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World Economic Forum

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World Economic Forum Employs Cutting-Edge LED Video wall Technology at New San Francisco Center

Established in 1971, the World Economic Forum (Forum) is a non-profit foundation headquartered in Cologny, Switzerland that is well-known for its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland that brings together the top business leaders, economists, international political leaders and journalists to discuss the world's most pressing issues. In addition to Switzerland, the Forum also maintains offices in New York City, Beijing, Tokyo and in March 2017 the organization officially opened its San Francisco-based Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Center). The mission of the new office is to accelerate the deployment of technology and science for positive impact on individuals and society, while minimizing their downside risks.

Located at San Francisco's historic Presidio, the Center will convene start-ups, venture capitalists, the world's leading companies, experts, academics, NGOs and governments to discuss how science and technology policies can benefit all in society.

During the design planning of the new Center facility, the Forum identified the need for a high-performance video wall solution and engaged audio visual engineering company Spectra Audio Design as their audio visual design consultant for the project.

"The World Economic Forum was looking for a video wall system that offered clear, high definition imagery for conducting presentations and supporting events in a large, multi-purpose space," said Jason Derector, principal with Spectra Audio Design.

Video clarity was a mission-critical requirement for enabling audiences to have clear viewing from multiple distances and angles, according to Derector, and based on ambient light levels in the space, a solution would need to achieve a certain amount of brightness.

"Additionally, the Forum desired a display technology that was flexible and could provide HD video conferencing capabilities, enabling for global communication between their major sites," Derector said.

After reviewing all project requirements and performing a detailed evaluation of the Center's floor plan, the Spectra team recommended a Planar® DirectLight® LED Video Wall System from Planar. "Planar DirectLight was unquestionably the appropriate solution for this application—we knew we needed to partner with the leader in direct view LED display technology," Derector said.

The Forum's new Planar DirectLight LED video wall features an ultra-fine pitch of 1.6mm in an 8x6 configuration and enables for presentations in Full HD resolution. Engineered for 24x7 reliability, the system's six-axis of adjustment combined with DirectLight® Control Software allows for ultra-fine tune image calibration, delivering stunning, uniform images.

Integration challenge

The Forum's new San Francisco-based location in the landmark Presidio posed a challenge in terms of installing the Planar DirectLight video wall, as modifications to the building's historic structure or walls were restricted. Unable to mount the system on a wall as they normally would, Spectra's lead design engineer, David Baker, worked with Planar's structural design team to formulate a solution.

"We designed a custom, free-standing structure utilizing floor anchoring to hold the video wall system, circumventing the use of wall attachments," Baker said.

"It was helpful to be able to issue the anchor requirements to the Planar team so they could adjust their drawings accordingly and ensure the video wall floor anchor conformed to the city's earthquake zone codes."

Inspiring a New York Installation

Following the integration of the Planar DirectLight video wall at the Forum's San Francisco Center, capped by a successful kick-off event and video presentation to high-level executives and governmental officials, the results of the project inspired the Forum to install an identical Planar DirectLight video wall at its U.S. headquarters in New York City.

"We received accolades from both the World Economic Forum and the City of San Francisco. The Planar DirectLight solution delivered on every single project need," Derector said.