"INSIDE –MTN KNOWS HOW TO SAY 'YELLO'"
ENTERTAINMENT, PRESENTATION & LIGHTING TECHNOLOGY FOURTH QUARTER 2005 / VOLUME 13 NUMBER 4 / R15.00 >> SYSTEMS >> ARCHITECTURAL >> STAGE & THEATRE >> TUTORIAL Crestron and Kramer Lighting up a prestige Wowing the crowd at Video over the network unveil new products desert resort and spa Durban’s gateway comes of age Page 6 Page 10 Page 14 Page 18 I N S I D E – M T N K N O W S H O W T O S AY ‘ Y E L L O ’ COVER STORY The Hub is based on the ‘science park model’, with state-of-the-art facilities Something’s brewing in Pretoria, and TAT WOLFEN catches a whiff of what’s bubbling on the high-tech burners… R NEVILLE COMINS, CEO OF THE interaction between tenants and we hope it’s been a challenge for the D Innovation Hub, fairly sparks with enthusiasm about it. “We’re a provincial project, under the Blue IQ entrepreneurs. You see, the various sectors of industry so often have information and projects with enormous folks at Electrosonic, who turned our rigorous spec into reality. “It’s deﬁnitely been a growth banner,” he explains, getting the formal- potential for synergy, but if the players experience,” concurs Rupert Denoon . ities out the way. What he really wants aren’t talking, they’ll never know!” “It’s the biggest job of its kind we’ve to talk about is the exciting service The mission with which Dr Comins is ever tackled, and while it’s certainly they’re providing to the knowledge- charged is to create a melting-pot of delivered the challenge to which Dr intensive sectors. ideas – a space in which ‘ideas-people’ Comins refers, it wasn’t beyond our The Hub is based upon the ‘science can bounce concepts off one another, grasp. In fact, it’s installations like these park model’, which means that it’s built and synergies can be discovered. that give us the opportunity to sharpen like a hub, with allied businesses and our teeth,” he grins. institutions all clustered intimately Targeting the techs I’m curious to know what the single around a people-friendly piazza. Sappi’s “We’re targeting a tech-based most challenging aspect of the Technology Centre is the ﬁrst multi- community,” says Dr Comins, “so we installation was. “That’s easy ...,” national tenant of this vibrant site, and need to provide facilities – including A/V, laughs Rupert. “The ceiling isn’t like the whole buzzing community is comms and controls – of a matching those you’ll ﬁnd at most ofﬁce blocks – deriving beneﬁt from proximity to the calibre. Plus, of course, a centralised the kind that allows you to remove the University of Pretoria and the CSIR. A facilities booking system, which will give ceiling tiles in order to change or repair more stimulating environment would be tenants at the Hub the ability to manage wiring. Once this ceiling was installed, it difﬁcult to imagine. bookings from their desktops. allowed no margin for error; no turning “Even the courtyard restaurant “Planning the meeting spaces has back. No ‘oops, we forgot’. We had to extends our agenda of increasing certainly been a challenge for us, and be utterly sure that every possibility – 4 promag FOURTH QUARTER 2005 COVER STORY their premises,” explains Dr Comins. “They simply invite their clients here, and they have the latest in audio-visual technology at their ﬁngertips.”(Literally, thanks to the keypad-based Crestron control system). “Everything’s automated, so, if the meeting facilitator can operate a hi-ﬁ system at home, I’m prepared to bet that he or she can run a meeting with audio-visual support. Of course, we also have a manual override, for those with more specialised needs.” All secure A CCTV monitoring and recording network and biometric access control takes care of security 24/7. “Apart from the perimeter fences, we’ve shied away from fences within the Hub’s grounds – which is in line with our thinking – unshackled by barriers and limits,” explains Dr Comins. The focus industries – especially ICT, The fully-equipped boardroom facility is electronics, biotech, aerospace and a boon for smaller businesses. high-tech service businesses – are rapidly warming to this buzzing new hive of innovation. applies to the venue’s two auditoria. “We like to think of it as a high-tech LCD displays at the rooms’ entrances cluster with companies ranging from are linked to the central booking start-ups in our maxum Business system, and these will act as signposts Incubator to medium and large national for visitors. and multi-national companies,” “We’re particularly proud of the suggests Dr Comins. reception area,” says Rupert. Obviously, “It’s an exciting project,” he this is a space that establishes one’s continues, “and we have so much talent ﬁrst impression of an organisation. It and potential all around us!” Did had to speak of the Hub’s forward someone say ‘talent’? thinking ethos.” The Electrosonic team can justly pat The plasma video screen, fed by themselves on the back for a complex Dr Comins, CEO of the Innovation Hub numerous behind-the-scenes content job well done. Rupert assures me: “This providers, is set on a glass spider wall, is the kind of installation that requires plus a standby or two – were factored providing a feature that even the most ongoing support, consultation and into our cabling plans. And then, of jaded eye couldn’t overlook. tweaking, but I’m conﬁdent that we’ve course, the installation had to follow the The ISDN/IP-supported laid down solid groundwork.” blueprint with military precision. videoconference room is served by two “We’ve even had visitors from “So, mission accomplished?” I ask. motorised screens, a three-way comms overseas who’ve pronounced “100%!” Rupert smiles. system, and built-in mics around the themselves unreservedly impressed by The Hub’s mouthpiece to the outside table. Like the fully equipped the way we’ve deployed technology,” world is a fully-equipped video boardrooms and auditoria, it is available Dr Comins concludes. A vibrant model, conferencing centre. Of its three for hire. “This is a great boon to I’d suggest, of technology serving boardrooms, two can be joined to form medium-to-smaller companies, which technology, and enthusiasm serving one larger boardroom, and the same can’t afford, or justify, such facilities on enthusiasm. I FOURTH QUARTER 2005 promag 5