It All Started At Church with a Crying Baby.
How do you get a parent from a church auditorium to a church nursery to help with their screaming baby, with no cell phone, texting, pagers, or large-screen TVs? Thus, the birth of Microframe, as none of the above technologies were available in 1985. Microframe's story, like most small businesses, consists of seeing a need, figuring out a solution, and then finding a way to get it to customers.
The Visual Pager.
The first Microframe Visual Pager was born in the garage in 1986 to solve the above problem. The system consisted of a keypad placed in the nursery, hard-wired to a display in the auditorium. The first few systems used black and white tube TVs as monitors and a converted mini-computer as a keypad. As sales began to increase, we continued to refine the product, eventually changing to keypads and displays for our design. Microframe even held a patent (now expired) on our method of sending power and signal over the same wire to a remote display. Still, it would be several years before sales reached a point that Microframe could move from the garage to its first small commercial space.
We later designed a wireless keypad and LED display to allow easier installation. D0910 keypad Interestingly enough, we still get calls from customers with 20-year-old Microframe LED displays that are still working. The current version of the wired visual pager is a model D0910 keypad paired with any of our 900 series displays. With advancements in technology, WiFi visual paging is now an option. More on that later.
Our LED visual paging displays were large enough to be seen across most auditoriums, so we started receiving requests from sound booth technicians and broadcast personnel to convert our visual paging displays into timer displays. They wanted a way to communicate how long the pastors had been speaking. We'll assume this was for broadcast time constraints and not because preachers can be a bit long-winded. In any case, we responded with a new timer keypad that had two independent timers and several production functions. The current version of this timer is our model D6200 keypad paired with any size of our 900 series displays.
A new trend in Nursery call solutions started with the advent of on-site pagers. Rather than designing proprietary on-site pagers, we became dealers for the top brands and added our excellent customer service. Pagers were very popular for about ten years, but their popularity has diminished recently, with the pendulum seeming to swing back in the direction of Visual Paging and texting. Please find our complete line of JTech/NTN pagers for churches that still prefer vibrating pagers.
In 2007 Microframe launched a children's check-in system LambsList.com. As of this writing, Lambslist is entering its 15th year of continuous operation. At first, the primary function of LambsList was to allow churches to print matching security tags for parents and children to ensure pick up by authorized adults. However, feature requests started coming fast from Children's pastors, and our development team responded. Today, Lambslist is a children's ministry management database, allowing for classroom assignments by age, development or grade, mass promotion, text communication, and volunteer scheduling. See lambslist.com for more details.
WiFi Visual Paging.
The latest addition to our church product lineup is WiFi Visual Paging.
Using our free APP, children's pastors and volunteers can now use their phones to page parents or alert security personnel.
Please find our complete line of 4500 series WiFi-enabled products here.
Now entering our 37th year in business, Microframe has come a long way. While we have expanded to serve many different industries, we'll never forget where we started and our mission to help churches with great products and customer service.