By highlighting innovative uses of its range of LED displays the manufacturer hopes to push their creative limits
Last week, Samsung invited a gaggle of reporters to join them on a New York tour of its LED display solutions in action. The day-long gathering would take us from Park Avenue, the seat of the real estate giant, Fisher Brothers to, at the end of the evening in a nice bit of dovetailing, the penthouse suite of the W Hotel in Times Square.
The plot points of this journey — Fisher and Sons (The Wall, model IW008J), the advertising behemoth Ogilvy (2 Walls, model IF012J), the Museum of Modern Art (2 Walls, model IF015H), One Times Square (the staggering 350ft. unified Smart LED Signage display), and finally the 65in. Flip2 in situ at the W) — were a homage to the company’s mission to showcase how its displays can stand out in creative installations.
“Samsung highlighted these venues due to the diversity in applications,” said Joe Viola, Samsung’s B2B Sales Manager, LED. “It showed some, not all, of the possible ways we are using the technology. From corporate to retail to art to [Time Square] Spectaculars, we are fast become the leader in these segments as we have in others. In addition, we offered a unique way for our customers and press to see how Micro LED performed against our SMD technology. Both offer incredible, brilliant images, but Micro LED is clearly the LED technology of the future.”
Out-of-the-box applications were the order of the day, beginning with the flagship Micro LED Wall installed at 299 Park Avenue in the boardroom of Fisher Brothers, the 100-year-old real estate firm that manages more than six million square feet of new development in the city. Wanting to stay competitive while retaining older clients and tenants, Co-manager Ken Fisher, was clear that the .84mm, 10.6ft. x 6ft. Wall was more than a high-end videoconferencing tool for the company, though it serves that purpose as well.
“Technology, including the Wall, has become a recruiting tool for millennials,” Fisher noted, adding that staying ahead of the tech curve shows the company is not bogged down by its storied history. Fisher Brothers already has plans to renovate its lobby using Samsung displays and has already begun work to integrate Samsung Walls in more of its properties.
At the converted chocolate factory near the Hudson River where the advertising firm Ogilvy is currently headquartered, the large first floor media room is almost cave-like when its blinds are drawn. The large space is broken up by tall columns (a nod to its old factory days), a particular sticking point for Lynn Roer, Ogilvy’s Director of Event Management & Experiential Design. The multi-functional space, which services the entire building and Ogilvy’s clients, is used for global broadcasting and webcasting, and is often rented out for events.
After seeing the Wall in action, Roer collaborated with Samsung before ordering two 1.2mm, 13.2ft. x 7.ft. IF015H LED Walls for the complicated venue, where addressing troublesome sight lines was top priority. The displays, which sit side by side to face the divided room, offer Roer two things she was looking for in updating the media room’s tech: easy configuration and flexibility; and, it has spurred on a deeper interest in the company learning more about 4K and Micro LED technology.
“Collaboration is very important to Samsung, as we truly surround the customer with resources and talent to provide advice, consulting and amazing execution,” Viola said of collaborating with all of Samsung’s clients featured on the tour. “If it is our end-user focused manager or a LED solution specialist, or any one of the other unique resources Samsung offers, we engage from concept to service. From the moment the customer has an idea to the point when they need help post sale because technology, no matter how perfect, is never perfect. We have more than just sales and account people, we have trusted advisors, technical engineers, and others who help navigate the project and execute successful experiences for this project and the next.”
Walking into the Museum of Modern Art, you would be forgiven for not immediately noticing the Samsung IF015H hanging high above the expansive main entrance; the heavy foot traffic and row of security guards command immediate attention. Part of an installation by artist Phillipe Parreno, titled Echo (the Greek nymph), the high-hanging Wall is the center of the site-specific work that “moves in response to data culled from its surroundings in real time.” Subtly, the 1.5mm, 14.2ft. x 7.1ft. Wall displays this data as almost invisible, undulating pastels reflecting the sounds and movements gathered from motorized sculptures, light, video animation and sound installed throughout the museum.
In the museum’s free ground floor gallery, the 15.7ft. x 8.8ft. IF015H, which features 800 nits of brightness and a 1.5mm pixel pitch, is part of the dynamic “Energy” exhibit. Highlighting the ubiquitous nature of the binary switches that represent power off/on, combined in 1973 into one symbol with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 2002 recommending that the symbol become the standard icon for “power”, the large street-facing Wall, which measures 217in. diagonally, displays the dissembled and reassembled symbol on a continuous loop — bridging the gap between art and digital signage. It is a nice lead-in to the next stop on the Samsung tour…
One Times Square
Literally the digital signage capital of the world, Times Square has always been a cacophony of billboards and bodies. It is the go-to example when discussing how digital signage can permanently augment a landscape, and the towering 350ft display on the slim facade of One Times Square, previous home of The New York Times, is the latest giant to dominate the moving bottleneck that is the heart of Manhattan.
There are actually four screens screaming up the 25-story building, but taking precedence is the “Unified North Face”, an 8mm, 35.5ft. X 50.3ft., 1,312 x 7,380 resolution SMART LED Signage XPS Series display commissioned by building owner and real estate firm, Jamestown, and specified and integrated by Samsung subsidiary, PRISMVIEW. It is by every measure, a visual feat—like looking up the tallest mountain to get a glimpse of its peak. This exclamation point of digital signage faces Two Times Square, where PRISMVIEW also installed the Samsung Galaxy S9 board, an 8mm, 4.2 million-pixel pitch LED display that mimics the curved-edge design of the company’s Galaxy S9 mobile phone.
The Flip 2 at the W
To end the tour, our Samsung guides shepherded the group to the penthouse suite of the W Hotel Times Square, where winding down included a chance to play with the company’s Flip 2 interactive display, which debuted at the beginning of November. Now available in two sizes, 55in. and 65in., the collaboration display often used for presentations, notes and visual mind-mapping, is useful in several key applications especially education and corporate environments.
In this penthouse setting, however, to underscore that out-of-the-box uses of its LED range of displays are welcome, Samsung hired a local artist to draw various views of Times Square using the Flip 2 – demonstrating how it can also be a useful tool for artists. As an artist myself, I was thrilled to get a chance to use the Flip 2’s oil painting feature and got lost in exploring the boundaries of the digital drawing tool after a brief learning curve and lesson in using the accompanying pen.
“Because LED are made up of building blocks and the creative enclosures we engineer, we can accomplish almost anything,” Viola said. “It’s easier to think of where they might not go near and long term, although thinking now, I am not sure I can come up with one. In the end, LED will evolve to so many places in so many environments, and Samsung will be there as a leader breaking new ground and creating new and exciting visual standards for homes and businesses. The quality and vitality of these displays will and are achieving levels that will imitate real life.”