Techorating at the E4 AV Tour

Display tech is increasingly plausible as a design element.
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Techorating at the E4 AV Tour

Oct 17, 2011 11:35 AM, by Cynthia Wisehart

In SVC's Open Mic column, Jonathan Brawn talks about "techorating." He didn't invent the term, but he's adopted the cause, teaching a course on the blending of technology and interior design at the E4 AV Tour events in Chicago and New York this month. Display technology is increasingly plausible as a design element—not just better looking flatplanels, but options for the kind of color fidelity, shape, and organic presence that building designers need to see.

We got a glimpse of one intriguing new option at InfoComm—Prysm's stackable Laser Phosphor Displays (LPDs), which are now making the rounds with demo tours to Los Angeles, London, Dallas, and next month to Baltimore/DC and New York. Or you can arrange to see the displays at demo centers in London; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; New York; and San Jose, Calif.

Prysm's Dana Corey says the tour is a chance both to demonstrate the LPD images and to have candid, ''raw'' dialog with consultants and integrators about the technology under the hood, including installation and cost of ownership issues.

Prysm put about five years of R&D into its LPD platform, which debuted in January of 2010 as a technology demonstration. Fast, brilliant solid-state lasers provide HD images viewable from 178-degrees. Now, Prysm has products based on the platform—a group of stylish standalone configured options in vertical and horizontal shapes, as well as a freeform option that takes advantage of the displays' Lego-like flexibility. That same flexibility allows for custom displays to be built to any shape or size and integrated into interior design in strikingly seamless ways. The displays run off a standard 110V outlet and Prysm claims a 75 percent power savings over traditional backlit and projection technology-based products.

Corey put this into real world perspective: The displays don't need any special power or cooling infrastructure, and they look the same from any angle—things that make them particularly suited to that "techorating" idea I mentioned earlier. Think about it, Corey says, "A big plasma or LCD is a big presence; it gives off a ton of heat, it literally radiates at you. It doesn't blend into the design experience, it tends to dominate." The Prysm products are far more organic. While there certainly are spaces and designs that can harmonize with the bold, linear limitations of more traditional screen displays, the trend in displays, projection, and lighting is to blend and integrate into a space with more grace.

There's a money side to this too. As Brawn points out in his column, video displays can now be factored into decorating budgets and marketing budgets. For high-impact unique displays to communicate branding or ambience (as opposed to information), video display can be considered a true design option, not just a communication device. In this role, cost of ownership factors even more heavily as does a desire to use products that consume less energy and are more green.

You can see for yourself in Baltimore/DC Nov. 2-3 and in New York Nov. 9-10.

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