Barco is a company headquartered in Kortrijk, Belgium which specializes in imaging, display and projection solutions for a number of industries including media and entertainment. Barco specializes in display monitors, projectors, LED screens, visual display systems, and video walls, among others. They focus on Enterprise (from meeting and control rooms to corporate spaces), Healthcare (from the radiology department to the operating room), and Entertainment (from movie theaters to live events and attractions).
Barco showcased their medical imaging solutions at the second Belgian Week in the UAE Held under the patronage of the Belgian Embassy in December. They also recently inaugurated a new Experience Center in Dubai, located in Dubai Media City. Digital Studio interviews Eric Brouwers, Barco’s vice-president Middle East & Africa to talk about their solutions for media and entertainment industry and plans for the Middle East.
DS: What is your outlook for the broadcast market for 2018?
Due to the on the ongoing expansion of the media and entertainment industry across the Middle East, we expect to see a significant increase in demand for audio, lighting, and video production systems to provide a high-impact, fully-immersive user experience. At present, the UAE is one of the fastest-growing professional audiovisual markets and as we gear up toward mega-events such as the Expo 2020, we expect the broadcast market to grow exponentially in the coming years. Similarly, the Saudi Arabian market shows great promise in developing its entertainment sector with the announcement of the Saudi Vision 2030, which underscores the aims of the Saudi government to create a vibrant society. This sets the tone for the future of the region and demonstrates its readiness to leverage the latest broadcast technology.
DS: What are your thoughts on the evolution of 4K and HDR and immersive formats like 4D VR? How does Barco plan to stay on top of technology changes?
The evolution of 4K and HDR have successfully provided customers with video quality that is twice as good as HD and four times that of normal televisions. Another aspect worth noting is the fact that the use of 4K and HDR is not just limited to the entertainment industry but has multi-fold benefits in sectors including aerospace, medical, and defense as they enhance image clarity, and showcase finer details.
We at Barco are commitment to developing the latest technology trends and currently offer Double Black imaging 4K LED displays to help meet the requirements of the entertainment and Healthcare industry. For instance, in the Healthcare space, we offer a wide range of clinical review, modality imaging, surgical suites, operating rooms, emergency rooms and procedural facilities. As ultra-high resolution is a necessity for clinical and surgical use, we offer eight megapixels displays that deliver sharp, precise, detailed images with enhanced depth and color representation.
DS: How do you see the market for videowalls evolving?
In the recent year, the growing popularity of consumer goods coupled with the advancement of technology in the video walls space has caused an overall boost in the broadcast market. Today, as most industries undergo rapid digitization, there is a huge opportunity for technology companies to witness high demand grow significantly. According to a recent global report, the video walls market is set to grow over 7.25 percent over the next five years and will account for US$7.982 billion by 2022 globally.
While the United States is reportedly the biggest market for video walls, in the coming years the Asian and Middle East markets are also expected to witness monumental growth due to rapid rate of urbanization and favorable regulatory framework.
DS: What are Barco’s plans for the Middle East going forward?
Barco has witnessed a 10 percent growth in the Middle East region over the last six years, and expects to grow significantly in the healthcare, retail and the entertainment industry in the years to come. In 2018, we plan to focus on further strengthening our global competitiveness, and improving our commercial excellence while launching and deploying new hardware and software solutions across divisions.
Quite recently, Barco launched a range of LCD video walls under the Barco Unisee label. With this launch, we have introduced a single uniform view while ensuring faster installation, easier servicing, and higher reliability. The range of video walls allows multitude of applications – including control rooms, corporate lobbies, experience centers, brand showrooms and meeting rooms to run smoothly.
As a way forward, we aim to leverage our expertise by showcasing them at our recently opened experience center in Dubai, where we showcase Barco’s signature products including its ClickShare and WePresent portfolios, healthcare diagnostic, surgical displays, and a state-of-the-art cinema room. Additionally, we also showcase our full range of video walls.
DS: How has been the experience of working with companies in the region?
We are proud of the fact that we have partnered with over thirty local entities and have worked on some of the region’s most exciting AV projects, including starting with the installation of the largest display wall in the hydrocarbon and power industry, consisting of 150 separate screens and located in Saudi ARAMCO’s OSPAS department back in 2004, to setting up a high-tech control room at the Dubai Civil Defense headquarters in 2017.