Planar has again brought digital media technology and architecture together in a public space with the installation of its Planar® Helium™ and Planar® Simplicity™ Series displays in the Center for Architecture in New York City. The displays currently provide interfaces to an exhibit called Considering the Quake: Seismic Design on the Edge. The displays will be incorporated into the design of future exhibits providing the means for delivering an immersive digital experience.
Digital display technology that is integral to the exhibit space
Considering the Quake was curated by Dr. Effie Bouras and Professor Ghyslaine McClure, P.Eng in association with McGill University. The exhibit, designed by Softlab, a New York City-based design studio, features the integration of three Planar displays in the 1300 sf space. SOFTlab’s founder and president, Michael Szivos says the Planar displays – a pair of 32-inch Planar Simplicity (SL3250) models and a 24-inch Planar Helium(PCT2485) model– were appealing for a number of reasons, notably their aesthetics. “We wanted the latest in digital technology, but also products that felt original to and integral with the exhibit space.” Both Planar Helium and Planar Simplicity address this requirement with their sleek profiles and elegant slim designs. “Also, unlike other products such as large-screen televisions, their ability to blend seamlessly with the architecture focuses your attention on the content rather than the screen, and that greatly helps support the communication, education and entertainment goals of the exhibit,” Szivos adds.
Installed in early 2014, Planar Helium and Planar Simplicity Series were selected as platforms to help architects, designers and engineers understand how certain structures and building materials will behave under differing earthquake circumstances. Each of the 32-inch Planar Simplicity shows videos and renderings of building construction as well as building materials undergoing earthquake testing. The 24-inch Planar Helium is an interactive platform with up to 10 touchpoints that, when touched, cause a displayed image to shake and sway as a building might do in an actual earthquake. “This interactivity is particularly important because it allows you to see how your design of a building, or the choice of materials you make, react and change as you use the touchscreen to change the severity of an earthquake. That makes it a particularly valuable learning tool,” Szivos continues.
Display features meet durability and performance requirements
The center’s Hoff echoes the importance of digital media and interactivity. “In a city like New York, there are many iconic museums and learning centers such as we have here. When word gets around that the Center for Architecture is employing both digital media and interactivity in a particularly interesting way, that draws people in– which increases our awareness and visibility and helps grow our base of support.”
In addition to these capabilities, Planar Helium and Planar Simplicity Series provide features that make them especially suited to applications in public spaces. Both were specifically designed to operate in demanding environments with high durability and performance requirements. They incorporate commercial-grade LED and LCD panels that can perform without fail for tens of thousands of hours. Both products can display content from a very large digital library, allowing the center to present a significant amount of information in a limited amount of space, and change it often and easily- on Planar Simplicity, for example, this is done through a USB playback feature (as well as over a network, via a wireless device such as a smart phone or tablet) that includes dynamic scheduling. “It would be impossible to show as much information on conventional exhibit media, and changing it would require far more time, effort and cost,” Hoff says.
Other features are important to note. On Planar Simplicity Series there is the edge-lit LED LCD panel, and on Helium, the multi-touch capability that Planar has optimized for the industry’s newest software including Microsoft Windows 7 and 8, and it offers highly accurate and responsive swiping and gesturing.