Global food and agribusiness leader finds innovative use for structural support column in new corporate customer experience center.
What do you do when designing a new customer experience center and there is an intrusive 4-foot-wide concrete column in the middle of the room? If you’re Boise, Idaho-based The J.R. Simplot Company, one of the nation’s largest privately held food and agribusiness companies, you hire design and technology experts to turn that obstruction into a high-tech interactive learning center with a curved NanoLumens Nixel Series™ display and connected iPads. According to Michael Fornander, founder and President of Boise technology firm Neurilink, NanoLumens wasn’t just the best solution, it was the only solution.
“Novel projects and technologies get us excited,” Fornander said, “and Simplot’s customer experience center required some real creative thinking and research. For a public-facing room that employees and visitors pass through every day, this obstruction just wouldn’t do. The marketing team originally planned to install a basic LED display like a bank sign with red lettering, so we showed them how new flexible display technologies could turn it into a centerpiece of the experience center instead. After they saw how the NanoLumens Nixel Series™ display could support full color, 360-degree video, we all agreed it was the best choice.”
With a history of successful implementation, a uniquely convenient design that features front-accessibility for maintenance and an industry-leading six-year warranty, they determined that NanoLumens was the ideal solution partner to work with on the project. Paired with three pedestal-mounted iPads, the display became the center of the experience center, where guests can browse photos and agricultural information on the iPads, which is then shown directly on the curved NanoLumens Nixel Series™ display the iPads are connected to.
“We realized that we could make this one small area into a multi-person educational tool,” Fornander added. “Once the idea was agreed to, we set out to build a system that allows Simplot to split the single display into three distinct sections, each covering 120 degrees of the column and corresponding to one of the three iPads. In the design phase we considered building mounts to have three displays swing out of the column for servicing, but with NanoLumens displays that’s unnecessary — they are comprised of easily fixed or replaced Nixels™, small squares of LEDs that piece together seamlessly to form the full display. Each Nixel™ can be pulled out of the display individually, so the whole display does not need to be removed, altered or replaced if a single Nixel™ needs servicing!”
The 360-degree display is three feet tall and would be approximately 12 feet long if laid out flat. A single computer with three discrete video cards delivers signal to the display sections, and each video feed is controlled by the section’s corresponding iPad. Simplot decided to make the entire column agriculture related, so above and below the display are multiple sections showing different types of minerals and soil in a glass case that encircles the concrete column. The display is so impressive that it was awarded a 2017 NanoLumens Crystal Nixel™ Award for outstanding creativity in the design and implementation of an LED visualization solution.
“This experience center is adjacent to the main elevator lobby, with 800 employees passing by every day. With that level of constant visibility, the area needed to really shine,” Fornander continued. “For most people a curved display is a brand new sight, and that feeling of futuristic tech is a perfect fit for a company on the forefront of food production technology. NanoLumens was the only manufacturer we found to be trusted, tested, and capable of satisfying Simplot’s needs. What’s more, we try to use American manufacturers as partners whenever possible. NanoLumens is an American company delivering next-generation technologies, and we plan to specify more of their solutions to clients looking for show-stopping digital display solutions.”
Neurilink is a northwest telecommunications and audiovisual environments integrator that specializes in solutions ranging from video conferencing and UC collaboration to more traditional AV and interactive display technologies. The company prides itself in being thought leaders in the industry. With continual evaluation of products flooding the industry, their agnostic manufacturer approach ensures that they always prepare solutions that fit their clients’ needs, while providing them unparalleled expertise and forward thinking designs within an ever growing and changing industry.
With over 65 years of collective experience, Neurilink can design, build, and support solutions that enable best in class collaboration. Staffed with account managers, design engineers, video engineers, system programmers, installation technicians, customer service representatives, and operations personnel, Neurilink takes great pride in providing best in class solutions and service.