As data sets generated for decision support get bigger, demand for larger, seamless displays for uninterrupted presentation of the figures has created a new category of products. Extra wide displays were a feature of ISE 2014, and were also in evidence at BETT for educational collaboration. AV News reports on this trend.
First seen at BETT, Prometheans ActivWall provides a 16 feet wide, seamless (the one on show was a prototype) interactive canvas for classroom collaboration (described in detail in last month’s AV News). At ISE, Vivitek also showed a projection-based solution, called the WX21 Interactive Display with Finger Touch, in a number of corporate and business applications, including industrial design and construction.
But perhaps the category leader at present is Barco. The Belgian company introduced the OverView Seamless Videowall (OSV) series earlier this year. This is a large panoramic, seamless canvas that can display a mix of data and video in high quality without the distraction of seams or bezels. This curved display suits the visualisation needs of a multitude of applications – from crisis operations rooms, to brainstorming and planning rooms, to more traditional control room applications in utilities, energy and process control.
As part of a full solution, OSV also comes with TransForm C, an innovative controller and collaboration management system that enables all content to be positioned optimally on the screen by means of an easy-to-use graphical user interface with touchscreen.
Growing data sets
Why is this technology right for the market now? The trend towards using huge amounts of information (Big Data) to enhance decision-making requires larger resolution canvasses to visualise this vast quantity of data in the most optimal way. Barco’s OverView Seamless Videowall (OSV) – a large curved video wall that combines the advantages of using rear-projection cubes (with their 24/7 reliability, high degree of uniformity and short throw distances) with the company’s advanced image processing to create a panoramic seamless canvas.
All the information from a variety of sources is displayed in the most efficient way, with no distracting interruptions in the visualization of critical data. To achieve this, the first three OSV models – the OSV-340C, OSV-560C and OSV-790C – offer display canvasses of 3.8, 6.2 and 8.5 megapixels, respectively. Sizes vary from 3.5 to 6.5 meters (138 to 256 inches) in width: The display’s height is fixed at 1.4 meters (55 inches). The largest size, for example, can display a full five year play, month by month, with each digit of a size to be readable from the back of a boardroom (we calculate that you would need 240 inches of width, and so you would have room to space for data labels).
“The OverView Seamless Videowall (OSV) solution has been carefully developed as a complete system, bringing significant added value to a wide range of applications,” says Dirk Hendrickx, Vice President Strategic Marketing Industry and Government at Barco. “Not only is it the ultimate display solution for evaluating Big Data, it’s also a perfect fit for crisis management rooms as well as process control and planning environments. The seamless canvas, immersive experience, excellent image quality, high reliability, and flexible content sharing are prized as critical benefits for today’s collaboration challenges.”
All models of the OSV feature a curved screen that generates a natural immersive feeling and provides better viewing ergonomics from every position in the room. Delivering the widest viewing angles with high contrast and low reflections, the Barco proprietary semi-rigid screen technology is said to be perfect for demanding collaboration scenarios.
Images are displayed on the OSV using Barco’s LED-lit rear-projection technology. Developed initially for video wall cubes in the control rooms market, Barco is now making the technology available to a broader range of applications. The use of DLP projection technology makes the solution fit for 24/7 use, preventing the image retention (e.g. a burned-in company logo) often seen in less qualitative solutions.
OSV solutions also feature TransForm C, Barco’s new video wall controller and collaboration management system. TransForm C allows users to drag-and-drop sources freely onto the screen. Intelligence built into the system combines auto-generated and content-type dependent layout regions.
In addition, direct integration of a Barco ClickShare wireless presentation system allows users to display content from their laptop, smartphone or tablet on the video wall by simply clicking a button. Every ClickShare source is available in its full native resolution. Depending on the configuration, up to eight users can use ClickShare to share content on the OSV for maximum collaboration.