Electrosonic Systems Inc. played a key role in the New York Public Library’s Science, Industry, and Business Library (SIBL) new Business Information Wall, which keeps visitors up-to-date with the latest financial information and breaking news as well as library events and classes. Electrosonic provided and installed AV equipment and lighting gear and programmed the AMX show controller and lighting system for the Wall.

Sponsored by the financial firm UBS, the Wall was created by experiential design firm ESI Design to meet the fast-changing needs of library visitors and to reflect SIBL’s mission as a resource for local, national, and international business information.

The Wall consists of five 40" NEC LCD4000s and 12 20" Sharp Aquos LCD monitors, which were built into a steel and plexiglass lightbox measuring approximately 7’x36’. Web-based feeds from a variety of sources, including Dow Jones and Reuters, are displayed on two NEC LCD screens at the north and south ends of the Wall. The remaining 15 monitors present business and current event news from Bloomberg, BBC, CNN, C-Span, Fox News, and MSNBC. Above the Wall an LED ticker streams stock information and news. The result is a dynamic display and steady stream of updated business and influential world news.

Electrosonic illuminated the lightbox with 118 Color Kinetics iCove® lights, controlled by Color Kinetics iPlayer 2. The iCoves form a background panel that brightens the entire display with rotating colors. Electrosonic also supplied and installed three Holosonic Audio Spotlights to beam streams of sound to visitors watching the three large LCD screens. Motion sensors trigger the audio, and once patrons step outside the 2’ radius of the audio spotlight, the sound fades into ambient noise of the library.

"Conforming to ESI Design’s vision, we were able to deliver an attractive media tool that mirrors the ever sleepless pace of New York City," comments Electrosonic’s project manager, David Girgenti.

Behind the scenes, an AMX Netlink integrated show controller and touchscreen permit changes to the Wall’s programming. Two Rise Software Engines feed the Wall. Eight Time Warner cable boxes, a Pioneer DVD player, and two auxiliary computers are also available to feed the Wall. The source devices are sent through an Exon 16x16 Component Video Matrix Switcher and are routable to any monitor.

Electrosonic designed the control system to allow for the creation of "templates"–which include cable channels, DVDs, and routing information–that can either be scheduled as events or manually recalled for special occasions. All devices are also available as audio sources, which are routed through the same switcher.

"We designed the custom control software as an intuitive and flexible interface which in return, enables SIBL staff to configure the Information Wall as needed," adds Girgenti. Electrosonic’s Bill Kneissl was the systems engineer.

A major research and circulation institution specializing in business and science, SIBL is the largest public library of its kind in the US, receiving an estimated 600,000 visitors annually.