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Video Display Technologies Drive Interactive Experiences and Education at Animal Adoption and Community Center

In June of 2017, the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace opened in Playa Vista, California, introducing a new, interactive community space to celebrate and study the relationship between people and their pets, including the origins and science of that relationship. The latest philanthropic initiative from Wallis Annenberg, the facility includes pet adoption as a core activity. Annenberg PetSpace is the first destination of its kind to include a combined focus on adoption, education and academic investigation into the origin, evolution and dynamics of the bond between people and their animals.

Housed in a two-story, 30,000-square foot LEED Platinum building, Annenberg PetSpace features interactive areas for pet adoptions, an education center, adoption suites, meeting space, veterinary and training rooms, state-of-the-art medical and rehabilitation facilities, a grooming station and a leadership institute dedicated to interdisciplinary scholarship and academic research into human-animal bond understanding.


In the welcome lobby, a large and interactive touch media wall—called PetVision—invites guests to engage with informative content and learn about the animals that are available for adoption through a storytelling experience.
PetVision consists of a 12-foot-long, 9-foot-high interactive Clarity® Matrix® G3 LCD Video Wall System in a 3x4 configuration. Featuring tiled bezel widths as small as 1.7mm between adjacent LCD displays, Clarity Matrix G3 offers a nearly seamless video wall solution for the lobby environment of Annenberg PetSpace. Clarity Matrix G3 delivers outstanding visual performance, superb image quality, ultra-high resolution and includes the Planar® EasyAxis™ Mounting System, which provides an installed depth of just 3.6" (91mm).

The installation included the use of Planar® ERO-LCD™ (Extended Ruggedness and Optics™) technology—an optically-bonded glass front that provides increased ruggedness and optical performance for the interactive touch application. "The programming software designed by Belle & Wissell creates one uniform screen when the video wall is in attract mode, but once someone comes up to interact, it splits into three separate display columns with each offering a unique experience," said Jason Tosatto, Wallis Annenberg PetSpace Operations and Facilities Manager.

The interactive elements presented on the PetVision video wall consist of curated and user-submitted stories, upcoming events, daily programs, as well as adoption profiles of the animals housed in the facility. "Users can tap on the profiles and learn about the animals prior to meeting them," Tosatto said. "We also show other content such as training videos and success stories from past adopters. The content is very live and fluid."

The PetVision video wall works in conjunction with a mobile app designed by Belle & Wissell which offers visitors full access to the facility's resources and features the ability to share stories, articles and adoptable pets. Users can create an account through the Annenberg Petspace website and submit their photos to the video wall.

The interactive function of the PetVision video wall also works to establish personal connections with visitors, according to Sasha Harris-Cronin, lead creative programmer at BBI engineering which provided video technology integration throughout the facility. "On the second floor, guests can run inside a life-size hamster wheel and a camera takes photos of the experience. The photos can be sent to the PetVision video wall, allowing guests to see themselves on the display," she said.

BBI Engineering Project Manager Andrew Kirsch said the off-board architecture of the Clarity Matrix—which transfers heat, depth, complexity, and potential points-of-failure from the video wall display to a convenient service location—proved to be a major advantage. "The remote power feature saved money, improved reliability and allowed the video wall to fit in a very small and narrow opening that did not offer much in the way of depth," he said. "That design feature—as well as the integrated mounts and adjustability—were critical for this installation. BBI Engineering has gotten very accustomed to the Clarity Matrix system over the years—we've come to rely on it."

Supporting additional uses

On the first floor is the WagCenter, a 100-person auditorium lecture hall where visitors can hear key speakers and attend programming led by academic partners and staff. In this space, two Planar® UltraRes™ Series 98-inch 4K LCD displays with Planar® ERO-LCD™ technology are used as presentation tools.
Featuring Ultra HD resolution (3840 x 2160) and exceptional image and color quality for native 4K and upscaled content, Planar UltraRes Series is an ideal solution for collaborative meeting spaces and enhancing presentations.

Two more Planar UltraRes Series 98-inch 4K LCD displays are deployed in socialization circles on the second floor in a more informal setting. "In those spaces, we use the Planar displays as teaching aids for presentations that might include pet training, how to introduce two dogs, or other related topics," Tosatto said. "When the displays are not being used as a teaching tool, we use them to highlight information such as upcoming events. Really, we can be as broad or as focused as we desire."

WagCenter Gallery

Down the hall from the PetVision wall is the WagCenter Gallery which showcases inspiring stories about the human-animal bond, featuring real people and pets. These stories are presented with six Planar® PS Series 55-inch multi-touch LCD displays (PS5561T).

Offering 24x7 reliability for interactive applications, Planar PS Series displays feature up to six touch points and include LED backlight technology, low power consumption and a slim profile. The Planar PS Series is logo-free, allowing the spotlight to shine on the screen and not the frame. For added protection, a metal bezel improves durability and reduces heat load.

"The original content that we shared in the WagCenter Gallery was 'The Unbreakable Bond' series, which featured the connections between humans and their animals," Tosatto said. "Since then we've developed a new software program that allows us to upload different kinds of educational content to present on the displays that visitors can interact with and learn from. The Planar display technologies have been nothing but great—the color, clarity and crispness of the displays are fantastic."