Advanced solution for new €37m GE Global Innovation Centre19 October 2012
Global energy research and technology firm GE last week opened its new $40 million (€37m), 200,000sqft Grid IQ Global Innovation Center in Markham, Ontario, US, complete with an AV and IT solution from Canada-based integrator Advanced.
The systems integrated solution encompasses 55 rooms including a Customer Experience Center that features a 58ft Prysm LPD video wall.
According to Mark Mulford, president and CEO at Advanced: “This expansive AV and IT installation encapsulates GE’s mantra of Imagination At Work and provides an immersive media experience that is vital to convey the forward-thinking technologies GE is developing”
The Customer Experience Center brings GE’s Grid IQ technologies to life in a ‘visual and easy-to-understand way’. The room is equipped with what is said to be the world’s largest curved Prysm video wall (measuring 58 x 7ft comprising 175 individual tiles) and several wall-mounted touchscreen displays, enabling customers to explore GE’s energy technologies firsthand. Video processing is provided by the latest Extron Quantum Elite processor, with a professional grade multi-zone audio system also installed to complete the media experience. What’s more, the entire Customer Experience Center features Crestron automation and can be controlled through an iPad.
“GE wanted to create a one-of-a-kind experience for their customers,” said Mulford. “We proved that Advanced, more than any other integration company, has the knowledge, experience and vision to deliver compelling and effective AV solutions. We worked directly with GE and Prysm on the concept, design and implementation of the system and utilised the newest cutting-edge AV and presentation technologies. This resulted in one of the world’s most immersive digital environments. To put it simply, there is no other system like this on Earth.”
The 54 additional rooms include executive offices, boardrooms, training rooms, meeting rooms and many more. One training room, which can be divided into two separate rooms with a motorized wall, is equipped with a SMART 70” LCD interactive display and an enterprise-grade Polycom video conferencing system, allowing simple and effective global conferencing and training sessions. The room also features several large interactive touchscreens, a projector and a fully integrated audio system.
Elsewhere, the facility’s executive boardroom is equipped with a Crestron system that controls an NEC projector mounted on an automated projector lift, an audio conferencing system, table-mounted microphones at each seat and ceiling-mounted microphones that provide an unobtrusive solution for presenters.
Employees can even plug in their personal iPads and iPods to listen to music or watch satellite TV or DVDs at each station in the gym and fitness centre. The system can direct audio to individual stations or the main loudspeakers throughout the entire gym and fitness studio.
Lastly, the cafeteria serves double duty as the location for Markham’s town hall meetings. It features a projector and five NEC LCD displays with built-in speakers to display cable programming for staff and provide video presentation capabilities for town hall meetings, while an integrated videoconferencing system with two wireless microphones allows meetings to be broadcast to remote viewers.