American multinational GE has officially opened the GE Africa Innovation Centre in Johannesburg – one of 10 centres globally, and the first in Africa.
The building features an exhibition and experience centre on the ground floor dominated by interactive displays and immersive digital technologies, installed and integrated by the Johannesburg branch of System Solutions, the South African AV systems Integrator.
GE appointed System Solutions to install a mix of NEC and Samsung hardware, including a first in South Africa: an 84-inch NEC interactive touch display, and a 4K pixel space 110-inch Samsung video wall with a multi-touch overlay.
Along with these centrepiece installations, System Solutions installed multiple content players and large format display screens of varying size on the exhibition floor, including twelve small format interactive screen displays as part of the GE Meets Africa section of the installation.
All of the displays carry content provided by GE’s international digital design consultants, Imagination.
“Our expertise with interactive presentation and show control system design stood us in good stead with the display technology installation for GE,” said System Solutions’ project manager Prashna Parsoot. “It was also important that we understood the client’s needs thoroughly, and that the installation met the design brief of the building, as well as performing its educational and business information display functions. Apart from the installation of the large NEC full touch screen, we had to very carefully install the four by 55-inch screens in a two by two videowall configuration for full touch screen capability.
“The huge 2430 x 1372mm overlay we used for the interactive showcase was imported from the US and specifically designed to cover the two by two 55-inch display. The touch screen was laid out, assembled and wired into the correct position for testing. Once this was achieved the software was downloaded, installed and tested to ensure working order before actual installation.”
Other aspects of the experience centre installed by System Solutions include a series of wall-mounted screens, with NFC readers allowing users to save relevant content to their user profile. Elsewhere, a virtual reality station, equipped with the latest generation Oculus Rift VR headset, runs bespoke GE simulations.
“We’re very proud of the installation,” said Parsoot. “The team, comprising myself, Charles and his technical team, Karen Blyth the Operations Manager and Jennifer Jeffrey the Sales Executive, have all worked together to install the job fully to the client’s specifications. The variety of the installations required, and the levels of interactivity, meant we needed to apply our technical creativity throughout, and I think this shows.”