Medtronic Customer eXperience Center, Singapore

PTS Singapore details how a focus on elevating the user journey played a crucial part in fitting out the Medtronic Customer eXperience Center with technology systems fit for the job.

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, spaces need to facilitate multiple functions and operations, going beyond being just workspaces. Spaces need to enable communication, connections and be designed for users. The core part of this equation is the ‘experience’.

This vision is what Medtronic adopted for its Experience Centre in Singapore. Its Medtronic Customer eXperience Center (MCXC) was launched earlier in November 2022 to connect with the global healthcare community and drive remote access to trainings and innovative technologies.

PTS Singapore was the consultant handling the AV, acoustics, IT infrastructure and structured cabling and Spectrum AV was the system integrator for the MCXC project. Both companies worked closely together with Medtronic.

Aldon Chua, workplace technology consultant from PTS Singapore, starts the conversation: “Medtronic was involved in the design of the user journey from the moment a guest enters the lobby; to the interactions he/she may have at the different spaces; up to his/her eventual departure from the facility.”

A wide variety of products and solutions including innovative technologies such as robotics, extended (XR), augmented (AR) and virtual (VR) realities were used for the MCXC project. This added a level of complexity to the project, as Chua adds: “Different spaces may have different stakeholders holding different functions ranging from training, innovation, virtual medicine, sales and much more. We took care to ensure the inputs and feedback from these stakeholders were incorporated well into our designs and recommendations from the start.

“PTS worked closely with these stakeholders and made sure that when it came to technology, we were able to specify the right products that were scalable, future-ready, and most suited to meet the user requirements of the space. This was to ensure the technology was well-blended into the space to serve its users in the most efficient manner possible to deliver an enjoyable, holistic user experience.”

Arrival space

The journey at the MCXC starts in the arrival space. Visitors who set foot into the MCXC are welcomed by videos featuring the brand stories. These are set to play on a Barco XT1.5-E pixel pitch LED videowall across the arrival space. Flanking either side of the arrival space are four LG flat panel displays that were chosen for the colour tonality of their IPS panels. The LED videowall is powered by a complete Barco backend processing system comprising a S3-4K processor chassis, input and output cards, and an Infinipix controller.

Regarding the selection of Barco products, Chua says: “The first points of consideration were Barco’s local support and the reliability of their LED panels themselves. These were the factors that really put Barco LED ahead of other brands as in operation we know that even if a pixel is off the impact of the entire LED videowall is reduced. Their LED panels are also easy to service as the modules can be easily swapped out, making the process of replacing the panels from the bracketry seamless. Other than that, Barco is known for its dynamic visuals and colour reproduction. It was thus the complete package that was well-suited for the space.”

Any LED videowall is a significant allocation of the budget for the client. How did PTS justify the outlay to Medtronic? Chua details: “Medtronic sees the LED videowall as an investment and its team was involved early on, visiting the Barco showroom to see the LED in action and immerse themselves in the viewing experience. They know that the videowall is the centrepiece of the arrival space which would set the tone for the entire experience centre. So it had to stand out and they did not want to make any compromise on this component of the project.”

Each display in the arrival space can have independent content shown on it and they are all hooked up to Brightsign digital signage players that are linked to the AppSpace content management system (CMS) where the users can upload their content.

Chua talks about the outcomes the displays in the arrival space could enable: “Medtronic has the flexibility and capabilities to structure and plan the content to communicate the message they want. The system we have delivered also allows Medtronic to conduct presentations if they want to via a localised HDMI connection. The videowall’s slight curvature also provides for an inviting, immersive viewing experience so visitors can immerse in and enjoy Medtronic’s content.”

Audio in the arrival space is delivered by Bose Edgemax speakers together with a QSC Q-Sys Core 110f DSP and QSC amplifiers. Chua says: “We didn’t want the audio from the arrival space to bleed into the nearby café and digital operating room. To accomplish this, we decided to go with the Bose Edgemax speakers because they are strategically angled, more directive and have waveguide features that allowed us to really focus the audio on the seats in the arrival space.”


The hybrid-ready auditorium is the crown jewel of the MCXC, as Chua expands: “Medtronic has three training rooms that can be merged to form a bigger space. As a result, we looked to differentiate the use case of the auditorium from the training room spaces beyond accommodating VC and UC sessions, to accommodate more ‘premium’ presentations such as press conferences. We had this consideration in mind when designing and specifying the technology solutions.”

A Barco XT 1.2mm pixel pitch LED videowall serves as the main display in the space. Chua says: “The LED videowall display can serve as a backdrop for presentations and allows flexibility to really use it in different ways. Other than the multi-window mode, we can bring in the multiple Panasonic PTZ camera feeds from the auditorium to feature presenter and audience views, depending on the type and needs of the event.”

On the audio front, d&b audiotechnik speakers were chosen. Chua says: “We wanted to have high fidelity audio without the speakers being too noticeable or blocking the view which is why we decided on the d&b speakers. They’re very compact and they don’t intrude into the space and more importantly, they are able to provide full dynamic range audio playback for that premium experience that we were looking for. Paired with the LED videowall, the auditorium really is fit for any use, even for movie nights.”

Audio pickup has also been given due consideration and Chua states: “We have provisioned for lavalier microphones as we wanted excellent audio pickup and a great user experience. The Shure Twinplex lavalier microphones are so small and extremely easy to camouflage without any significant compromise on quality.”

Dante was used for audio transmission with analogue cabling provided for redundancy and Extron XTP II CrossPoint 1600 switching and cabling forms the base of the infrastructure for video signal transmission.

Chua explains the decision: “We might have been able to provide even more flexibility with AV over IP but going in that direction would increase the technical requirements for operations on a day-to-day basis. PTS really honed down on the actual requirements of Medtronic. They needed seamless switching and flexibility as well as high performance scaling and Extron was able to meet all these three requirements.”

Other spaces

To manage the content needs of Medtronic, a digital content studio was developed as part of the MCXC. Chua shares: “Medtronic runs a lot of events, and they have the need for content creation to communicate and engage with stakeholders. So, we’ve built a full studio for them with a green screen backdrop and cameras as well as the setup needed to develop their own content.”

The studio is built around 12G-SDI infrastructure with Blackmagic switchers. Canon cameras and lenses have been selected for their reliability and full frame features. OBS and vMix platforms are used for broadcast and Shure lavalier microphones are employed for audio pickups. Custom PCs with PCI cards that allow for SDI connectivity complete the technology system. The studio can receive the AV feeds from the auditorium and digital operating room for recording, and also route out content from these rooms to the café if needed.

The integrator, Spectrum AV, was up to the task of deploying the selected technology for the studio. Ong Kiat Ing, head designer for Spectrum AV, says: “Our background might be in fixed installation and we’re very good with corporate deployments, but this does not mean that areas such as broadcast, and studios are foreign to us. We’ve worked on projects such as the Wild Rice theatre and the Mediacorp studios in Singapore so dealing with SDI and broadcast equipment was not a challenge.”

Over in the meeting rooms, Medtronic’s global standards dictated the tech deployment and with Zoom serving as the VC platform of choice, Zoom certification was a key consideration when selecting products. According to Chua, these two factors coupled together made room setup a “no brainer” whereby Logitech RallyBar videobars, Logitech Scribe units and LG displays were active components deployed for the meeting rooms. A space within MCXC that breaks the geographical and spatial limitations of MCXC is the digital operating theatre as it allows for hybrid trainings and learning without the attendees having to be physically present at the location at the same time.

To allow for the recording and/ or livestreaming of trainings and simulated surgeries to other locations, PTZ cameras were installed and mounted at strategic locations on a ceiling mounted articulating arm. Users can choose to route the PTZ camera feed to any of the three displays provisioned for the room, including two wall-mounted TV displays and a mobile cart interactive display. These displays can also be used for Zoom VC sessions and the content can be sent to any location via a dedicated PC.

Crestron control is used across the MCXC as Chua explains this choice: “We chose Crestron to give the programmers flexibility when it comes to programming, because we know that while the UI for control is very simple and intuitive when viewed through the lens of the user, on the backend, the programming is actually complicated.”

The main challenge faced by the AV professionals should be familiar to many at this point. Ong from Spectrum AV says: “The biggest challenge for this project was definitely the global shortage of electronic chips and the resulting product shortages and long delivery lead times. Without products and equipment, it is very difficult to complete projects.”

Chua talks about how the challenges were overcome: “PTS is well aware of the product shortages and the long lead time needed for the AV equipment as we have well-established direct connections with manufacturers who we frequently coordinate with for supply chain information. We started to address this very early on the project and reached out to Medtronic and the manufacturers early to secure the exact quantity, brand and model needed through a proof of intent. We appreciate all the support we received from Medtronic and the manufacturers for this project. Because of their support, PTS was able to deliver the project in time as per the targeted timelines.”

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