First, if you haven’t heard of the term “techorating”, it’s not something I made up. I thought I had but after I asked my dear friends Alan and Jonathan Brawn to write a course for our E4 AV Tour on this trend I was calling techorating, they discovered it was not an original. Techorating was a catchy term coined back in 2008 by interior designer, Doug Wilson from the TLC TV show Trading Spaces, as a concept for the emergence of integrating home technology and home decor in balance with one another. Since the Brawn’s taught this course for us a few years ago, the term caught on it the AV industry and has been written about in nearly every major AV publication, including a recent article in Digital Signage Today.com. I’ve seen a lot of great examples of techorating, especially in Las Vegas where designers and architects continue to push the limits to wow audiences, attract visitors and keep us coming back for more shows, casinos, long cab lines and the ever-present linger of 2nd hand smoke. Which is why my visit to Comcast last week was filled with techorating awesomeness! It was an experience like no other, elegantly done with a playful yet bold approach – and 100% smoke free. You enter the lobby on JFK Boulevard in downtown Philadelphia, which is the tallest building in the city, and at first it looks like any other normal lobby: Nice ashy oak walls, silver accents, very clean and polished look. But wait, something starts to happen and… It’s not just a wall! It’s an intergalactic force to be reckoned with. No wait, it’s a water wall! Cool stuff, right? It’s the attention to detail as well that struck me. Much of the content intertwines with the wall architecture, creating virtual joints in the places where the LED panels “join” – you can see from this shot that part of the image is a real joint and the other is silver colored pixels. You may be wondering what I was doing lingering in the Comcast lobby. I was there on official business but I can tell you that this is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Philadelphia, so it’s not uncommon to see all sorts of people in their lobby. We launched our new Almo Connect service for our resellers to offer bandwidth, cable TV and voice services to their customers and Comcast is one of our partners (along with many other top cable providers). Why would our partners offer bandwidth services? Think about if you’re doing a digital signage deployment and you plan on refreshing high resolution content on a daily or weekly basis. You need LOTS of bandwidth! And for future proofing, think about 4K – now you’re talking BIG data coming across a network. And of course the IT people are like, “no way, not on my network!” And you’re like, “no big deal, we offer high speed internet and we can take care of everything.” Voila – the reseller makes monthly reoccurring revenue on that sale – that’s right – every single month. But back to the techorating – here’s a very cool video so you can see how they use different parts of the wall for entertainment, like this “cubical” video:
Kudos to the designers and especially to the content creators. The convergence of architecture, decorating, digital display, graphic arts done spectacularly well and I didn’t even have to walk through a casino to see it.