FOCUS OF ATTENTION IN THE FITNESS STUDIO

NEC Display Solutions kits out V-itness GmbH with LCD Public Displays and Desktop LCDs.

It has been a long time since pure bodybuilding was the only thing on offer in modern fitness studios. Today, fitness enthusiasts meet in wellness oases to work out together. Harmonised concepts for improved vitality and well-being along with courses in Pilates and body balance are guarantees of a bodyconscious lifestyle. And afterwards there is tailor-made infotainment to be enjoyed in trendy lounges. These added-value choices make for relaxation and natural conviviality.

At the same time, they require a sophisticated IT infrastructure to be provided by the studio proprietor. This has been consistently taken on board by V-itness in Poing. The proprietor places great importance on a lowmaintenance, energy-saving and future-proof IT solution. The studio was established in the second half of 2009 in the new town centre of the rapidly growing community to the east of Munich. The spacious rooms are located on the second and third floors of the so-called “Vauhaus” (V-house). The V-shaped footprint combined with a modern glass facade and bright red paintwork has helped to give the extraordinary architecture its name.

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Inside the studio, LCD monitors and publicdisplays from NEC Display Solutions grab the attention. Three different areas of application determine the criteria for the choice of screen. Very much in the foreground are the pure information displays for displaying up-to-date information on courses, events and services provided by the studio. Secondly, there are screens which broadcast films or the latest TV programmes for entertainment. And thirdly there are the monitors for the workstations for the staff.

Design and technology tip the balance

As monitors are the most clearly visible part of the IT infrastructure, they must not only be of high quality but also be aesthetically impressive. Particularly in a stylish environment such as V-itness in the Vauhaus, the focus is on a timelessly elegant design of information displays, video monitors and workstation screens which blendsharmoniously with the training landscape.

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TV sets often have a head start when it comes to design. Julian Merkl, Managing Director of the system house Merkl IT GmbH, was primarily responsible for planning the IT concept for V-itness. He explains why LCD public displays were preferred to television sets for this project: “The crux of the matter is TCO, Total Cost of Ownership. It is true that atelevision may be cheaper to buy than an LCD public display. But in the long term, the costs are higher due to power consumption, maintenance costs and ultimately shorter life.”

The search was therefore on for a manufacturer whose products not only satisfied the technical requirements but were also attractively designed. Merkl himself earlier worked as a trainer in a fitness studio and therefore has the necessary professional expertise. He knows all the requirements and business processes and therefore chose the market leader in public displays, NEC Display Solutions.

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Digital Signage Software an added bonus

NEC MultiSync® LCD4215 public displayswere used for the two 42-inch infoscreens. Five 32-inch MultiSync® LCD3215 were provided for showing videos and TV programmes. All models work with S-IPS panels and therefore benefit from a large viewing angle (178 degrees horizontally and vertically) with excellent picture quality from almost any direction. In combination with the 800:1 contrast ratio, they are ideally suited for use under difficult lighting conditions such as those encountered in the Vauhaus as a resultof the glazed facade. They are also equipped with intelligent fans which only switch on when additional cooling is needed. “The price-performance ratio of the NEC units isvery impressive”, emphasises Julian Merkl. The free Digital Signage Software provided for the monitors by NEC Display Solutions is areal bonus. It can supply up to three displays with audiovisual content and self created ticker messages over the network. It can also help inexperienced personnel to create new content quickly and easily and transfer it to the LCD public displays. The V-itness staff are therefore not dependent on external support when they want to upload the latest information for their customers.

MultiSync® LCD195VXM+ units are used at the staff workstations. With their elegant appearance, they harmonise outstandinglywell with the LCD public displays. Their low energy consumption makes them ideally suited for use with so-called “thin clients”. These are workstations which obtain their data and applications via a network from a computer centre. The main advantages of this technology are independence from fixed workstations and low operating and energy costs. A thin client needs a power of only 5 watts. The monitorsconnected to them should therefore also be energy-efficient.

“Health and the environment are inseparable”, says Florian Rothenfusser, Managing Director of V-itness, describing the company’sphilosophy. “We want our customers to be able to have fun here when doing somethingfor their health, but with a clear conscience. We have therefore also taken environmental aspects into account when choosing our technology.” It is possible that in future there will be another service for environmentally conscious customers: with the help of the Digital Signage Software and RSS feeds from the Internet, up-to-the-minute departure times of trains from the station opposite will be shown on the info-screens.

With NEC Display technology, V-itness is already definitely fit for the future.

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