The entertainment value of a super-sized projected video image has always been a given. But in the age of the coronavirus, larger-than-life video images can make for super-sized experiences that lift families, through total immersion, out of the pressure-loaded atmosphere that can build from weeks of honoring stay-at-home rules.

The folks at Barco, whose Digital Canvas technology in pre-virus times had already been responsible for over-the-top home entertainment, talked up the special relevance of what they do – and the value that what they do can bring to the interior designer and architectural trades during the COVID-19 outbreak – at a May 21 Facebook Live Connected Design Insider Talk session produced for integrator Restrepo Innovations’ MEPO Channel. Panel participants, who adorned their video backgrounds with Niio new media art canvases, included: Restrepo principal Mike Restrepo; Connected Design publisher and panel moderator Maryellen Oswald; Barco’s Tim Sinnaeve, managing director, High End Residential; and Daniel Nilsson, director of business development, Americas.

Clockwise, from top left: Sinnaeve, Oswald, Restrepo and Nilsson

“The core of what we do is relevant now,” said Sinnaeve. “Together with our partners we create experiences for people to share with their loved ones – which is more relevant than ever.”

He pointed out that the time is ripe for high-net-worth individuals who comprise the market for Barco products to meet this company and its products’ capabilities. Of those clients, Sinnaeve said, “we’re only reaching five percent – but the key is through architects and designers” – who traditionally see technology solution purveyors as “a necessary evil interfering with their designs. So it is really, first, do no harm. The next step is how to make what we do ‘design material’ to them – that it’s not about the technology but about the living experience.”

Nilsson spoke anecdotally about how he created an immensely entertaining virtual “staycation” experience for his children (see featured story image). Using Barco technology, he successfully substituted real-life visits to a huge pool, and to a water park, with videos that virtually embedded the kids inside these locations. As they watched the unfolding scenes, the children held soft drinks and sat in inner tubes that further underscored their sensation of “floating.”

“These experiences are only limited by one’s imagination,” added Sinnaeve. “At the end of the day, the sky’s the limit. You may not be able to get to your beach house, but through a high-quality image, you can get a beach view on your wall in the city. We need to inspire people to want the experience. That’s what they’re buying – not just the stuff in the box. They are buying a ‘return on experience.’

“We provide benefits that can’t be enjoyed with a direct-view LED TV,” he said. “Just as with an artist, it has to do with the creative tools you use.”

Sinnaeve continued that this arsenal of video virtual experiences, presented larger than life, can also serve to elevate the technology integrator in the eyes of design partners. Added Restrepo, “This is dynamic. It’s more tools for more cool.”

The session can be viewed in its entirety in at https://www.facebook.com/MEPOCC/videos/351909592455744/

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