Medialon Manager is at the heart of a general modernization of the headquarters of Arcandor AG (formerly KarstadtQuelle AG) in Essen, Germany. Arcandor AG, renamed July 1, 2007, focuses on three core areas of business: tourism, department stores, and mail-order services. The Karstadt department stores and Thomas Cook Group are among the company’s branded units.

Triad Berlin Projektgesellschaft mbH developed a fixed multimedia communication concept spanning four floors of the main HQ building. The prize-winning Triad Berlin, one of Germany’s most innovative agencies for communication design and architecture, was in charge of the concept, design, architecture, and realization of the complete setup.

Medialon Manager V3 Pro was used as a centralized control system for various installations in the HQ the most complex of which is an interactive, kinetic picture wall. The user interface is a scroll wheel, which allows the visitor to select four different presentations, which are then shown on three seamless plasma screens moving across the wall and various moving-picture boxes. Medialon controls a Dataton Watchout cluster, some custom microprocessor boxes for lighting and kinetic control and the audio system.

The same show-control computer also controls the rest of the interactive multimedia installations on the other three floors using IP network-based protocols.

On the first floor, a Medialon MIP (under control of Medialon Manager) is used to playback films on a large screen while at the other end of the floor space, an “outdoor” kinetic advertising system displays large slides depending on the time of the day.

The second floor houses two information walls consisting of graphic information with three large, integrated TFT screens. When a visitor is perceived by a motion detector, the pause loop is interrupted, the lighting changes, and a Dataton Watchout cluster plays back a presentation spanning the three screens.

On the third floor, Medialon Manager controls the power for several stand-alone exhibits.

The most complex part of the project was programming the kinetic wall’s interactive menu in Watchout and connecting with the scroll wheel through Medialon Manager. Another challenge was that, besides the already-existing LAN cabling, it was not possible to bring in any additional cabling from the main show-control computer to the various installations; this required Medialon to strictly rely on network-based hardware.

Medialon Manager detects all motion sensors and controls all exhibits through a user-friendly interface accessible through a VNC program running on various computers in the building.

Arcandor employees can remotely monitor the status of all exhibits and have full control over features and contents of the installations. In the standard situation, all installations start automatically at a given time in the morning and the schedule can be set and stored for each day.

Medialon integrator and programmer Rainer Beddig, of Mediaservice Rainer Beddig in Berlin, can also remotely service the whole installation through VNC software. Mediaservice programs show-control systems for the high-end presentation sector; it was one of the very first German companies to bring Medialon Manager show-control software to the German market.