CitiusTech Innovation Lab, India

Office 2000 talks to Hurrairah bin Sohail about the CitiusTech Innovation Lab, a space where the audience can experience products and solutions powered by the deployed AV systems.

Following the advice ‘show, don’t tell’, CitiusTech decided to create a dedicated space in Mumbai to highlight the impact its healthcare solutions deliver.

An existing working relationship with Office 2000 [O2K] resulted in the integrator being appointed to the CitiusTech Innovation Lab project.

Balu Durairaj, branch head – West for Office 2000, says: “CitiusTech is an existing client of ours and we’ve worked on different projects for them primarily focused on creating meeting spaces for their various offices. But when it came to experience centres, this was our first foray together.”

Balu continues: “We had a blank slate to work with, so there was a lot of exploration regarding CitiusTech’s expectations and their requirements. During this phase, phrases like ‘state-of-the-art’ and ‘latest technology’ and ‘highly collaborative’ came up during the discussion. Essentially, our job was to create a world-class experience for CitiusTech’s clients both physically and virtually.”

The CitiusTech Innovation Lab had the express purpose to showcase the functionality of CitiusTech’s solutions in real-life scenarios to clients.

Balu explains how this drive was incorporated into the design and thereafter execution of the project: “Seeing that CitiusTech wanted to showcase its different products and the functionality of these products, we decided to break the whole Innovation Lab experience into four different zones, each with a special focus. It is important to note that there are no real physical demarcations or separation for these zones, it is just one big space. The difference in zones is established by the theme and the technology present. So, from the beginning we approached it from what the ‘experience’ would be for a client, who would be walking through.”

We start with the Reception, which is the first zone the audience will experience. Balu details: “We’re using an AOTO LED videowall for the reception. At the start, the client didn’t really have a preference for the display technology in the reception, they just wanted something that was ‘catchy’ and had a ‘wow factor’. This naturally led us to an active LED videowall. And to further deliver on the client requirements, we designed the AOTO LED videowall as a square to match with the CitiusTech logo. For the content, we designed a CitiusTech logo that morphs into the various products it offers making for a very strong first impression. Any client that enters the reception is instantly primed for the experience.”

From here we go to the Interactive zone, a space where CitiusTech can present information about its products, from specifications to case studies as to how the products function in the real world. To help the space function dual 75-in LG flat panel displays have been provided. Video distribution through the Interactive zone, as well as the rest of the CitiusTech Innovation Lab, is accomplished via Crestron HDBaseT transmission protocol.

Balu says: “The choice of Crestron was guided by our understanding of the products and the client’s preferences and standards. After that, we had to make sure that the specifications and requirements of the experience centre were met. And also from the support perspective, we’ve worked with Crestron products and their technical teams before, so we were quite confident with selecting the product.”

Audio is delivered by Crestron speakers powered by Crestron amplifiers with a QSC Q-Sys Core 110 DSP managing the audio system.

Shure MXA710 microphones are used for audio pickup and Balu details: “Like I mentioned, the space is not physically split into four zones rather the walkthrough experience changes. We only have a single ‘audience’ to consider as they make their way through the zones, so there is a flow as to how they interact with the technology. The Shure directional microphones help a lot in this regard, because they can accurately capture the audio as the audience moves through the zones. With good auto-mixing added in, we can ensure high levels of speech intelligibility.”

Moving on, we enter the Hospital zone. Balu elaborates: “In the Hospital zone, CitiusTech basically wanted to recreate a hospital scenario and a consultation with a doctor. We have used iPads and displays to replace the charts and paper that are usually used for representing patient history and doctor notes. We have also provided Crestron AirMedia for wireless presentation. This way a doctor can share their notes and discuss patient scenarios easily and without hassle.”

In the Radiology zone, we find an MRI machine and a hydraulic arm for displays. Balu explains the setup: “What CitiusTech wanted to achieve in this zone was to show how the feed from the MRI machine can be viewed but they wanted to elevate this from the normal experience. They wanted a wow factor. So, this is where LG transparent OLED displays come in. We’ve used them strategically between the audience and the radiology section so that the content can be viewed, and the audience also has a view through the transparent display into the space. It is really an unique experience that is not usually found in healthcare.”

The walkthrough experience of the CitiusTech Innovation Lab is completed at the Work & Demonstration zone. Balu says: “This is where the clients are going to sit and discuss the products, and all get to work on what the next steps could be. So, we’ve equipped the space with an 85-in interactive board so that they can scribble concepts and ideas and collaborate and brainstorm. Here we’ve used a Cisco 360-degree camera for the videoconferencing and with Webex we can have remote participants join the sessions.”

Regarding the challenges faced during the project Balu says: “There were no technical glitches during the installation, so the project was quite straightforward. The challenges we faced were around the LG OLED transparent display. This is a special product, and we have a delivery time of 10 weeks. We had to procure the product and make sure the site was prepared for the product. We had spoken to LG prior and made them understand the application, so they had already secured the product for us.”

The LG OLED transparent displays come at a premium price point. Balu details how it was pitched to the client: “At Office 2000, we have a culture of presenting our designs and solutions in 3D. We like to take our ideas and render them in three dimensions so that the client can really understand and comprehend our solutions. We did this for CitiusTech as well and I think this made a big impact in helping them see the value of the transparent display, how it will showcase the content and how it will also provide sightlines through to the space beyond. Once they understood the application, they were onboard with the idea instantly.”

Balu elaborates the final challenge: “The LG OLED transparent display does not come with a base. This meant that we had to design and fabricate the right systems to make sure the display was installed properly. The architect and the interior designer also provided the required assistance in ensuring the transparent display was placed and positioned properly in the space.”

With the project completed Balu gives his final thoughts: “The CitiusTech Innovation Lab was designed in a very futuristic manner, so we do not foresee any immediate upgrades with respect to features and technology. However, the usage of the space might change based on the evolving circumstances we find ourselves in, so we are looking at adding more interactivity and collaboration to combat possible disruption.”

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