Reinventing the Wheel by Reinventing Doors at Vancouver’s TELUS Innovation Centre

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Vancouver’s TELUS Innovation Centre was designed to break the mold of what’s possible when you integrate architecture, services, and content-driven technology. TechTAP worked with TELUS to fundamentally rethink that humble staple: the door.

TechTAP’s ‘Magic Doors’ are only one-inch thick, and instead of glass, they use 55-inch displays to deliver rich AR content.

Touchscreens, video-calling, interactive calendars, and other features simplify day-to-day tasks, seamlessly displaying
key information and redefining functionality beyond simply ‘opening’ and ‘closing.’

Nominating Company: Triple Bridge Holdings Ltd. c.o.b. TechTAP, Toronto, Canada
Venue: TELUS Magic Doors, Vancouver, British Columbia
Project: TELUS Magic Doors
Category: Corporate Environments

BACKGROUND
“Vancouver’s TELUS Innovation Centre is one of six locations built by TELUS to demonstrate “the power and potential of the very latest data and IP communications technology … [and to]get a glimpse into the future.”

Allen Devine, TELUS’ Chief Dreamer and Founder of the TELUS Innovation Lab program, wanted to see if they could turn static doors into something more innovative to showcase what could be possible with the latest technology.”
-Intel case study

Innovation doesn’t only mean something new; it also means the vision to reconceptualize what we have taken for granted. TechTAP tapped into the potential of that architectural standby, ‘the door,’ injecting a little magic into it.

Integrating Augmented Reality with embedded and connected technology, ‘Magic Doors’ provide for a subtle, but radically altered space in the boardroom and lobby. Their interactivity, utility and playfulness set the stage for anyone entering or exiting a location.

CHALLENGES
Each of the six doors required two screens, two cameras and two processors.

These elements needed to be small and light enough to keep the door functional, robust enough to handle the physical requirements of a door and powerful enough to handle the content.

The displays themselves needed to be legible in any lighting conditions, wired to meet fire and safety codes and designed to allow for easy maintenance access.

Side light touch panels with no IR frame were the only solution, given the need to have all the doors look identical, and PCAP was not available for 55-inch frames at the time.

SOLUTIONS
TechTAP discovered the Flat Frog touch solution (now used in Samsung’s FLIP boards) to address the challenge with touch. These glass panels are pressure sensitive and robust, offering millions of points of touch if required.

With Intel, custom NUCs were created to address the powerful processing requirements required for the rich graphics and highly interactive content created by TechTAP.

Ensuring that all wiring and processing for the displays was kept to the thin profile was a challenge solved by TechTAP. The cameras, like the displays, needed to be taken apart and reassembled within the doors in order to meet the thin profile requirement.

Five years later, the doors are still functioning with new AR experiences and interactive solutions—a testament to good engineering and TechTAP’s quality guarantee.

TechTap TELUS Magic Doors pic

RESULTS
Winning solutions:

“One of the coolest features were the doors. TELUS has created a set of doors that have screens instead of windows.
Hello, why didn’t I think of that!? They’re the only four doors like this IN THE WORLD, and they’re right here at TELUS in
Vancouver. A couple of them have cameras where you can host meetings and have the person you are talking with show up on the screen. Other ones have touchscreen and heat sensors, so they can tell when there’s a person standing in front of them. This blew my mind. Imagine the possibilities?” – Casie Stewart, digital content creator

“These doors have opened the minds of our guests to see the world from a different perspective. The retail sector has also shown great interest in native digital signage capabilities combined with the ability to add video calling” – Allen Devine, TELUS’ Chief Dreamer

PROJECT PARTNERS
TELUS
Intel

Triple Bridge Holdings Ltd. c.o.b. TechTAP won a 2019 Gold APEX Award in the Corporate Environments category.

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