FAIRFIELD, NEW JERSEY – FEBRUARY 2010: Creative Realities, Inc. (CRI) is a marketing firm staffed by experts in business and theater who work together to create remarkable customer experiences for their clients from the retail, hospitality, entertainment, healthcare, education, and general corporate sectors. While CRI’s work may be fairly described as technology-driven art, a well-defined business result always moors what at first may appear to be pure spectacle: brand awareness, brand allegiance, word-of-mouth advertising, and the like. CRI frequently works with audio, and its engineers rely on SymNet open architecture DSP systems to turn flights of fancy into perfectly-executed realities.
CRI’s clients include Bank of America, Foot Locker, Harvard University, Hyatt, Meadowlands Xanadu, RadioShack, Samsung, Stanford University, T-Mobile, and Time Warner. “We like to think of ourselves as brand theater activists,” said Andrew P. Groelinger, CRI chief operating officer. “We want to blow guests and patrons away with a
unique experience, an experience that they will connect with the brand when they replay it in their heads or share it with friends. We’ve been using SymNet for several years now across multiple deployments.”
One of Groelinger’s favorite examples of the innovative use of technology for experiential marketing is the new RadioShack flagship store – “StoreOne” – located on the grounds of the electronics retailer’s corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas. Inside its massive rotunda, CRI installed a 360-degree LED screen with videos of spokespersons and RadioShack’s trademark products, including speedy RC cars and charismatic robots. “To transform the moving images into something special, we knew we needed to track the sound with the images,” said Groelinger. “With two dozen SoundTube speakers arrayed around the LED screen, we needed something that could do much more than stereo or even surround-sound panning.”
He continued: “The SymNet 8×8 DSP and its associated output expanders – the BreakOut12 – were ideally suited to this kind of sophisticated control. In fact, SymNet is our go-to DSP because it is capable of performing the audio equivalent of back flips. Programming is simple and the RS-232 implementation is thorough, allowing us to easily incorporate AMX or other hardware controllers. Another critical factor is reliability. In all the years we’ve been using SymNet and in all their greatly varied configurations, we have never had a unit go bad – never!”
At the Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, New York, CRI pressed its SymNet processors to do more than just back flips – the 8×8 DSPs at Aviator practically join in with full gymnastics routines! The center features two full soccer/football fields, two NHL regulation-size ice rinks, 18,000 square-feet of hardwood courts, a 35-foot rock climbing wall, and 15,500 square-feet of gymnastics space, as well as a sports bar, and concessions, retail, and public space. The hardwood floor area serves triple duty, adding movie screenings and live performances to its usual sports configuration. The sound system designed by CRI meets the disparate input and zoning needs of the various locations and permits the hardwood floor area to easily convert among its multiple uses.
“We couldn’t have done so complex a system – that yet appears simple to the users – with anything other than SymNet,” said Groelinger.
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PHOTO CAPTION Creative Realities, Inc. (CRI) choose Symetrix’ SymNet 8×8 DSP and BreakOut12 to handle the sophisticated control of RadioShack’s flagship store – “StoreOne” – located on the grounds of the electronics retailer’s corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.