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Downstream Standardizes Scalable Display Technologies for Experiential Video Technology

Downstream is a leader in the development of unique, digitally augmented environments and public spaces. Founded in 1988, Downstream has created a global community of designers, production managers, content designers, developers, and other creatives. With offices in the United States, Amsterdam, and Melbourne, Downstream serves customers with localized design, project management, build, and installation capabilities. Collectively, Downstream is at the forefront of brand communication, reaching around the globe, creating compelling brand experiences for some of the biggest and most dynamic companies, including Microsoft, Verizon, and the Atlanta Braves.

“Downstream is uniquely positioned,” said Trent Hays, technical principal for Downstream. “We’re a bit different than a typical AV consultant because we create content, build the story and provide custom software development. We are putting our content onscreen, which creates another level of complexity. We see the project through the very end. During an installation, many technical and environmental challenges often don’t unveil themselves until onsite, but we are intimately involved in every step of the process.”

Hays added, “We create a lot of corporate executive briefing centers, executive lobbies, and unique corporate experiential technology. We develop design strategies, branded environments, and immersive experiences for our clients. Many of these projects are incredibly intricate and require the highest quality technology with unique technological features. Because of that, we’ve built a longstanding relationship with Scalable. We’re in the middle of a few fascinating, unique projects where Scalable plays a key role. We also just wrapped up an interactive, art-centric project at Boise State University.”

At Boise State University, Downstream completed an unconventional project utilizing ultra-short drill lenses on glass with a front projection film applied. The projection was a small piece of a much larger, complex solution. Recognizing Scalable’s capabilities, Downstream confidently provided a projection solution that contributed to a significantly large project.

“We integrated eight projectors with 18 glass-paneled systems that we custom-designed with projection film and capacitive touch film to create a seamless 270-degree experience,” explained Hays. “The design features comprehensive interactivity throughout all three walls. We were able to automate much of the projection with Scalable to create a sustainable and interactive projection solution.”

Scalable provides users with a unique technical advantage by pairing the highest pixel performance with quick, seamless calibration. Scalable’s groundbreaking software automatically calibrates the color, intensity, and geometry of images from multiple projectors, resulting in a single, seamless digital display.

“Scalable’s one-touch calibration allows us to automate the calibration process,” said Hays. “We schedule the calibration during downtime and eliminate the need for a human to operate and adjust the system. Before Scalable, we would manually calibrate projectors. It was incredibly tedious and time-consuming. If the projector needed maintenance, it would need to be recalibrated. Scalable allows us to automate steps and reduce the time necessary to maintain a high-level system. It lets us think on a very large scale with projection.”

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Scalable’s proprietary technology was developed at MIT by Dr. Rajeev Surati and Dr. Tom Knight. The company has acquired 12 patents relating to edge blending, warping, and color-calibration technology. “Scalable started as an MIT project and the developers understand the power and flexibility of this solution,” noted Hays. “They have continued to build new functionality and configuration options. We appreciate and value their commitment to innovation. There’s a lot of flexibility in Scalable’s solutions, which supplements the flexibility that we’ve created in our software frameworks.”

Scalable’s in-house customer support team provides a range of experience and technical knowledge that’s far beyond warping and blending. The team has broad expertise in 3D rendering, advanced graphics, machine vision, and the latest projection technologies. Their extensive experience enables them to provide reliable and knowledgeable customer and technical support.

“Scalable provides us with quality service and support, especially as we’re installing it in the field,” explained Hays. “Their detailed understanding of the technical challenges in the projection field is unparalleled. They have a wealth of knowledge and experience, not just about their solutions, but also the requirements and capabilities of projects like ours. It’s beneficial for us. They’re willing to go above and beyond. I’ve often told folks in the AV industry that in terms of customer support, Scalable is hands-down the best customer support I’ve received from any manufacturer in the industry.”

Hays added, “Scalable supports us during onsite installations. At the beginning of our relationship, I was commissioning and installing the solution. I became intimately familiar with the technology. Scalable has taken that component off my plate. They’ve been a consistent partner for us. They provide us with reliable personnel from their team to support us during our installations. Their support has been very powerful as a partnership.”

Since 2004, Scalable has provided industry-leading applications, using machine vision algorithms to create a simple-to-use, cost-effective solution for warping and blending high-resolution displays on screens with unlimited geometry and size capabilities. Scalable produces groundbreaking software that automatically calibrates images’ color, intensity, and geometry from multiple projectors, resulting in a single, seamless digital display. With Scalable, there are no limits to the size or the resolution of the displays, and images can be created using software tools.

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