The ASU Law School’s new indoor billboard-sized digital display becomes a full-frame videowall when viewed from outside.
It’s not often that a building’s interior wall is used to make an impression on passersby outside. Then again, not every building has a billboard-sized high-resolution LED display inside that dominates the view through the first floor lobby’s large windows. At Arizona State University’s newly renovated Beus Center for Law and Society in Phoenix, Level 3 Audiovisual, one of the nation’s top audiovisual integration firms, recently installed a 33’W X 11.5’H NanoLumens Nixel Series™ display that people walking by simply cannot miss.
“The impact this NanoLumens Nixel Series™ display makes on people walking by really can’t be overstated,” said Kris Jonson of Level 3 AV. “It essentially turns the outside windows into a full-frame videowall that displays beautiful panoramic imagery, institutional information and videos. JBA Consulting, which helped ASU design the space, knew that a NanoLumens display was the best option to draw people in and provide an eye-popping installation in the lobby.”
According to Edward Garcia, the building’s Director of IT, the display’s size and vibrancy have helped turn the area into a meeting spot where students and the public can catch up on university and national news. “We knew there was an opportunity to create a true community space here,” Garcia said. “There is a pretty generous seating area outside where people can relax, interact and do work, and it’s right in front of this massive eye-popping digital display.
Part of the Law School’s mission is to engage the community to educate them about the legal system, so we’ve used it to detail aspects of the law and share legal news updates. Because this intersection gets so much foot traffic – it leads to other campus buildings and is right across from student dorms – it’s also a valuable place to show things like election night newscasts and the presidential inauguration. It’s highlighted on tours now, and it is commonly used to display information about upcoming speakers, the school’s law programs, and our generous donors.”
Every bit of this project was one-of-a-kind, including the need to cut out the concrete wall that now houses the recessed NanoLumens display. Lest anybody think other options would have sufficed, Jonson says the unique needs of this space necessitated using a NanoLumens LED display, as any digital surface needed to be far brighter than conventional digital displays and provide a seamless image while literally making a turn around a corner.
“One of the challenges of this west-facing space was the intense sunlight that pours in during the afternoon,” Jonson continued. “It was necessary to find a technology that could remain vibrant in that environment, and there aren’t many. This NanoLumens display can literally outshine the Arizona sunset with 1,800 nits of brightness! The other design challenge was creating a seamless 90-degree turn in a display, and that’s simply not possible with any other technology I know of. The last thing is that it needed to look great from near or far, for people inside or outside the building, so it was built with a four millimeter pixel pitch design that kept the cost in line with competition. After seeing it in action, it’s pretty clear to me that NanoLumens displays are introducing new digital design opportunities to architects and interior designers.”
While the ability to be extremely bright was definitely a requirement, the display doesn’t need to be bright all of the time. To ensure that the screen isn’t too bright during the darker parts of the day, NanoLumens provided a sensor that constantly measures ambient light and communicates with the display’s software to adjust brightness automatically.
The Level 3 AV team also installed a digital signage PC to control the videowall, which allows ASU to display any type of graphic or video, and split the full display into as many separate ‘windows’ as they need. In fact, the single display is almost always used as at least two separate windows, with the main widescreen side presenting one video feed, and the section around the corner showing another feed. So far the display is being used to present HD images and video, campus information and advertisements, often with a ticker feed for important news. According to Jonson, after completing the Beus Center installation, Level 3 AV is excited to specify NanoLumens on future projects.
“Two of our technicians visited the manufacturer in Atlanta to learn the installation process and maintenance protocols,” he added, “and now we will be promoting these versatile, unique displays to new clients. I can think of a hundred different ways to make a statement with NanoLumens displays, and I expect our clients will be as excited about them as we are.”
The NanoLumens display is the centerpiece of a renovation that also saw stop lights added to an intersection in front of the building and handicap-accessible ramps installed in the sidewalks. Two major benefits of using NanoLumens products are the industry-best six-year warranty and simplified maintenance requirements. The company builds its seamless displays by combining smaller LED units called Nixels™ that can be removed or replaced individually, so any future repair work can be done much more quickly and simply than competing large displays.