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Installation Profile: NYC Inc.

Apr 14, 2009 12:00 PM, By Dan Daley

Smart screen technology greets global visitors at the Big Apple information center.

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Three high-definition WUXGA 1920x1200-resolution DLP projectors are configured for a 16:10 aspect ratio for tabletop touchscreens running GestureTek’s touch-sensitive object-recognition engine. Riding on the GestureTek engine is a Flash program based on Google Earth software that allows visitors to self-navigate a tour of the city on the screen. Visitors can then print out a custom itinerary or send it to their cell phone as email or SMS text.

The puck is then taken to one of two information pylons loaded with a GestureTek object-recognition camera that reads the bar-coded data from the puck. One pylon generates an itinerary that can be printed out or sent wirelessly to a visitor’s phone or PDA as email or SMS text. The second pylon will replay the itinerary on 4x4 videowall, composed of 16 Salitek Orion MIS-4230 42in. 640x480 plasma screens that project a single image at a cumulative 1920x2460 resolution. Each individual monitor is mounted on a custom RPV swing mount to facilitate rear-panel access for servicing; the mount also provides fine-tune movement adjustments to achieve the seamless effect.

Another bank of video displays make up the FAQ stations. These are four 32in. Sharp Aquos LC-32D64U LCD screens that were sent to CyberTouch, a custom screen fabricator in Newbury Park, Calif., to have touchscreen functionality fitted to the displays.

“At the time, last June, no one was making widescreen touchscreens in a resolution higher than 1280x768,” Polly says. “We needed higher-resolution touchscreens, so we had CyberTouch custom integrate these for us.” The touch functionality comes from a thin film bonded to the display with a USB control cable connecting it back to the pylon.

Polly says he had used GestureTek’s finger-sensitive touchscreens before, and once the company confirmed it could combine that and the object-recognition feature, it made for an irresistible turnkey solution.

“I knew that GestureTek’s gesture interface could be incorporated into a touchscreen-type table, and that they have made several tables using this technology, and through earlier conversations, I knew that GestureTek was also working with object-recognition technology,” he says. “I approached GestureTek with the parameters and other information that I had about the content software, and asked them to take a crack at perhaps delivering the final product. I knew that part of the engine was already developed by GestureTek, and since they already had a head start on the object recognition, we could pretty much quantify what custom software development was required to finalize the product.”


Two Bose FreeSpace DS100S surface-mount loudspeakers are installed in the soffits on either side and on the sides of the videowall, augmented by a surface-mount Bose FreeSpace 3-II Acoustimass FS3B subwoofer. These make up a full-range system for music and effects from the program audio loaded on the hard drives in the control room. Four more Bose DS100S loudspeakers are ceiling-mounted for paging and background music applications.

Each of the GestureTek interactive tables has a Tannoy Di5 loudspeaker above it, embedded in an architectural detail in the shape of an “I” (for “information”). These produce beeps and other sound effects that act as cues as users scroll through the maps on the tables.

The FAQ video displays each use a specialized SonicBeam 24 mini line array from Brown Innovations. Each array is wall-mounted next to a display.

“The line arrays are the best choice for this situation because they’re very good at keeping the audio tightly focused on the person at that screen,” Polly says.

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