Design Thinking and the Clarity Matrix

By Jennifer B. Davis

I have been reading a great book by Tim Brown, a founder and thought leader at the famed industrial design firm, IDEO, called “Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation.” In the book he emphasizes that traditional fields of design (i.e., art, architecture, etc…) approach problems differently than other disciplines and having a more design-centric view can lead to more revolutionary outcomes. Hospital emergency room redesign, an example he uses in the book, is not just about the efficiency of filling out forms or the staff-to-patient ratio, but about the materials in the waiting room and how the process makes the patient feel. Design thinking is about approaching a problem holistically and understanding (or seeking to understand) the larger context of the problem at hand.

This is the kind of thinking that influenced our design of the Clarity Matrix LCD video wall system. The face that it is a system, rather than monitors that you can buy and hang adjacent to each other, is in itself telling. We didn’t limit our design to just the display. We developed an innovative mounting system and revolutionized the industry by allowing tiled LCD video walls to meet the stringent ADA requirements. We innovated the electronics design, placing fans, power supplies, and sources away from the wall. This alone creates huge benefits with regards to product life (less heat), installation costs (no power outlets behind the wall), and human factors (less noise), but also has significant serviceability benefits that we knew well from our long and pioneering history in video walls for demanding applications. The innovation continued with power supply redundancy, front-serviceability of the display tiles themselves, and image processing that is included, allowing you to stretch one video or image over an entire wall or portions of the wall as your needs dictate. Options like our ERO™ technology and Clarity Matrix with Touch are changing the usage model for video walls again.

Our approach is so unique that has created a whole new category of video walls: tiled LCD video wall systems. We are the world’s leader in this new category. The Clarity Matrix is a great example of design thinking and just one of the many product lines at Planar that reflect this kind of innovative approach.