Test Center Road Trip: 5 Scenes From Samsung's High-Tech Briefing Center

Ribbon Cutting

There was much fanfare at the grand opening of Samsung's Executive Briefing Center, a newly constructed showcase for the company's vertical market solutions at its U.S. headquarters in Ridgefield Park, N.J. On hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony were (from left), Tod Pike, senior vice president of Samsung's Enterprise Business Division; Yangkyu (Y.K) Kim, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America; and Tim Baxter, president of Samsung Electronics America.

Prior to the cutting, Samsung's executives made brief remarks highlighting the company's continued focus on the enterprise and its revenue growth in the two years since 2010 from $100 billion to $400 billion. Samsung conducted tours of the 3,500-square-foot facility through areas dedicated to showing off its solutions for hospitality, banking and financial services, retail, healthcare, boardroom and education verticals.

Retail Area

It might look like a cafe now, but with counters on wheels and dynamic digital signage, briefing-center staffers in minutes are able to transform the retail section into a cell phone outlet, home center, medical supply store or anything else that suits the target audience. The public is fast becoming accustomed to seeing such dynamic menus in fast-food restaurants, where prices, selections and specials can be changed and promoted with the click of a mouse or tap of a tablet. Samsung digital signage monitors can display content without a separate computer, and they can be managed using the company's Magic Info content management system. The software is free for organizations with five displays or fewer.

Transparent LCD

Also on display in the retail section was Samsung's NL22B 22-inch LED LCD Transparent Display, a self-contained, glass display case that features a see-through monitor as its front-facing glass.

According to Richard Hutton, director of channel marketing for Samsung's Enterprise Business Division, the transparent LCD still gets a lot of attention at trade shows. "It wasn't the biggest thing we were showing," he said of a recent InfoComm conference where the NL22B was on display. "It's like a honeypot; people seem to swarm around it." Far from a novel idea, transparent displays have been popping up in science fiction movies for years. But in the real world, Hutton says none are as inexpensive as Samsung's. The 22-inch version lists for about $2,800, and it includes an embedded system running Windows 7 and can be remotely managed or populated with content locally from a USB memory stick.

Financial Servants

Jason Redmond, Samsung's head of integrated marketing and communications, demonstrated in the financial services section how Samsung solutions might help banks and other customer service organizations help save time and money. The Virtual Receptionist app shown here presents a simple, touch-driven interface that allows customers to check themselves into a queue to wait for help. In the waiting area were several Galaxy Tab devices where magazines might have been. "This way, your customers can be productive while waiting instead of reading a 2008 issue of Popular Mechanics." Redmond has been involved in the design and implementation of the vignette-based briefing center since it was conceived in 2007, when it was thought that the center would go up in Samsung's Irvine offices. Enthusiasm flagged when those plans were scrapped, but was ultimately reignited. "When the CEO of the company gives you 3,500 square feet in its main U.S. headquarters for a demo room, you know you've got a firm commitment," said Redmond. The result was beyond his expectations. "I can't wait to start upgrading it with new solutions as they develop."

Smart School

For the classroom, Samsung educational solutions integrate large format monitors with handheld devices, Chromebook laptops and printers to help keep students engaged and allow teachers to provide more one-on-one time with each student. "We can train people here too," said Samsung's Hutton. "But it's really designed as a showcase for Samsung's educational tools and systems." Samsung has been hard at work on Samsung School, which provides the infrastructure for screen sharing from a teacher's PC or tablet to Samsung's 65-inch interactive whiteboard and students' Galaxy Note 10.1 tablets.