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When considering digital walls, most of us picture simple use cases like digital advertising and entertainment venues. But they provide so much more, including critical real-time decision-making, warehouse control, and centralized situational monitoring. Thanks to performant edge computing, advanced AI technologies, and customizable hardware, interactive video walls can be tailored to support these use cases and many more.
“Experiential video walls designed for engaging passers-by, like the ones found at casinos, airports, and entertainment venues, are among the most common uses right now,” says Samuel Recine, VP of Global Strategic Partnerships at Matrox Video, a developer of component-level solutions and video technologies.
Video Wall Design and Implementation Challenges
With the variety and richness of options, it’s essential to keep innovating at a fast pace. And the multitude of use cases means that designing, building, and implementing advanced AI-enabled video wall solutions is a complex challenge.
If the goal is advertising, most commercially available systems will allow daisy-chaining the displays and scale the content to fit a video wall of various sizes. But at the other extreme is a truly complex and multifunctional system that might include different sources like PC content, camera content, newsfeeds, sensor monitoring, and signal monitoring—all coming into a display via an application interface. The technology must be smart enough to bring together all these sources with their different content types and coding; and organize how they will be displayed in the video walls.
Think about the case where many signals come from different parts of a business or school campus. The capability to bring those disparate signals into one display space is critical. A control room video wall could show sensor data about water leaks, video feeds from security cameras, mobile radio from guard stations, and any number of other incoming signals. Sometimes, even protected content needs to be captured and displayed right beside open content coming in live. In those cases, advanced AI tools, processors, and screens act as an intelligent aggregator of these different baseband and IP signals across many different protocols across many different network types.
The multitude of use cases means that designing, building, and implementing advanced #AI-enabled #video wall solutions is a complex challenge. @MatroxVideo via @insightdottech
Conquering the Technology Behind Video Walls
“There’s lots of solutions for how to light up all of these pixels that form these big canvases we call video walls,” Recine says. “And every time you get to the point where you’ve solved the problem and everything is finally perfectly working as you would like on your video walls, there is always something that changes and all of a sudden you have to make that work.”
One of the secrets to making it work is the combination of the Matrox LUMA Graphics Cards, capture cards, software, and hardware designed to manage real-time video encoding and decoding. In particular, the LUMA Graphics Card uses Intel® Arc™ GPUs and Intel CPUs for advanced AI applications and to implement live data feeds while powering IP-based digital signage and video walls.
“The LUMA Graphics Card is our next-generation platform we’re introducing for our video wall solutions,” says Recine. “Our developers are essentially beginning to characterize the capabilities of this new lineup and we’ll be productizing lots of new features and capabilities that derive from the new processing power available on the Intel® Arc™ GPU.”
Recine adds that Matrox and its downstream software development partners are excited to leverage all the unique Intel libraries for accessing the media processing capabilities of both the Intel CPU and GPU families all under one roof.
The Limitless Possibilities of Visual Storytelling
As video wall technology gets even more sophisticated, what does the future look like?
Portability and miniaturization are the first steps, Recine explains: “We’re literally moving into the age where you almost have a video wall on a chip. A huge element of why we selected the Intel® Arc™ GPU for our video wall family is because of the incredible density afforded to us and the variety of signals that can be managed on one GPU. This helps drive down cost, drive up performance, and increase flexibility.”
In the sense of video walls applications in the future, the capabilities for mixing reality and rendered content can’t be ignored. For example, augmented reality might be integrated with command centers through video walls, allowing much greater visibility and insight into enterprise operations or industrial facilities. In the same vein, digital twins operating in real time to drive predictive maintenance and operational monitoring can be married with advanced AI to give engineers and operators endless opportunities to find more efficiency and avoid downtime.
The future is bright for video walls, and the time to get started is now.