut At RiverRink In Philadelphia

Combines audio, LED lighting, messaging and security features in a compact, eco-friendly unit

By PSW Staff December 17, 2014

A Powersoft Deva unit in place at RiverRink in Philadelphia, the first U.S. application of the new technology.

Each year at the end of November, thousands converge on RiverRink at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia to celebrate the onset of winter and the holiday season, and this year it’s also the site of the very first U.S. installation of Powersoft Deva, a new multipurpose, energy independent messaging system

Built around an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, RiverRink is the centerpiece of a ‘pop up’ winter garden that features al winter landscape complete with Christmas trees, cozy fire pits and spectacular views of the Benjamin Franklin Bridge and the Delaware River.

For the thousands of skaters that attend RiverRink each day, the Deva system delivers up to 115 dB of audio while consuming a diminutive physical footprint and remaining completely energy independent. Two of the Deva units are programmed to take photos of skaters at regular intervals, enhancing the overall entertainment experience.

After the rink closes, the system — which is controlled over a wireless LAN — is able to provide intelligent surveillance and active monitoring of the premises. 

Williamsport, MD-based Live Sound Co., which handled design and integration of the Deva system, was given a preview of the Deva system over a year ago by Claudio Lastrucci, research & development director at Powersoft.

“Our first installation of Deva is the culmination of our efforts with Powersoft, and their incredible engineering vision,” states Jeremiah Leiter, president of Live Sound Co. “When we turned the units on and they were working exactly as we hoped they would, it was such a feeling of pride. We don’t just want to sell products to our clients, we want to help them solve problems. This is exactly what the Powersoft’s Deva enables us to do.” 

New Deva from Powersoft.(click to enlarge)

The RiverRink installation is comprised of four Deva units mounted on two steel poles on opposite sides of the skating rink. A fifth Deva unit is mounted on a pole and pointed towards the entrance of the rink. Each unit — which measures approximately 12 inches by 18 inches and weighs just under 22 pounds — comprises an active loudspeaker, an interactive messaging system, high powered LED lighting, an FM tuner, built in GPS, presence sensors, Wi-Fi and several other intelligent features. 

“As far as I know, there is no other product on the market that combines such a compelling feature set,” says Live Sound Co. chief operating officer Nik Mondo. “The icing on the cake is that they can be solar powered and have a built-in battery, so they don’t require external power sources. This means that you don’t have to worry about the typical power restrictions that might be faced in other scenarios with other competing products on the marketplace.” 

While the RiverRink installation was initially set up as a “proof of concept” to demonstrate Deva’s features and functionality, Mondo, who hails from the City of Brotherly Love, is confident that the council will soon find other “smart city” applications for the unit: “I would like to see Deva installed alongside the trails along the Delaware River, all the way to South Philadelphia,” he says. “Such a system could provide messaging and an added measure of assurance and security for pedestrians, especially in areas where there is not a lot of lighting or public infrastructure.”

“Security is such an important consideration for just about any metro area,” he continues. “On this product, there is a light, a camera, an FM tuner, a motion sensor and a speaker all in one. So if somebody walks in front of the unit, it can trigger a predefined message — or it can photograph surroundings at predefined intervals. All of this activity can be monitored from any location via the network.”

Deva’s product design carries through to its ease of installation: “We can install each unit in about seven minutes,” says Mondo. “The mounting and set up is very simple and exactly what you would expect from Powersoft.”

The power is supplied via solar panels, which are positioned and clamped directly to the truss above each unit. “As engineers, designers, installers and integrators, we are used to dealing with complex levels of components, software and other considerations to make things work right,” Leiter notes. “Deva is a joy for us because it is so easy to get it up and running — all the functionality you could ask for is at the ready for the end user.”

Once the system was up and running at RiverRink, the audio quality did not disappoint. “When we first fired it up and played music in the rink, all the audio engineers and staff had smiles on their faces. The audio was crisp, clear and articulate,” Mondo says. Initially, he was concerned that the four Deva units would not cover the 98-foot by 200-foot rink space, due to their modest yet sleek physical presence. “I was extremely worried that four units may not cover all that space,” he recalls “To my surprise and excitement, they audio covered the entire rink with ease and even bled out into other areas beyond the rink when we needed it to.” 

Find out more about Deva here.



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