The room has both internal windows that face into the library and windows to the outdoors, which meant that the room had some ambient light. The lighting in the room was one reason CompView steered the library away from a projector, Simon said. "[Display] panels will give brighter and more vivid images than a projector would, because the room's ambient light in the path of the projector would cause washout," she said. The room originally held several small cubicles and did not have existing inputs for AV. All electrical and data components had to be surface mounted, and an existing column obstructed sight lines, which left only one logical space to place the video wall. "It's a small room with a low ceiling, and with all of the electrical and data components surface mounted, it was a tight fit - so much so that we ended up not using the bottom bezel of the bezel package," Roberts said. After taking off the bottom bezel, a CompView technician created custom-fabricated pieces to go along the outer sides of the video wall to block off the rails of the display mounts, creating a cleaner look. Connectivity is on a rolling rack to the side of the column, with all inputs on the front of the rack. All types of computers and platforms can connect, whether laptop, tablet, PC or Mac. "Everyone needed to be able to access and share the system, and the system needed to be simple to use, so that various users and groups didn't need to be an expert on all the technologies," Simon said. To enable this system control, CompView added a color touch panel, so users can choose what inputs to show on which displays and how they want the layout to look, and trained library staff on how to use it.
The TRAIL Space's Success
The TRAIL incubator space offers comfortable seating on two colorful, modular sofas; a table with a whiteboard surface; and two smaller wall-mounted whiteboards. The flooring is hardwood-style acoustic tiling to absorb sound. The main focus is the six-panel video wall. Users can bring their own devices or use the university's computer tower for data visualization projects, 3D imaging and presentations. "The university did a nice job with the furnishings in this space," Simon said. "The AV package and furnishings together are really beautiful." It's not your typical higher-ed research conference area, she added. "I don't usually see something this elaborate, between the flooring, neat furniture and video wall," Simon said. "I think it's a pretty unique space." Patridge said the response from researchers and users has been very positive. "People have been very pleased," she said. "They say it's a relaxing and inviting space, and they've really enjoyed having the data wall - being able to see what everyone is seeing, and using it to visualize data." Bardyn added that the transformation of the former office space into the TRAIL Incubator Space is analogous to the transformation that is occurring in the health sciences research space. "We must show that we can turn separate workflows to support health sciences researchers and clinical investigators - formerly discrete audiences - into a mass of productive regional clinical investigators working with real-time data flow on a video wall to solve population health problems," she said. "[We must demonstrate that this] transformed approach to technology and information services could be equally reliable and valid to the approach we desire to retire." Patridge added that the video wall has sparked interest across the campus: A fellow librarian at the university's Foster School of Business library came to look at the TRAIL incubator space to investigate whether a video wall was right for that library as well. "We do have other digital signage on campus, but typically it's used more traditionally - for displaying events and student lounge areas - so it's kind of cool that we took the same product and transformed it into something researchers can use for data visualization and 3D imaging projects," Patridge said. "It's been a really big success."
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