Disruptive Technology Design Considerations
A disruptive technology, according to Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen who coined the term, is one that displaces an established technology, shaking up the industry, or a ground-breaking technology that creates a new industry.
In this context, disruptive technology could be a variety of innovations. For instance, 5G, RFID and AI used for personalisation in a retail or hotel setting. These can stream demographic-relevant content to each individual. It could also be Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality helmets, immersive higher pixel density displays or transparent displays.
Other examples are drones or invisible technologies, such as high fibre connectivity for higher quality transportation of content.
There are a number of considerations that need to be addressed with disruptive technology, particularly in critical environments. This is true whether it is a theme park that attracts thousands of visitors or an oil and gas control room which requires uptime 24/7.
It is advisable in these circumstances to balance new, leading-edge innovations with established, tried and tested technology. Adopting disruptive technologies early on comes with an element of risk. For example, any teething problems or bugs are likely to be discovered and ironed out further along in the process. Therefore, early adopters could experience reliability issues.
Creating immersive experiences
It’s not just reliability a designer needs to think about when installing new tech. VR has the potential to create impressive immersive experiences, however, the helmets can be isolating. There can also be issues around health and safety, and hygiene if hundreds and hundreds of people are going to use them continuously.
It must be stressed that the suitability of the technology needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. Its compatibility with the existing tech in the environment also needs to be taken into account.
Where there is a tight time schedule, it may make better sense to go with tried and tested technology. Installing a piece of cutting-edge tech could require lengthy design, testing and implementation to ensure it meets its purpose.
When making a decision about the technology to use in a project, we assess it according to a number of factors. These are its readiness, its suitability and its fitness for purpose. We also look at where it fits in the client’s AV technology road map.
It is of key importance to look at the practical implications of new technology, and its ability to scale for use in large attractions. For example, in museums and theme parks, where large numbers of people will be using it constantly.
Another important consideration is the need for high-quality content to complement/ accompany the new technology.
At the heart of this process is technology master planning, something evidenced in our recent projects incorporating disruptive technologies.
MGM Cotai – The Spectacle
At the MGM Cotai Hotel, the Electrosonic team met and overcame the profound technical challenges of the world’s largest free-span glazed roof. The team creates an impactful digital art experience a year in advance of anything else on the market in terms of innovation and technology.
The project leverages the latest 4K displays, sufficiently bright to counteract background light in public environments. It shows the team’s capacity to optimize presentation for crisp videowalls. These can display cinematic portraits, big scenic shots of skylines, and multiple vignettes of attractions.
Electrosonic’s innovative multisensory experience takes place around the atrium. It highlights a global array of digital art. It also utilises true 4K LED processing of the media walls, creating ‘digital wallpaper’.