The more mind-blowing technology becomes, the less it blows our minds.
The more omnipresent video displays are, the less aware we are of their presence.
Therein lies the conundrum for integrators and their clients whose goal is to create technology solutions that draw prospective customers’ attention.
Think of a digital sign that a retail client hopes will corral business. Consider a digital display that corporate trainers hope will eliminate confusion about when and where the next classes take place. Now imagine that nobody notices those digital messages because, frankly, they get lost among the digital messages that are everywhere you look these days.
Those are unsuccessful integration scenarios. “A lot of consumers are numb to the regular 40-inch display,” says Bryan Meszaros, founder and managing partner of OpenEye, a digital media consultancy that often works with integrators. “The creative doesn’t get the amount of attention you would like.”
The result is a new responsibility for integrators. Not only must they design and implement solutions that meet their clients’ performance needs, they now have to make sure they meet their clients’ elevated aesthetic demands. Meszaros says the challenge comes down to finding “something that has never been seen,” something unique to make people take notice.
While it’s not possible to flip a switch and suddenly assume design skills, something has to be done and there are things integrators can do to enhance their ability to provide visually-driven solutions for their clients.
New York’s Time Square and the Las Vegas Strip used to be our best illustrations of visual noise. In those spots, it’s easy to become overwhelmed simply by looking in any direction. The explosion of digital signage adoption—there will be 22 million digital signs in the world by 2015, predicts Intel—is closing the gaps between mainstream strip malls and the Strip.
Las Vegas-based integration firm Kelley Technologies does a lot of work on the Strip, having provided solutions to many of the major Las Vegas and Atlantic City gaming hotels. There are few better examples of integrating technology with aesthetics than in the lobby of The Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, where Kelley’s unique display solution tightly wraps artistic imagery around the columns.
Demand for these types of design-driven solutions are expanding, says Kelley Technologies chairman and founder Mike Kelley, whose company’s niche in the very visible gaming hospitality market has forced it to become both technology and design consultant.
“The casinos have a bigger budget to profile things that it wants to lure people into properties, so for 30 years we’ve really been like an R&D company for many casinos,” Kelley explains.
“They’re all trying to have ‘the biggest and best,’ so essentially we get paid to go on great big fishing trips to find biggest and best things out there, new technologies that we can sell and put into our systems, and that’s critical in our success.”
Such a role in the veritable R&D for aesthetically demanding integration clients like gaming casinos means that Kelley Technologies must get involved early in a project to hear what kind of wild ideas might be on a property owner or architect’s mind and whether those, or alternatives that Kelley might propose, are technically possible.
“It’s really a two-way street,” says Kelley Technologies’ Bob Schiffman, senior vice president – design. “We’ve got such a diverse set of designers, guys who have worked on every showroom