Naval Display Unit

Naval Display Unit
Naval Display Unit

The bus is leaving in 2 1/2 weeks

The situation

How do you showcase a career in the Royal New Zealand Navy to potential recruits, when the majority of the Navy’s work occurs out at seas, over the horizon?

The answer is catch the bus at schools, job fairs or career days. The Navy has used mobile Naval Display Units for many years to promote recruitment and the existing
bus had come to the end of its life.

The need to replace it created an opportunity to deliver an interactive and dynamic experience on board, using the latest technology to capture life in the Navy as well as reflecting the Navy’s advanced technologicalcapabilities.

The newly customised $800,000 Naval Display Unit housed in a modified Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter bus chassis was nearing its launch date, when Intergen was recruited to provide the last link in the technology story on board – by designing and installing a bay of four interactive touch screens to showcase careers and opportunities in the Navy.

The turnaround time was vital. Just two and half weeks before the bus was leaving the station...

The pain

The Naval Display Unit that had inspired many to follow naval careers was dated, lacked interactivity and was no longer the right vehicle (literally) to showcase opportunities in the Navy.

“We needed a channel that was more interactive and engaging. Students expect to see and use technology. It’s part of who they are today.” Michael Hester, Project Manager, RNZN.

All hands on deck – the bus is leaving in 2 ½ weeks

Intergen has a preferred supplier status with the New Zealand Defence Force and had been previously been engaged to deliver the Navy’s online presence on They knew the territory well; the challenge was the timeframe.

The Naval Display Unit was required for delivery on March 16, allowing a tight window of just over two weeks to develop and install the Hewlett Packard TouchSmart screens that would contain an interactive menu of experiences about life and opportunities in the Navy.

The look and feel of the content on the touch screen kiosks was created in collaboration with Saatchi and Saatchi. The dynamics and brains making it work came from Intergen’s experience with Windows Presentation Foundation. The ‘big brother’ of Silverlight technology, this tool is extremely rich and interactive and is designed for running on a desktop.

Developer James Newton King explains WPF’s capabilities:
“Windows Presentation Foundation provides developers with a unified programming model for building rich window smart client user experiences that incorporate all the exciting elements such as multi media, graphics, videos and documents and let you interact with everything in a touch screen fashion. It’s Microsoft’s next generation technology for building superb interfaces. You name it, it can do it, and developers like us love it.”

On Time, On Budget

Intergen’s team threw late nights and weekends at the project to get it delivered on time. Navy Recruitment’s Finance and Marketing Adviser, Anna Biss, borrows the language of its largely student audience, saying, “It’s awesome.”

“Intergen has created exactly what we asked for, in an incredible timeframe,” Anna says. “The result is an interactive, hands-on look at what the Navy has to offer. People can take quizzes to find what job is the best match, they can watch video clips, find out their eligibility, see the opportunities for travel – we’ve brought the real environment within the Navy right up close.”

There’s also a smart recruitment follow up mechanism in the form of a touch screen Contact Us keyboard. It uses an asymmetric encryption mechanism to meet the Navy’s strict security requirements.

The gain

Navy Recruiting’s newest asset is an exciting modern environment, featuring an expandable audio-visual room for up to 20 people, and a bay of four interactive screens.

Now the Navy can bring the latest technology to the people, wherever they are in New Zealand.

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