Innovative new interactive glass manufacturer, Seloy Live recently launched, bringing with it a range of interactive glass solutions for the commercial sector. CIE interviews company CEO, Kai Kunnasmaa, who talks customisation, value for money and integration
Established just last year and billed as a range of ‘Supercharged’ glass products, Seloy Live’s offerings comprise the Sense, Shine and Shade variations for retail, corporate and public usage. The company’s interactive portfolio embeds touch technology securely inside glass, enabling it to also function as a regular window when switched off.
Seloy Live’s holding company has a 30-year track record within the glass industry, and expanded into interactivity after wanting to add value to glass products by embedding various technologies into the panes.
“We wanted to widen the customer base from the construction industry into the AV sectors, knowing that architects, design companies, creative agencies with a strong technology association are interested in this kind of product group,” Kai tells CIE.
The flagship product, Sense, combines a transparent insulating glass unit and interactive touch surface. Available in any size up to 3m x 6m for indoor and outdoor use, it claims to boast ‘true zero’ bezels (in other words, there are none), Sense features a reported touch response rate of 5-20ms. For large surfaces a partial, smaller touch-sensoring area (e.g. 70”-105”) is also possible while the projected image/content covers the whole glass area.
With interactivity secure within the glass – and customisable to work across some or all of the total available area – Sense is designed in such a way that it is protected from vandalism and weather, and can be washed just like a regular window.
Thermal insulation, sound reduction, fire protection and theft resistance functionality have all been taken into account, and can all be built into the design phase is required.
“These glass panels offer interactivity via touch control imbedded within the glass panels. Interactive foils are attached inside the glass, meaning it can be cleaned from both sides, extending the touch elements from months to years,” Kai notes. “We will be able to utilise other manufacturing partners once the patent comes though.”
As far as the ‘Supercharged’ element goes, Kai points out that this terminology is about getting “more value out of the glass; it’s nothing to do with voltage”.
Sense is particularly suitable for use within corporate buildings, boardrooms, meeting rooms, lobbies, foyers, as well as in retail and public environments, and the company is keen to highlight the fact that it is a cost-competitive alternative to expensive interactive LCD/OLED/LED videowalls.
“Various accessories and controls can be linked,” Kai elaborates. “It depends on what content you want to run on the glass. This could be a meeting room wall or in a storefront window. Customisable applications can be run on this. It is effectively an interactive display; it has a media server linking to the glass and a projector which produces the picture on the glass – this can also be linked to a laptop or PC.”
Key to the range’s appeal it the customisation on offer, as well as the cost, says Kai.
“This is our key issue: it’s always custom size. Traditionally LCD panels are normally standard inch sizes. If you have a space on a wall that you want to fill, we make it exactly to fit. We can produce glass panels up to 3x 6m, so if you consider that normal displays are normally a maximum of 105in, we can make it much bigger. Of course sometimes there is the limitation of getting large panels inside of a building, but if it is an external window, 3x6m is the maximum size – plus there are no bezels.
“In terms of cost, if you consider building a big interactive videowall out of LCD panels and putting a frame around it, for the sake of example, a 4m x 2m interactive video wall made up of LCD, it would cost maybe £30,000-50,000. Whereas with our solution, if you have the same size, it will cost around £25,000. The bigger the surface you want, the more cost competitive we are.”
The company notes that a non-interactive version of Sense with projection only, called Scene, is also available.
Next is Shine, a customised mirror solution designed to augment existing professional displays of any size. When the display device is switched off, Shine functions and looks just like a regular mirror, but when the device is switched on, its content is clearly visible through Shine.
The product’s semi-transparent mirrored glass can support up to 100 touch points with a reported response rate of 5-10ms, although it is also available without touch functionality.
“Place an LCD panel or TV behind it,” says Kai, “and if the AV device is not on, it looks exactly like a mirror. When turned on, the picture or content is completely visible though the glass panel.”
Not forgetting Shade, boasting electronically adjustable transparency via a separate circuit breaker, allowing the user to toggle between transparent glass and non-transparent opaque. A transparency dimmer function can also support up to six different opaque colour options.
Particularly suitable for meeting rooms, Shade can also be integrated with touch and interactivity (when in opaque mode) functioning as both glass and interactive projection surface.
Although clearly targeting the commercial space, Kai sees potential within the residential sector.
“Very high end residential, that is,” he points out. “Although I would not say that we are competing with the likes of Samsung or LG on the consumer LCD side at the moment. But at a later stage it could move into high end residential. For high-end glass panels dividing bigger room areas, you could project something onto it and utilise its interactivity in that way.”
In terms of install, Kai is confident that this will also appeal. “It’s very easy if you consider how much cabling you need for videowalls to link all the LCDs together. With our system, the cable comes out of the glass, goes to the media server, from there the projector goes to the HDMI cable – that’s all the cabling you need there, naturally plus the power cabling. When you see us at ISE, we will not need any technical support, put it like that,” he grins.
However Kai then notes that for window installs (perhaps in a retail display scenario), a window install company’s support is still needed. Also for a standalone install in a meeting room, an AV integrator is recommended for this.
“There’s nothing quite like it on the market, and the corporate and retail sectors in particular have already begun to show a huge interest in our various products,” Kai enthuses. “We’re rewriting the rulebook for interactive touch technology by supercharging glass.”
The products are shipping now and Seloy Live will be exhibiting at ISE 2017 on booth 14-M270, where it will be partnering with a global creative agency on its stand.