Display technology at it’s finest

You may have seen NanoLumens technology on a JCM stand at a gaming exhibition; if you did, you would remember it. Fully configurable, seamless curved displays that could completely change your sportsbook – or even make the pillars in your casino a lot more attractive. Casino International spoke with Doug Fundator, VP Gaming and Casinos, from NanoLumens.

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It’s an exciting time for NanoLumens. The company recently signed a strategic alliance with Gimbal to create a dynamic new series of digital solutions built on Gimbal’s leading enterprise-class mobile engagement and location intelligence platform. The platform, which includes geofences and proximity beacon technology, connects enterprises with customers in exciting new ways. Combine that with NanoLumens’ superb displays, and you have a wonderful way to catch and keep a customer’s attention. It will help a venue to deliver targeted messaging, in a more immediate and relevant way, to audiences that are standing in a specified area around a display.

Aside from this development, which was signed late 2015, the company has unique display tools and they are more than aware of their relevance to the casino market. We caught up with Doug Fundator to find out more.

Casino International: What’s your basic USP? There is some great display technology out there, it has leapt forward in the last ten years; what makes NanoLumens special?

Doug Fundator: It’s definitely our flexible panelling. The fact that we are doing tight pixellation with a flexible panel really separates us out. Most people, when they are trying to do any kind of curvature, are faceting the display, taking rigid-type panels and slightly staggering them or bending them to make a curve; the beauty of our display is that we have a flexible panel, the nixel, and we can do a seamless curve with no breakage, lines or seams. That is really what got us where we are today, and we are taking it way beyond that, meaning sub-4mm gear with curvature. That’s definitely our calling card.

CI: By ‘tight’ pixellation, do you mean in terms of density?

DF: Yes. When people talk about LED technology, at least from a large-format scenario, you’re talking about a dot matrix-type look; the pixellation density has become so tight now that when we get to a 4mm – meaning the distance between each LED packet – display, that pixellation really goes away. People look at a display with sub-1mm and it’s like a TV display, you have to be right on top of it to see the matrix. There is just no dot at all, and that’s what people are really going for now. It’s allowing us to do high-definition type of stuff in a very very large format. Unlike a video wall with seams or using multiple panels, I can provide any size, any shape, any curvature with that same type of technology.

CI: Is it best suited to outdoor?

DF: Our focus has been primarily on indoor in gaming. An outdoor display is going to have a much larger pixel, so you can be looking at something four or five times less dense outdoors but you don’t need it that way because your audience is people in vehicles or walking. They’re usually large and high in the air, so they don’t need high resolution. We brought that technology indoors, brought down the pixellation, so that people could use those kinds of deployments from a display standpoint, bring them in to the architecture of the interior of the building, and that’s where we are going right now.

Our latest deployments, and looking forward, have been at racing sportsbooks, places that have always been large projection areas, event centres, that kind of place.

CI: How do your nixels compare in terms of energy consumption and heat output?

DF: We are ultra-low. Everything is eco-friendly with our displays, we use a lot of recycled materials and our power consumption is quite literally one-third of any standard-type display. We don’t have any heat because it’s all solid-state technology; it doesn’t require fans. The only fans we have with our displays are with the power supply, so there is no hart generated.

CI: Could I make a display tool in any shape I want?

DF: Yes. We have done everything from letters – like logos – to wrapping columns, which we have done quite a lot of.

CI: I guess architecturally, columns are dead space – and in a wide open space like a casino floor, you get quite a few columns.

DF: You got it, it’s dead space and that’s what our customers are saying. “If I could do something with that eyesore in the middle of my floor…” People are being creative with it too, they’re not throwing it in your face like neon in the old Las Vegas, it’s very pleasing and we become part of the structure, which I love. It’s not in your face, it blends with the environment, and we don’t have to blast these out at 100% illumination; we’re running any display we have at 10 or 20% of capacity, depending on where it’s located.

CI: Say I put your display into my sportsbook; could I break the display up to show nine different feeds, or is one screen that that – one screen?

DF: No, you can absolutely do that. It gives you the power to do that. Look at any room – where you would normally have your displays, whether it’s a projector or standard TVs, we can take it from corner to corner, make the whole thing LED, then from the head end system on the AV side we can push that to the display and zone it out however you want it. The software is so sophisticated now, you can do almost anything you want. No seams means it’s fully open space for you to decide how to configure.

CI: Is that doable on the fly though?

DF: Our recent deployment at Red Rock casino saw us fill three massive cavities where they had had back projection screens; we filled them with our LED displays. With major events going on, those screens are constantly evolving, they are showing different configurations all the time. The flexibility is really something.

CI: We’ve seen your product on JCM stands at casino gaming exhibitions – it’s very impressive. And perhaps best of all, your signage displays are mmodular so they’re exceptionally easy to repair, correct?

DF: It’s all modular, our building block is what we call the ‘nixel’, but in the LED industry it’s a modular LED panels so they are very serviceable – we have both front-and rear-serviceable pieces.

CI: In terms of feeding an image to one of your displays, is there an inbuilt drive on the display or is it networked?

DF: It can be either, but every unit we have has a DIU, which is a display interface unit. That could be anything from a super-large display that may have a rack-mountable DIU – we have one unit that can control the whole thing, with AV inputs into it with DVI, HDMI, any kind of media player network system and/or standalone system pushes straight to that unit. Then that communicates to the display, which is with a single Cat5 or Cat6 wire.