For nearly two decades, Arizona State University (ASU) and the Mayo Clinic have collaborated on numerous healthcare initiatives and strategic partnerships. Together, they have worked to advance medical education, improve patient care and accelerate research and discoveries. In 2016, the two formalized their relationship by founding the Mayo Clinic and ASU Alliance for Health Care. The most recent development in their ongoing alliance is the completion of the Health Futures Center. The center is a state-of-the-art facility for supporting interdepartmental research and collaborative programs.
The new center opened in early 2021. It now features world-class facilities for med-tech innovation, education, and bioscience, engineering and biomedical informatics research labs. The 150,000-square-foot building also includes research and collaborative space. Furthermore, it has wet and dry labs, learning studios, a movement lab, demonstration kitchen and simulation lab.
The New Center
Located on the first floor is a 300-person auditorium for continuing education, presentations and events. The venue incorporates circular interior architecture and features a theater-of-the-round design to facilitate engaging presentations like TED-style talks. The space includes designed acoustics and features the very latest in cutting-edge LED display technology. Mounted overhead on all four sides, just below a rounded ceiling, are four Planar TVF Series LED videowalls. Each is nearly 16-feet-wide and 9-feet-high in 8×8 configurations with a 2.5mm pixel pitch (TVF2.5). The videowalls’ design also features concave shapes to conform with the auditorium’s curved walls.
“The goal for the facility was to create a flexible, comfortable setting for presentations on the latest developments in healthcare, medical education and public programs,” says ASU associate vice president Rick Naimark. “Our president visited other universities, which have in-the-round lecture facilities, and he really liked the way a 360-degree environment allows a speaker to engage more closely with the audience. We took that idea and made some modifications.”
The auditorium thus has the versatility for seating to be arranged either completely in-the-round or in a “wedge” formation with one-third of the seats removed. This depends on the presenter’s preference. The intent behind the videowall design was to ensure sharp and clear visibility of data and scientific details. Moreover, it needed to facilitate comfortable viewing from any perspective in the room, including that of the presenter, according to Naimark.
“The curved videowalls are sized appropriately to provide a full experience, yet not be overwhelming or too busy,” Naimark states. “Video content on the video walls is just spectacular — it’s a great way to bring presentations to life. We are planning to use the space for all kinds of different events.”
AV systems integrator Spinitar carried out the Planar installation for the ASU Mayo Health Futures Center. For this project, the videowalls incorporate a control system. This gives users flexibility in terms of how content is displayed on the four videowalls. “The entire system is connected to a large video matrix switcher, enabling different sources to be assigned to different locations,” adds Spinitar senior systems designer Jim Mauger.
For example, presenters can have PowerPoint notes displayed on a videowall facing them. Meanwhile, the actual presentation for the audience is on the other three videowalls, Mauger explains.
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Remote controlled broadcast cameras positioned around the room can also track presenters and display the feed. This further enhances audience engagement with the speaker. “The videowalls definitely catch your eye,” Mauger adds. “It’s quite the experience to walk into the room and see imagery like that in every direction.”
The videowalls also include the use of a Draper custom mounting solution. This helped address the challenge of installing the displays without floor support. “Attaching matching faceted videowalls onto a massive cylindrical wall presented a myriad of alignment issues, yet Draper was able to come through with a design that enabled the Planar and Spinitar teams to achieve beautiful results for the client,” remarks Draper director of business development Kevin Barlow.
The Planar TVF Series of Videowalls
The Planar TVF Series is a family of fine pitch LED videowall displays with a 16:9 aspect ratio. This allows every pixel pitch to exactly achieve popular resolutions, including Full HD and 4K. It also features front serviceability and a creative stackable design. Additionally, integrators can assemble the Planar TVF Series video walls like building blocks. This eliminates cabinet-to-cabinet cabling and reduces the complexity of installation and vertical alignment.
Thus, with a profile of less than three inches, the Planar TVF Series reduces the overall footprint and servicing space. This makes them easier to fit in more spaces compared to other LED videowall solutions.
Click on “View Slideshow” on upper-right corner for images of the videowalls at the new center.