As part of a broader move to paperless courtrooms, a state judicial court needed an audio/visual solution to allow courtroom viewing and presentation of electronic documents. With the help of Sharp and AQUOS BOARD® interactive display technology, the court has surpassed its goal by enabling enhanced presentation capabilities in the courtroom and beyond.
Business Environment Challenges
The longstanding custom of presenting in-court evidence on a physical cart is an important consideration for courtrooms when making the transition to a paperless environment. There is a need for a large visual display in the courtroom as an alternate means for presenting evidence to judge and jurors. As part of a state’s efforts to transition all courts statewide to paperless environments, the state judicial court needed to select a vendor for the courts’ audio/visual component to support electronic documentation.
The judicial court’s technology officer was responsible for outfitting the state courts’ 51 courtrooms, 57 hearing rooms, offices and training rooms with audio/visual technology.
“We needed a broad-reaching solution, and one that wouldn’t further burden already limited budgets,” he says. “And perhaps even more importantly is the need to have a supportive vendor. We have a staff of only four IT professionals, so we need a very reliable solution backed by superior service.”
Having recently attended a technology conference where he witnessed the Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive display systems in action, the technology officer was aware of the capabilities of the technology and approached Sharp Business Systems of Florida about customizing the solution to fit a courtroom environment. The court initially purchased one 70" Class (69.5" diagonal) Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive display system and has since purchased six more for a total of seven mobile display units located throughout the courtroom.
“The multifunctional feature of the Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive displays was a primary factor in selecting this technology,” he says. “We needed the display units to be more than just stagnant screens; we wanted interactive use for the displays across our facility, including attorney use in the courtroom and educator use in trainings.”
Since rounding out the court’s paperless transition with the Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive displays, the technology officer says that they have realized a multitude of benefits reaching far beyond simply going paperless.
Accustomed to presenting an evidence cart and using whiteboards for drawing, attorneys at the court now have more courtroom presentation capabilities than ever before. For example, digital images can be enlarged and directly drawnon via SHARP Pen Software to highlight specific features. The Google Maps™ mapping service can be pulled up directly on-screen to show travel routes and landmarks. Attorneys can project their laptop screens directly onto the display unit. The technology officer also notes that seasoned attorneys who rely heavily on standing in front of an easel, can still present in this fashion via the AQUOS BOARD displays by writing directly on the screen. In addition, every presentation can be saved for later review.
“Evidence carts only work in the courtroom and are of little value elsewhere, but the Sharp AQUOS BOARD interactive displays offer more value across our entire facility. Given all the units are fully mobile, we can used them in any of our 51 courtrooms. We can also leverage them for presentations for a variety of audiences, and to train practicing attorneys. We recently held a class for teens and wheeled it into that room for enhanced learning. Sometimes we simply put them in the atrium for informational purposes. The possibilities really are endless,” continues the technology officer. The court’s savings have also reflected the benefits of the technology. In addition to the multitude of new capabilities, the Sharp interactive displays are also one-third the cost of the evidence carts.
“Sharp was an excellent partner in bringing our vision to life,” the technology officer says. “Not only did they work with us to customize the displays for a variety of courtroom applications, but they integrated with our in-house systems for optimum performance. The adoption and implementation went seamlessly and their ongoing support is an essential component of our success.
“Sharp was an excellent partner in bringing our vision to life. Not only did they work with us to customize the displays for a variety of courtroom applications, but they integrated with our in-house systems for optimum performance."