This post is sponsored by Jupiter (opens in new tab)
The near future of effective hybrid meetings has been with us for decades.
Just ask video processing company Jupiter’s CEO Sidney Rittenberg. He recalls seeing the immersive Mugar Omni Theater, a domed IMAX theater in Boston’s Museum of Science as a college student. “It's covering 180 degrees when you sit in the theater. The screen is the shape of an eye, so when you open your eyes, it captures your full visual. And that was the coolest thing to me.”
Fast-forward to today, with hybrid meetings and the pressing need for more immersive remote conference environments, Rittenberg finds himself cheering a lifelong vision.
Rittenberg and his team at Jupiter have gone all-in on an ultra-wide, 21:9 aspect ratio display to create a more natural and immersive experience. Humans have a natural horizontal field of view of up to about 210 degrees of peripheral vision, Rittenberg is quick to explain. “That’s a big part of what makes an Omnimax so immersive. It plunks you visually and powerfully into the moment.”
“It's [Mugar Omni Theater] covering 180 degrees when you sit in the theater. The screen is the shape of an eye, so when you open your eyes, it captures your full visual. And that was the coolest thing to me.”
Flat screens can deliver cinematic immersion as well. We long have paid to sit in theaters and enjoy CinemaScope's wide landscapes that stretch into forever. They drew us into stories, adventures and quests. We became more engaged. We became a part and partner in the story.
Even before hybrid meetings became a necessity, Jupiter took a hard look at meeting ergonomics and systems complexity. “We looked at information on sitting long hours in front of a screen,” says Iddo Hadany, senior products manager. “The nature of meetings is that there are four, five people sitting along the table. They're not sitting with two heads above two other ones.”
The result is Jupiter’s Pana line of 21:9 ultra-wide displays that provide more of an immersive experience. Jupiter offers 81- and 105-inch ultra-wide 5K Pana displays, as well as a 34-inch desktop interactive Pana display.
“We came up with the concept about two and a half years ago” Rittenberg says. “And we were prepping for the design and talking to panel manufacturers about partnerships to help develop it. It took a good six months or so of conversations about designing specific dimensions.”
During the pandemic, Microsoft was developing its new Front Row feature for Teams, which shows online meeting participants in a row as if they were sitting at the table, offering a refreshing break from the typical stacked-tile meeting screen. Front Row fits the 21:9 format perfectly.
“It was like, wow! All the benefits of 21:9 can be utilized right off the bat for Teams,” Rittenberg says. “The timing might have been a coincidence, but it validated our vision and intentions. It should make it natural for enterprises to really look at 21:9 as a better format.”
The wider display also allows a presenter to use a portion of the screen for a presentation or an interactive display such as a whiteboard.
A 105-inch 21:9 display can change the whole feel and vibe of a conference room. It can charge some energy and immersion into the room, to allow for more effective hybrid meetings and to increase productivity, Rittenberg enthuses.
Previous efforts to market a 21:9 display size for the home market have failed partly due to lack of content availability. But the corporate and education markets don’t need broadcast content. And guess what? 21:9 means more pixels, to the tune of 5,120 by 2,160, or 5K. That equates to 33% more screen space than 4K.
Now meeting rooms can provide a 5K super-high-resolution and realistic experience. Jupiter’s Pana displays are HDR-certified (high-dynamic range for crisp and clear video) and feature optional touch control and a collaboration gateway called SimpleShare®, designed to take advantage of the wider 21:9 format.
The 21:9 form factor provides other benefits, Rittenberg says. You can position a camera lower on the wall if you prefer it above the display. The wider but shorter display also makes it easier for presenters or facilitators to use touch-control on the screen. If needed, the ultra-wide format helps with social distancing if two people are presenting.
Rittenberg says the wider screen can also fit better in some freight elevators than large 16:9 displays. “When ordering big displays, make sure you can get them to your targeted conference rooms. If you want a big LCD display in an office, you better think 21:9, unless you have big doors and wide hallways.”
No, you don’t need to pack an Omnimax theater in the office. But you can make it far more immersive with 21:9.