Some things in the world never change. There will forever be airline delays, overbookings, and flight cancellations. Finding the serenity to accept such unchangeable realities is often difficult. But if you find yourself stuck in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport, you might find the wait isn’t so bad. World Visual Communications has installed more than 60 Samsung displays equipped with Brown Innovations Maestro directional speakers. From news broadcasts to sports coverage, sitcoms and more, stranded travelers can now enjoy a complete viewing experience thanks to the focused audio.
It’s a topic of endless debate in the digital signage sector: Will audio enhance your display or be disruptive and get your display unplugged? For AdSpace Networks, America’s largest in-mall digital signage network, directional audio has played a key role in their success. As a result, Adspace’s model is changing how others look at utilizing audio.
For years, digital signage networks have avoided audio due to problems with sound bleed. Frequently referred to as “employee burn,” conventional speakers blaring repetitive audio invariably lead nearby employees to unplug displays or even cut wires. After research and tests, AdSpace chose the Brown Innovations Maestro to ensure audio doesn’t disturb mall employees and patrons.
Besides keeping sound focused in front of displays, Maestro speakers can be linked, networked and communicated with remotely. “Health monitoring and adjustments to speakers on the network can be made from a single location,” said Jeremy Brown, CEO of Brown Innovations. “Maestros automatically make volume adjustments when ambient noise fluctuates, which ensures sound levels are always heard at an appropriate level above the ambient noise.”
The network has become an attractive medium for advertisers wanting to deliver more dynamic content. “We like to think of our screens as living posters and encourage our advertisers to take advantage of our unique, full motion video and audio-enabled medium with truly captivating creative,” says the AdSpace website. Dolce & Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Estee Lauder, Coach, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic and Sean John are just a handful of companies advertising on the network.
In total, the network currently consists of 2844 displays and reaches 48 million unique individuals per month.
In the Charlemagne Wing of St. Peter’s Square in Rome, an exhibition celebrating diplomatic relations between the Vatican and the Republic of Azerbaijan features a music section containing various instruments and interactive displays. To prevent sound bleed from the displays, exhibition designers chose Brown Innovations Localizer sound domes to keep audio contained to their targeted listening areas. The exhibition was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Pontifical Council for Culture.
New York, NY – The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s newest exhibit “Impossible Conversations” features a series of imagined conversations between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two Italian-born fashion designers who lived in different eras and never actually conversed. For exhibit designers, “impossible” took on another meaning: in a sound reflective gallery, these conversations would be impossible to experience with traditional speakers due to the acoustical challenges of the space. Brown Innovations made these conversations possible by introducing custom designed directional speakers to ensure the exchanges are heard clearly without overlap. Never before has fashion sounded so good.
“You feel like you’re eavesdropping,” said Andrew Bolton, curator of the exhibition who coupled iconic designs by Schiaparelli and Prada with videos in which their make-believe exchanges are heard. Visitors experience a succession of different digital discussions as they walk the exhibit‘s narrow corridor.
Remarkably, none of the conversations interfere with one another. “The exhibit was designed with an incredibly challenging acoustic specification,” said Kevin Brown, head engineer at Brown Innovations. “The space has granite floors, acrylic walls, and sheet rock ceiling. I used every trick I could think of to focus sound where it needed to go.” A sharp drop-off is heard when visitors exit each listening zone, which creates the feeling of stepping out of one fashion world and into another as they pass through the exhibit.
Ultimately, directional audio creates a surreal effect – underscoring the exhibition’s aim to demonstrate how the fashion designers, though separated by decades, were nevertheless similarly influenced by happenings in the art world. “Given the role Surrealism and other art movements play in the designs of both Schiaparelli and Prada, it seems only fitting that their inventive creations be explored here at the Met,” said the museum’s Director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell.” The exhibition comes to life through the audio clarity and focus provided by Brown Innovations.
The exhibition is made possible by Amazon, with additional support provided by Condé Nast. Brown Innovations develops and deploys directional speaker and focused audio technologies for digital signage, museum, kiosk, retail, and tradeshow applications. For more information visit BrownInnovations.com.
Cleveland, OH – This week, as the Rock Hall of Fame (RHOF) inducts Red Hot Chili Peppers, Guns n’ Roses, and Beastie Boys, the Museum concurrently unveils newly renovated exhibits equipped with state-of-the-art directional audio systems from Brown Innovations. The technology significantly enhances the visitor experience at a landmark where sound and audio quality are paramount.
A primary goal of the facelift was to eliminate sound bleed. RHOF President, Terry Stewart, said, “A great deal of what the renovation is about is reacting to what we’ve learned about the building.” Stewart and museum architects realized directional speakers were required to prevent different music tracks from overlapping and creating a cacophony of noise.
Raymond Kent of Westlake Reed Leskosky (WRL), the architectural firm responsible for the new exhibit designs, said “The previous loudspeakers were pointed out in the space at a rather high SPL and a 90-degree dispersion – effectively throwing sound everywhere. We wanted to provide more focused sound dispersion within each exhibit, while providing greater control over audio bleed into adjacent exhibits.”
Challenged to find a speaker capable of focusing sound while maintaining high quality audio, the museum tested all options. Research and evaluation found Brown Innovations custom speakers could discreetly send stereophonic sound to explicitly targeted listening zones. Individuals or small groups in these zones enjoy an audio experience with depth and dimension, while just an arm’s length away others hear virtually nothing – or enjoy a completely different audio presentation.
“Before the renovation, audio bleed was a major issue. We addressed it with Brown Innovations focusing array loudspeakers strategically placed to keep patterns tight, give better directionality, and minimize bleed,” said Kent. “The architectural changes and technology helped to shape distinct rooms and experiences with their own individual characteristics,” added Paul Westlake, managing principal at WRL.
The Rock Hall of Fame Induction runs from April 5th through April 14th. All exhibits will be open to tour during the event, including the museum’s newest exhibits, “The Grateful Dead: The Long, Strange Trip” and the 2012 Hall of Fame Inductees exhibit.
Ever wish the bar had audio playing for the sports game you came to watch? At Austin’s newly opened Brew Exchange that’s no issue. Each booth in the bar has been outfitted with a flat screen and Brown Innovations directional speaker mounted above so tables can enjoy their own TV programming with audio. That means no arguments between basketball fans and hockey fans over which commentary is broadcast when the Mavericks and Stars play at the same time.
“I’ve never seen something like this,” said Brew Exchange partner Nick Adams. “The dome helps isolate the sound. You can reserve one of the booths any time you want, come in, and watch a game with friends.” Brown Innovations, originators of sound dome technology, custom designed hemispherical audio localizers to direct sound to people seated around the tables.
“A sound dome from our standard line would only direct audio down to the salt and pepper shakers on the table,” said Jeremy Brown, President and CEO of Brown Innovations. “For applications like Brew Exchange, we custom design a sound dome based on table dimensions and the seating configuration to direct sound to people around the table.” Patrons sink into a sweet spot of audio as they sit down in the booth.
“People are going to be blown away,” said Tim Womac, another one of the Brew Exchange’s partners. “There’s nothing like this in town.” The bar also offers supply-and-demand pricing for its rotating selection of 72 draft beers. If things take off, owners say more locations could open.