By Corey Moss
Every year I look for the “bonuses” – those that make a different kind of industry impact. Here are the two I chose.
VIRTULARIUM® (“The Cave”) – a disruptive joint solutions provider immersive experience.
If you didn’t get to the NEC Display Solutions booth at the show, you missed something very special. In fact when I got to the booth, it’s the first thing that Rich Ventura, Vice President of Business Development and Solutions took me to see, as NEC projectors and displays are a centerpiece, and I know he is also most proud of the collaborative partnerships developed by NEC Display Solutions of America, which is a major focus here as well. And of course – it’s that impressive.
VIRTULARIUM® (“The Cave”) is a virtual reality theater venue where upon entry, you experience an immersive environment designed for long-form narrative storytelling (like being under the sea experiencing sharks swimming around you). Representing the future of out-of-home digital entertainment, there is no headgear required to become immersed in this virtual reality experience. The large in-floor display attracts passers-by to the exhibit.
Jon 9, CEO at Holonyne Corporation and Executive Director of VIRTULARIUM® had this to say, “I designed the VIRTULARIUM® Virtual Reality Portal with one primary goal in mind: to create an immersive environment and deliver a “VR-ish” experience to the public without the use of glasses or head mounted displays. By combining the advanced functionality of NEC displays with the configurability of a Par4Keet server from Green Hippo Ltd., I was able to deliver a relatively compact system that met our goals. The third key ingredient was having a custom built support structure from RP Visuals that allowed us to create the U-shaped environment with micro-bezel displays.
The disruptive factor lies in the use of 2D flatscreens and VR production tools and techniques to create an immersive environment that delivers a type of VR experience. VR is normally delivered using head mounted displays – and most market activity is in consumer electronics. This installation demonstrates how VR can play a role in the large-scale digital signage/installation market as well. Possible enhancement to the current system include adding gesture or touch based interactivity; or upgrading to 4K displays and increase the total native resolution to a hefty 18K x 8K. This would be appropriate for scientific visualization or fine art exhibition applications.”
When referring to the show as well as the future of VIRTULARIUM®, Jon 9 said this, “The success of the installation at INFOCOMM this year is a good indicator of the viability of this type of immersive environment. Our next step with the VIRTULARIUM® concept will go beyond AV and disrupt the entire entertainment industry. Imagine this 18-screen enclosure scaled up to fit 300 people, powered by passive stereoscopic LED technology, delivering a VR Theater experience in the entertainment space. We are developing this concept further at our studio lab in Los Angeles, and also experimenting with using this environment for glasses-free immersive gaming.”
These are the solutions providers who comprise the VIRTULARIUM® collaborative partnership:
Holonyne – content creation and overall design. Jon 9 created this solution and NEC Display worked with him on the final outcome
NEC Display Solutions – projectors and large format displays
RPVisual Solutions – mounting structure for displays
Draper, Inc. – projection surface
Brown Innovations – directional speaker system
Green Hippo – video wall and projection processor
Abc4explore – shark content
Peerless-AV – mounts for NEC projectors
Intel – processor architecture
Draper, Inc. – the disruption of a re-brand from a 115 year old industry company
This year Draper Inc., a company that celebrated 115 years in business, re-branded and rolled out a new logo at InfoComm 2017.
With this, they also introduced the following statement:
- The Technology You Want
- The Functionality You Expect
- The Design You Desire
Draper, Inc. shows their new focus on innovative solutions as follows:
Your project requires precision. That’s why we collaborate with you to customize the right solution.
Draper merges the technology you want, the functionality you expect with the design you desire.
It’s a simple equation: Form + Function = INNOVATION.
We do more than manufacture shading, audio-visual and athletic systems. We listen to your needs and build to exceed your expectations.
Tell us about your project. We’re here to help.
Penny Sitler, Marketing Manager at Draper, Inc. said this about the re-brand and innovation at the company, “Draper has been planning new disruptions in the AV industry for over a year. We finally unveiled our new brand identity at InfoComm. But it’s a lot more than a pretty logo. Many AV people look at Draper and assume that a projection screen manufacturer must be pretty low tech. So we can’t be disruptive. They are wrong!
Draper is focused on innovative solutions. That’s our new tagline, and it’s true. We are innovating by formulating new TecVision projection surfaces that are tuned to fit the room, projector, and lighting. Our combination of window coverings, projection screens, and lifts means that we can help manage the unwanted light in an AV system, and our projection screens can overcome ambient light that benefits the audience and presenter.”
She continued, “We are also building new partnerships that leverage our innovative capacity and our USA-based manufacturing. The Draper booth at InfoComm was packed with innovative ideas, but we had even more disruption around the show floor—Draper could be found with NEC, Absen, Scalable Display Solutions, and in the Park.* This is not off-the-shelf stuff—all of those products were tailored to work with our partners’ equipment and meet specific customers’ needs. We’re just beginning to show our capabilities.
This is Draper’s 115th year, and we celebrated our biggest and best year ever. 2017 is on track to be another year of record growth. Draper is a company to watch!”
Or let’s just say added disrupters…
See you at InfoComm 2018!
*Penny made note of the fact that these were not the only booths where Draper products were found – each of these locations showed one or more products that were customized for a special purpose, and are not in their product offering.
With almost 20 years in audio visual integration and IT/computer sales and consulting, Corey Moss is the owner of Convergent AV. Corey writes for the publication and hosts/produces podcasts – The AV Life, The Edge of AV, EdTech Focus and The Show Corner. He has written for numerous industry publications about AV, IT, unified communications and collaboration (UCC), cloud and software, IoT, cybersecurity and more. He has also conducted interviews with AV and IT executives and global influencers.