Duke University recently opened its new Karsh Alumni and Visitors Center, a 47,000 square-foot complex that is the first stop for both prospective new students and alumni returning to campus. Located at the gateway of the Duke campus, the facility is styled in modern neo-Gothic design and equipped with the latest in technology. The centerpiece of this tech is a nearly 24-foot-long, 7-foot-high multi-touch LED video wall from Planar that allows users to explore interactive content about Duke’s history and vision for the future, and engage with stories highlighting notable alumni, donors, and students. Installed by interactive solutions provider and visual collaborator T1V in partnership with Planar, the installation is a Planar LED MultiTouch with a.
“The Planar video wall is the gem of our new alumni center,” said Sterly Wilder, Duke University associate vice president for alumni affairs. “It has transformed the visitor experience because now alumni and friends make it their first stop before setting foot on Duke’s campus. It is the single way we set the tone and make a first impression—and we couldn’t be more excited to offer this experience to every person who walks through our doors.”
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The Planar LED MultiTouch video wall—a 0.9mm-pixel-pitch (TWA0.9) in a 6x3 configuration—is paired with T1V’s touchscreen software, which fosters immersive and engaging interactions. Scott Greenwood, Duke Alumni Association chief operating officer, said the interactive elements allow alumni to choose their own adventure, learn about the university they love, and set the tone for their Duke journey moving forward. “Alumni can learn about Duke history, hear student stories, read about alumni achievements, and locate themselves in the Duke story,” he said. “They walk away feeling inspired and excited by all that Duke is doing and proud of the university that formed them—but also better able to place and to see themselves in the Duke story, and to leave as ambassadors for Duke.”
According to Greenwood, the interactive video wall allows them to personalize the visitor experience with nimble digital signage that further makes alumni feel they are right at home at Duke. “Not only is the video wall a high-quality, state-of-the-art display that makes a great first impression, but it’s also a technology that drives our mission. We talk a lot about how we want our alumni center to be transformational, not transactional, and the video wall is all about transformation.”
T1V also designed an interactive map that highlights locations where alumni are located across the world. Alumni can use the map to connect with one another and student prospects can learn about notable Duke alumni.
Additionally, T1V’s software technology was customized to sync with a Duke Alumni Association mobile app to create personalized experiences for alumni. Alumni can approach the video wall with the app open on their smartphone and the software will recognize that proximity and display personalized content on the video wall specific to that person.
A universal response from anyone—alumni, prospective students, parents, visitors—who engages with Duke’s new interactive video wall is that they leave overwhelmingly impressed, according to Wilder. “As the largest interactive video wall of its kind in the southeastern U.S., it makes an impression—but when visitors start interacting with the modules, that’s when the value proposition really is evident and they, in turn, begin to feel more connected to Duke,” she said. “That’s what we like to call the ‘Forever Duke’ spirit, and the video wall helps us spark that feeling in everyone who interacts with it.”
Adam Loritsch, T1V executive vice president of sales and marketing, said T1V’s software works exceedingly well with the Planar LED MultiTouch video wall. “T1V has done a lot of work with Planar over the years and we’ve found them to be a very reliable partner. We lean heavily on them for these types of deployments,” Loritsch said.