The future of large projection is bright
Interview with Paul Wilson, Product Manager of Professional Displays at Epson UK
Creating maximum visual impact
We are told we’re living in an ‘experience-economy’. Driven by Millennials (basically anyone between the ages of 20 to 35), we are shunning material goods and expensive status symbols in favour of life’s experiences. I guess this isn’t too astounding, after all Millennials are growing up in a society where the largest retail store doesn't own any items (Amazon), the biggest transportation service doesn't own any vehicles (Uber), and the most popular hotel chain doesn't own any hotels (AirBnB). So it come as no surprise Millennials have figured out owning things is a bit passé.
Which neatly leads me on to large venue projectors. Used in any number of leisure and hospitality venues – outside cinema, museums, theatres, atriums, festivals, galleries - these are all places people go to for experiences, not to buy possessions. And whilst we’re no experts on the ‘experience-economy’, the uplift in demand of large venue projectors would indicate that the demand for experiences is having an effect the AV sector!
Paul Wilson is the product manager for professional displays at Epson UK. He says. “It’s fair to say that this is a growth area in the UK and Ireland, with the total market size of projectors over 5,000 lumens increasing from 7,705 units in 2014 to an impressive 12,096 in 2017.”
But as Paul points out, this growth in demand may not solely be down to Millennials and their quest for experiences. “Another key growth factor has been the increasing availability and affordability of such products. Epson’s own range has expanded hugely in recent years, with around 25 current products in the 5,000 to 25,000 lumens bracket. This has really expanded the adoption of such projectors into a plethora of end users – well beyond the traditional education or office environments.
“We still see plenty of large venue projectors being used in lecture theatres, school halls, presentation theatres and atriums, but other verticals are providing new and exciting opportunities. Museums and visitor attractions are a key user group, as the visual stimulus of projection can really add the wow factor to an exhibit, increasing customer ratings and visitor numbers. Some modern art galleries are also adopting projected rather than physical media at times, as moving content creates different experiences. The flexibility to change that content at a moment’s notice adds further appeal. A recent project utilising an array of high brightness Epson projectors at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery provides a great example.”
Whilst brightness is a key factor, it’s often the adaptability of large venue projectors that sees them specified ahead of other display methods. Paul explains, “Projectors can be hidden from view, creating a more magical experience, as well as squeezed into difficult spaces with the use of specially adapted lenses. Epson’s ELPLX01 and ELPLX02 ultra-short-throw lenses are a great example – offering huge image sizes within minimal throw distances, yet still filling the available space thanks to lens shift adjustment and zero vertical offset.”
Size is a clear winner for projectors, as images can be scaled up to fill vast areas, at a fraction of the cost of alternative technologies. Epson’s Pro range also offers edge blending and an array of geometric correction tools, enabling unusually shaped spaces to be filled or objects to be mapped, even in 3D. This opens up a whole further world of creative attractions and marketing, moving into the events and retail sectors.
It’s safe to say that there is a bright future for large venue projection. It offers a unique solution that cannot be obtained through other technologies: flexible, large-scale images, with ever increasing brightness and resolution for maximum visual impact.
Find out how Epson’s EB-L1405U & EB-L1505U laser projectors were used to create a unique installation at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Epson UK is just one of many AV manufacturers exhibiting at the Tech Showcase 2018. Register your place here.